My name is Jacob Hertzinger and I am the 2021 Summer Research Fellow at Next Stage. First off, I am a freshman political science student at Davidson College on the pre-law track as well as a Bonner scholar. I enjoy politics, podcasts, learning languages and gardening. I am from Asheville, North Carolina, where I am an avid hiker as well as a former competitive gymnast.

I believe I am an all around free-thinker, who tends work during nighttime hours. Due to the disruption of the pandemic, most of my exams were completed at 3am this year. I am passionate about society and the things I choose to study, which is what attracted me to working at Next Stage.

When I talked to my scholarship advisor, she suggested I check out this firm as “a place with incredibly passionate people.” Now that I’ve spent time with the folks here, I have to agree with her assessment as I can’t imagine a private sector company with a greater emphasis on social good than Next Stage.

I went into the summer with the goal of discovering my areas of passion in the nonprofit sector. Like many in my generation, I expect my workplace to be a place filled with passion and shared personal values. I would never work for a company that was negatively impacting the issues that I care about. I am discovering that this can work both ways, where a company reflecting missions of social good can also inform my own person mission and focus for my professional work

I am quite excited to work at Next Stage this summer because I feel this firm represents my own intrinsic values. Speaking of values, a recent discussion with the team here helped me understand that I emphasize efficiency and practicality in my personal work. I tend to aim for small, tangible “wins” in service to large problems. Daily engagement with these “practical solutions” would keep me engaged as an employee.

And so it will this summer. This is going to be a great fellowship for me at Next Stage!