Classwish. Org Internship / Not Complaining - Happy to be here!

1 New York, NY, United States Review updated:

Why complain? I have nothing but good reviews of where I currently intern, and people like to hear good things more than bad anyway (though national news evidence otherwise). My experience started when Robert Tolmach and Renee Hooker explained to me how their nonprofit helps teachers to pay for class supplies their students need to learn and grow, and guiding American youth (with aspirations of going international!) through career development with education and mentor programs prepare for the professional world so that they do not get discouraged or hopeless, all to common among youth of the present; .this was at a New School Career Fair. After hearing their philanthropic goals and innovative methods I jumped on the opportunity to help. They employ a variety of interns from different places, fields and walks of life to contribute to a positive and productive atmosphere that gets goals accomplished without beeing too stressful or demanding. Also, no suit-and-tie requirement for daily development and administration work! The project manager and interns more than get that students have other responsibilities (schools, finances, etc.) and just request what they bring to the table themselves: a good outlook, passion and motivation for improving and growing the program, and commitment to fulfilling the promises the students themselves make, depending on what they can offer. The location is right across the street from Madison Square Garden so it is well connected and not hard to find (inside the Pennsylvania Hotel on 7th ave and 32nd st), and my supervisor, Robert, is cordial, specific about what he expects as far as duties, and though as professional as one expects from a boss, is always ready to laugh, share anecdotes or interesting information and answer any questions or provide help and guidance. I'm feel fine about speaking with him because he manages to make you feel at ease and equal despite his wealth of past experiences in the private and nonprofit sectors, and even though he is always hard at work building the nonprofit to have the maximum impact on all students, particularly underprivileged schools and at-risk youth. I hope this program continues to receive growing sponsorship so that it can foster the big impact on students that it makes and expand its staff, projects and impact. Sorry this is not a complaint, but this is the only type of review I can offer!

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  • An
      29th of Mar, 2012

    +1 Votes
  • Pe
      29th of Mar, 2012

    Unfortunately this praised Mr. Tolmach also has a record of impersonating others. May this be an impersonation?
    E.g. the content of the email mentioned in this blog post was formulated by Robert Tolmach and distributed through a high school volunteer’s email account. Abuse? You decide!

    +1 Votes
  • Ma
      30th of Mar, 2012

    Dear Mr. Peter,
    That it is not, but I appreciate your doubting my identity. If you care to verify my existence, and attend an interesting discussion on how we can help improve education for our children instead of wasting time in our valuable lives scrounging the internet to sabotage others trying to do the same, I would love to meet and speak with you at this event a student organization I work with, the Roosevelt Institute, is holding this Monday. Hope to see you there, take care, and please unless you have some legitimate reason you can communicate to me personally at maxdubin.[protected] as to why you are trying to ruin the reputation of the good work we are trying to accomplish in my office and our nonprofit, cease and desist. It does not strike me as productive.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      16th of Apr, 2012

    Whoever thinks that interning at Classwish is a positive, productive, and meaningful experience either doesn't know what any of those words mean, or just hasn't had enough experience to be able to discern the awful from the good. Mr. Tolmach is an ego-centric, disorganized, power hungry, uninformed, naive man who hires between 50 and 80 interns each summer, who come into the internship willing provide their time, credentials, ideas, etc. to his cause. He is the only person in charge of the entire group, and is the only person who knows who is doing what, which he often forgets and confuses, leaving multiple people assigned to the same task, wasting precious time and energy. Oh, and not to mention, he seems to never have enough interns, not because the ones he has aren't capable, but because he values quantity over quality. Robert is unbelievably disorganized, unable to manage, and lacking any sense of long term goals, which makes it impossible for him to provide a decent experience for even ONE intern, let alone EIGHTY. He throws around big celebrity names (people who he has convinced to support him) and "board members" (who signed on for his last project, I'm not even sure they know they're involved), but doesn't have ANY followthrough! And the project managers you speak of? That was an idea formulated by MYSELF AND SEVERAL OTHER INTERNS last summer when we became overwhelmed with the SEVENTEEN projects Robert threw at us. Not to mention, none of these projects had deadlines, set goals, and honestly, hardly any of them were reasonable. For days at a time, we were all told to create fake facebook accounts to make Classwish look good around the web. We also had to post on soap opera blogs promoting the site pretending to have no association with the organization. The "Soap Opera Sweepstakes", which Robert claimed was a good idea because "Soap Opera Digest has 5 million readers, we want 5 million supporters, so it's a perfect match!", was a ridiculous scheme-y attempt to try to rouse attention and support, though he seemed to have no inclination that perhaps soap opera fans, whose only connection to Classwish would be through the "sweepstakes" and hopes of meeting a soap opera actor, are likely NOT going to be the same audience who support and want to be involved in a long-term education nonprofit. Oh, and ALL of his projects are based on these ridiculous ideas that hardly ever come to fruition. My experience, and the experience of all of the people i interned with was so horrific, we considered reporting Robert and having his 501c3 status investigated, as it almost feels like Classwish is not simply a disorganized nonprofit run by a whimsical dreamer, but more like an actual scam. His script might seem convincing, but anyone who does a little deeper digging will see that there is nothing even mildly substantial below the surface, which is a shame, because with the right leadership and development, this idea could really be something.

    0 Votes
  • Sd
      4th of Dec, 2014

    I interned at ClassWish from last September to November, and worked on a wide variety of things, including research, strategy, presentations, and the like. It was a complete dream and a great experience. Everyone was so pleasant and helpful. I felt welcomed, not like the "new kid on the block." There are interns there from all over the world with many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and that diversity makes it an even more exciting place to work.

    It feels great getting up every day knowing that I’m in some way helping to supply less fortunate kids with what they need for school, which is what ClassWish is all about. Something that I really dug was that you were able take on as much responsibility as you could handle, which is AWESOME for us high-energy types. That makes it a great opportunity to learn a lot.

    I learned so many new things. The number of useful skills that I gained at ClassWish was amazing and they're extremely marketable, which I have not encountered to this degree interning elsewhere. So if you're looking to use skills that you already have and gain some new ones, I highly recommend ClassWish.

    The cream on top though, is a boss who wants to make sure that everyone has a great experience and learns a lot. Robert Tolmach (who was my boss), was one of the most approachable people that I have had the pleasure of working with. No matter how busy this guy got (and trust me, he was always very busy) he always took the time out to answer any questions or concerns that anyone had, and to explain what was going on. It was like a private tutorial from someone with lots of very impressive professional experience (check out his Linkedin page).

    At the end of the day, this is without a doubt the kind of environment that I had hoped to find for an internship and that I hope to find again when I finish school.

    0 Votes

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