Intern Reflections with Asher Lentz

Resolve Philly intern Asher Lentz and staff Gabriela Rivera and Natoya Brown pictured using an interactive display

The most significant knowledge area I’ve developed over the past six months is how to create an invisible web of professional (and genuine) relationships, and building trust within those relationships.

At Resolve, we believe that developing a strong, intentional, and multi-layered internship program provides great benefits to the individuals who choose to intern with us, to us as an organization, and to our industry at large. We greatly appreciate the value and expertise that all Resolve interns bring to the table, and our staff works hard to create a valuable, meaningful experience that will support them in their future endeavors.

Recently, we caught up with Asher Lentz, Resolve's current Engagement Reporting Intern, to learn more about their experience. Check out what they had to say below.

How would you describe this internship experience to others?

There’s a strong emphasis on professional development, learning new skills, and having something to show for your time here, rather than simply completing tasks. For example, I learned more about data visualization from Julie, not because it was baked into my work, but because I was interested in it, and this readiness to share knowledge was really valuable for me.

How would you describe the culture at Resolve Philly?

To describe the ethos in four words, I’d choose transparency, warmth, diligence, and restfulness.

Looking back, what do you wish you would have known before starting this internship?

There’s this video on the freighthopping Wikipedia page, taken on a GoPro strapped to the head of someone riding on top of a boxcar with some friends. Imagine you’re one of the people on the ground watching the train go by, and then going and hopping on the train yourself and getting good-naturedly pulled up by the people already on board. This was what the internship onboarding process felt like. At the beginning of my internship, I wish I could have known where all of the many hand holds were.

Tell us about any new skills, techniques, and knowledge you gained through your experience.

The most significant knowledge area I’ve developed over the past six months is how to create an invisible web of professional (and genuine) relationships, and building trust within those relationships. Being around the constant awareness of the importance of these connections was the most perspective-altering thing I learned during my internship. Also, from my work on Documenters, I learned a lot about the managerial work that goes into running a program.

What has been most rewarding about your work?

The most rewarding part of this internship has been seeing the impact of the Documenters program on the way public meetings are run. Having people to attend and record these meetings reminds government officials of the public nature of their work and the reach of their decisions. When we contact officials about problems in their proceedings, they’re presented with the opportunity to fix them and voice their principles concretely, in a way that wouldn’t exist had a system of accountability not been facilitated by Documenters.