Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Internship

At the beginning of my senior year of college, we were told that we'd have to secure an internship second semester. If all went well, most of us would just be doing our internship and taking one or two classes so that we could focus on our internship.

I worked in college for the Girl Scouts- it was just an hour each day, but I would go to an elementary school and bring the Girl Scouts curriculum to students in 1st-8th grade. They had the option of going to recess or coming to see me. A lot of them came to see me. I loved it.

I wanted to do something similar for my internship second semester, but I was having a difficult time finding a placement. So one night I just took out a booklet I had with all the nonprofit organizations in Kalamazoo and just went down the list, e-mailing directors and asking if there were any internships available.

I eventually interviewed for an internship at the Kalamazoo Child Abuse and Neglect Council. I had no idea what to expect. The interview went perfectly. I learned that there were just two full time paid staff members, a few volunteers, and a board of directors. My supervisor, Mimi, told me that my job duties would vary from recruiting volunteers to making presentations in the community.

I landed the internship and worked at KCAN twice a week. Mimi was right. I did a little bit of everything. She really did me a favor by letting me take the reins and jump into any project that I wanted to do. I sat at our table at health fairs and passed out information on child abuse prevention, I took part in our largest fundraiser, I recruited volunteers for said fundraiser, developed a new campaign, and even traveled to the state capital to speak up about child abuse prevention. It was an eye opening experience. I once again found myself in a situation where I was significantly younger than my coworkers, but was able to step up and accomplish things, much to my surprise.

I know I was very lucky to land such an awesome internship. I'm still grateful for KCAN and for Mimi for all the advice they gave me. I stayed in touch with Mimi up until last year. I learned that she has since stepped down as executive director, and I don't have any personal email for her. But she was a mentor for me, and really helped me to learn what it meant to be passionate about something.

Now I work for a company that takes interns, and one of my roles is to oversee them. I often think about my own experience with my internship and work hard to make sure that the students I work with have just as much of a positive experience that I did. I try to protect them but challenge them. Just like Mimi did for me.



15 comments:

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said... Add Reply

Megan, where others might only pay lip service to causes such as child abuse prevention, you have actually gone out and helped with your time, energy and skills. God bless you for all the awareness you raised and the difference you made. Nice post. May you be a mentor to others.
Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar Cynthology

Dee said... Add Reply

You had a very fulfilling internship! I really like the way you write. It's very readable and entertaining.

Julia King said... Add Reply

Isn't it amazing how opportunities we have in the past help us in the present. I'm glad you had that intership so it can help you with you job now.

Carol Z said... Add Reply

What a worthwhile program. Visiting from A to Z!

Sandy said... Add Reply

A peak into the real world is so important, and that's the purpose beyond what students learn in books. So many college kids have never even held a job, so need a bit of reality. Glad you had such an awesome experience and did something so worthwhile. One my DD summer jobs during her college years was a camp counselor in a Girl Scout Camp. We live in Ohio, DD went to school in St. Louis, and traveled to Conn. for work that summer. They had floorless tents and the kids came from low income families. To this day she talks about what an awesome summer it was. Helping kids adapt to outdoor living, helping kids get over being homesick etc. The Girls Scouts do good work. A-Z

anothercleanslate said... Add Reply

Sounds like you had a great experience as an intern. I had to oversee some interns last year and it isn't easy. I am glad someone made the effort for you and you are paying it forward :)

Samantha May said... Add Reply

My sorority (Kappa Delta) works with Prevent Child Abuse America and Girl Scouts of the USA. So what you've done is really, really awesome to me :)

I don't have to worry about internships for another year or so, but I hope that it's a positive experience!

Tracy Moore said... Add Reply

Very nice Megan. Service to others is so rewarding. I volunteered for a while as a CASA...sounds similar to the organization you interned with. It's great that you can support and nurture new interns now. :)

musesings said... Add Reply

I really love how you got and accepted the opportunity to give back to interns the way your mentor gave to you. Awesome!

It's so nice to see a positive cycle of relationships continue, especially when much of the work involved was stopping viscious cycles.

Thanks for writing!

Deena Dietrich said... Add Reply

that's great. pay it forward.

Rob-bear said... Add Reply

Sounds like you really enjoyed the internship. It was good for you, and you were probably pretty good with the people for whom you worked.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting

Elizabeth said... Add Reply

That sounds like it was a very worthwhile experience! Internships are such a great way to discover your passions and meet amazing people along the way. :)

Tara Tyler said... Add Reply

interning will confirm your chosen path (or make you rethink it) hopefully confirm! sweet story!

Stratoz said... Add Reply

Love that you now get to help interns. It is important work that organizations such as the one you interned at performs in our communities. Stratoz goes AtoZ

Dawn Embers said... Add Reply

That sounds like a very good set of internships. It's good that you were so open to the experience too and doing it for more than just to add to a resume. Great post.