Toni Seaberry Murphy ’05, Former PP55 Intern at the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, Washington, D.C.
Which aspect of your internship was most impactful to you and why?
I enjoyed the different Project 55 gatherings for alumni and folks working in DC. I remember going to one such gathering at the home of a U.S. Senator who was a Princeton alumnus. It was amazing – I was 18 and being exposed to different circles of people with power and influence.
We were in the midst of the tech boom/ bust, and the housing market was severely affected. We were determining which local banks to fund based on their role in the local economy in different parts of the U.S. I loved working for CDFI because it was altruistic, but it helped me understand financial markets. My internship gave me a window into the financial world and set the bar high. Had it not been for my Project 55 Internship, I don’t know if I would have gotten a Bank of America internship the next year and gone into public finance for my sophomore internship.
What advice would you offer a Princetonian who’s considering a PP55 Fellowship?
Working with an organization like the CDFI Fund as a PP55 Intern/ Fellow gives you a great entree into the business world with the safety net and support of your alumni family to ensure your success. You can enter the workforce without all the brokering you usually have to do to get into the system. With PP55 you’re allowed to make mistakes and learn from the ground up.
Why give to Princeton AlumniCorps?
When I give to AlumniCorps, it’s easy to see where my money is going. I find that the mission is clear, the influence is there, it’s giving back and paying it forward. AlumniCorps is a small, nimble organization and I know my dollars are going to go a long way.