There are many stereotypes associated with internships like getting coffee, filing paperwork, and making copies. This was not the type of internship I wanted. My desire was to make a difference and put my time and efforts toward a good cause. When the time came for me to prepare for this summer, I started looking for an opportunity that was a little out of the ordinary. I stumbled across the Team NeighborLink Coordinator internship and knew it was a good fit for me.
During my first week, we had one of the biggest Team NeighborLink events of the year, the Great 80. In the midst of preparing registration, designating pace groups, and attending to all the other details, I realized that I had the opportunity to take on responsibility unlike any other job I had experienced. Less than two weeks later, I was running point on our 3rd run of our 5k Night Moves series. In a mere three weeks, I have been given the opportunity to grow and learn more than I ever imagined. At NeighborLink, they truly made me a member of the staff and let me take ownership of my experience.
Aside from the responsibility, there was something even more beneficial that this internship has offered me: work with purpose. I get to plan exciting and enjoyable events that encourage people to be active and raise awareness for a good cause. Knowing that what I do has the chance to help people in my community presented a new motivation to work hard.
Personally, this internship has been enabling in the sense that it is teaching me how to problem-solve. At times, the big picture can overwhelm me. My focus is spent exclusively on the looming issue or overall vision to the point that I lose sight of how to find asolution. I have started to learn how to take a step back and put my energy into fixing one problem and then the next and so on until the ultimate goal is achieved. My shift in perspective has transformed the way I work. I'm no longer afraid to jump in and try something new. Even if it means I fail at times, I work until I find a solution. Discovering what I am capable of has been empowering.