5/10/19 – Friday
Looking back on this internship, it may have been one of the most exciting and eye opening experiences of my life. I was able to establish new relationships, understand new things, practice life skills, and pick up life lessons.
In the end, I was able to intern for a total of 68.5 hours, a number I am really proud of because all of that time was filled with traveling across the state, giving presentations, hosting tables, talking with individuals and hearing their stories, and most importantly changing lives.
Throughout this internship, I have done many things. Here’s a few:
- Hosted tables at various events
- Presented at several schools
- Driven across the state
- Attended meetings
- Donated blood for the first time
- Converse with many new interesting people
- Developed patience if few people were visiting the table
- Attend health fairs
- Feature in a newsletter (Spring, 2019)
- Listen at a multitude of events
- Distribute pamphlets and other materials
Two of my favorite experiences would have to be the long drives and distributing materials. I loved driving to Chicago and distant places such as Rockford. Waking up early in the morning, drinking a coffee and eating a sandwich, then driving hours roundtrip while listening to Ted Talks really just exercised my freedom, which was something I really liked about the internship. It wasn’t a 9-5 job, but rather, regional coordinators decided upon their own schedule and made their own events. I also loved going around and distributing materials. I began to understand dealing with rejection, and loved to converse with new people and sometimes hear their stories while they gladly accepted pamphlets and pens.
Because of experiences like these, there are three lifelong skills that I have developed throughout the duration of this internship. First, understanding the value of communication. Communicating with everyone on the team is so importance because it allows for people to plan in advance, as well as build a sense of trust with another person. Communicating well early on allows for a bond to form, centered around belief in the other person and that they will keep you informed on what’s going on. Second, realizing the importance of planning. Planning, i’ve discovered, is absolutely crucial, especially at Life Goes On. One minute could save or end a life, after all. Being on time, if not early, for events was really important so that I could help set up, etc. I definitely miscalculated my initial meeting with Mrs. Boatman, as I showed up late and unfortunately that was my first impression. I hope that throughout the internship, I was able to rekindle trust and improve that impression. Third, learning how to approach new people. Meeting all types of people and understanding the way they interact with you was really interesting. It was especially awesome to me to see how easy it was for others to open up about themselves and their stories as long as you share a bit of yourself so that you’re not a stranger, as well as remain respectful and not too prying.
This internship has actually cemented my dreams of working in social policy. My goal is to help individuals who face healthcare disparities, especially immigrants in the United States. Understanding and working on a deeper level with the organ and tissue donor program Life Goes On has encouraged this ambition, and I hope to make real change
I’d like to say a few thank you’s, now that this internship is complete:
Thank you Mrs. Russo for accepting me into this course. Because of you, my life was changed in these past few months. I’ve understood the professional atmosphere and reality of work in a much more substantial level that I have ever before. I’ve learned lifelong lessons and skills, as well as formed lasting relationships.
Thank you Mrs. Pearson for working with me in my local community for the past few months. You’ve accepted me with open arms, and your optimistic vibe really allowed me to settle in. I worked with you the most and I am so glad that you were there to train me along the way.
Thank you Mrs. Eschen for allowing me to come with you and discover a whole new side of Illinois. I travelled to places I didn’t even know about, and it was really exciting to be able to experience these new places while connecting with the same community of organ and tissue donors while at various events.
Thank you Mrs. Marseille for sharing with me your life story, as well as helping me to present at Naperville. If you couldn’t tell, I was pretty nervous at first talking in front of a class, and your openness and willingness to teach helped calm my nerves.
Thank you Mr. Lietz for letting me shadow you. I was able to attend a few events with you, and every time I was stunned with the efficiency and performance of everyone there. I’d also like to thank you for giving me the bag load of materials to distribute in my local community.
Thank you Mr. Dillon for our personal discussions. It was nice talking with you at events because we’re closer to the same age, and I know that a lot of the things that you’ve said really stayed with me.
Thank you Secretary White for accepting me into your program. It was truly a life changing experience I hope to work with you again in the near future. Everyone I talk to mentions your kind personality, and oddly enough your memory. You seem to remember everything that people say, haha. You’ve always been someone that I look up to, and it was great meeting you in person. Thank you.
Finally, thank you Mrs. Boatman for being my mentor. I am sure that anyone else would’ve given me an unproductive internship, where I sat in an office all day and did meaningless chores. You actually pushed me, however, and treated this professionally, like you would with a real internship. I don’t think you can or will ever understand how much that meant to me, even if it was harder on my end. I realized because of you that not everything comes easy in life, and that not everything will be handed to me. I have to actually persistently work for something if I want to achieve. To me, this goes a long way, so thank you.