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Our Beneficial Banking Summer Internship


Internship Program Expands in Summer 2013

“Be prepared for significant responsibility and to tackle really big projects.”  That’s the advice Summer 2013 intern Michelle Peterson has for next summer’s program participants. Indeed, in our small organization, interns worked on deliverables that were not only challenging, but critical and central to many of the Bank’s programs. In addition to providing support to Bank projects, an important objective of the internship program is to expose talented individuals from both finance and non-finance backgrounds to how a bank can serve a community in a beneficial manner. A highlight for interns was the Beneficial Banking Curriculum - a weekly series of educational workshops led by experts in the fields of banking, community development finance, impact investing and supplying credit to underserved populations. 

Hosted by Beneficial State Foundation, ten bright and hard-working individuals spent the summer of 2013 with Beneficial State Bank, our largest cohort of interns to date. For the first time, we expanded the program to our Portland, Sacramento and Seattle offices with our intern cohort meeting multiple times a week through videoconference. Though our internship is primarily geared toward MBA students, this year’s cohort included Public Policy and Urban Planning graduate students as well as one very special rising college junior.  


 2013 Internship Session

Erin Wirpsa Eisenberg, Director of Research & Investment Analysis at the TomKat Charitable Trust speaks to Beneficial State's summer interns as part of the Beneficial Banking Curriculum. 


Meet the Summer 2013 Beneficial State Interns and learn more about their specific projects:


 Intern-Emily Kanter

Emily Kanter

My program and background: I am doing an MBA at Bainbridge Graduate Institute - the first graduate school to offer an MBA focused on Sustainable Systems Design.  I grew up in the natural foods industry; my family has owned and operated a natural foods retail store in Cambridge, MA for 39 years. From a very early age I was exposed to a variety of food justice issues including growing organic, paying farm laborers fair wages, and sourcing locally.  I managed two non-profits, one in Boston and one in Portland, before going back to school to get my MBA. 

My summer project: My internship focused on financing the local farm-to-institution supply chain in order to combat low-income childhood obesity within the greater Seattle region.  My project was to examine the regional food system and figure out what potential investments could have the most impact on the supply chain, therefore bringing the most healthy food to children most in need. 

Reflections on the summer: The internship was of incredible value to me in my career. I gained a vast amount of perspective on how banking relates to a very complex food system.  As I continued to examine the food system, I became more and more attracted to finance as a key to solving some of our toughest challenges, and so I am now concentrating in Finance at BGI.

Who should apply to this internship: As interns, we got to do a deep dive into what OPCB calls "Beneficial Banking", and to meet many of the amazing practitioners working within socially responsible investing and alternative finance. For business student building a network, these relationships are invaluable.


Staff-Michael Salemi

Michael Salemi

My program: I just finished my MBA program at California State University East Bay where I studied Social Enterprises. Prior to earning my degree, I had a successful 20-year career in healthcare where I worked in marketing and business development for medical device companies. Later in my career I became the co-owner of a physician practice management company.

My project: I was given the opportunity to create a business development strategy to help the Bank expand its presence in Sacramento. After researching 250 organizations in three strategic sectors, I developed a detailed strategy for marketing and business development efforts that would promote the Bank’s mission. The Bank liked my plans well enough to hire me as their Business Development Officer!  

Reflections on the summer: The Foundation provided a weekly Beneficial Banking curriculum that featured key leaders of the Bank and Foundation as well as Bank customers and community partners. The educational component of the internship gave us incredible insight on the challenges of running a mission-driven social enterprise and real-life examples of the ongoing impact One PacificCoast Bank and Foundation make in the communities they serve.

Who should apply to this internship: Those interested in social enterprise or in a career with high-impact.


Intern-Rachel Aoanan

Rachel Aoanan, MPA 2013, San Francisco State University
Loan Operations


Intern-Elizabeth Judge

Elizabeth Judge, MBA 2014, Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College
Impact Measurement & Reporting


Intern-Emily Kanter

Emily Kanter, MBA 2014, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
Farm to Institution Financing Strategy


Intern-Lindsey Kugel

Lindsey Kugel, MBA 2014, Presidio School of Management
Affinity Credit Card Marketing


Intern-Trang Luu

Trang Luu, BA 2015, Brandeis University
Strategic Sector Research and Outreach for Seattle


Intern-Katherine Murtha

Katherine Murtha, MPP 2013, Goldman School of Public Policy, Berkeley
Community Reinvestment Act Program Strategy


Intern-Michelle Peterson

Michelle Peterson, MBA 2014, Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College
Underwriting Guidelines


Staff-Michael Salemi

Michael Salemi, MBA 2013, Cal State East Bay
Strategic Sector Research and Outreach for Sacramento


 Intern-Travia Smith

Travia Smith, MBA Fall 2013, Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College
Human Capital: Rewards and Recognition Program



John Verssue MBA, Urban Planning 2013, Portland State University
Growth and Visibility Strategy for Portland


2012 Intern Spotlight

Emily Adams"My experience as a summer 2012 intern was extremely valuable for shaping my career trajectory.As a second year MBA student at Mills College, I had an interest in finance and I was committed to putting my business education to work for a triple bottom line organization; however, I had not yet determined which industry I wanted to enter after graduation. I was new to banking and benefitted greatly from the structured introduction to banking curriculum.As the summer Impact Analysis Associate, I was able to apply the strategic and analytical skills gained in MBA coursework to draft a plan to help the bank strengthen its impact measurement and further its mission to perform against all three bottom lines. At the end of the summer I had gained valuable experience and decided to pursue a career in impact-driven financial services."

- Emily Adams, Summer 2012 Intern and current Credit Analyst, Beneficial State Bank

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