#4: Volunteering

Good morning (or afternoon/night wherever you may be),

I am nearing the end of my internship with only two weeks remaining. This blog post features volunteering and team-building. Last Friday, my group leader decided to organize a volunteer event where we went to a DTE Energy sponsored garden and helped out. DTE recently engaged in a project where they opened up 10 gardens near or around their facilities. Being the second largest land-owner in Michigan comes with a little bit of responsibility! The garden we worked at was located a substation (area where electricity is held and transformed from high to low voltages, also many power lines located here) in the Farmington Hills area.

The day started off at the DTE headquarters in Detroit with a team building meeting. This meeting involved my group and a neighboring group along with the manager of these two groups (Mike). Mike led the discussion and gave us all a deck of cards. The cards had different statements on them related to motivation. Basically, the idea of the exercise was to determine what motivates you the most. We had to come up with 3-4 encompassing groups that motivate us (e.g. family, money, personal performance, peer recognition). I felt that through this exercise, I was able to truly know the people I’ve been working with and get a look into their mindset. I personally said that personal performance and being the best that I can be are my main motivators. It was interesting to see who stated that money was their motivator (only two people) versus who stated family or community.

After that, we all got lunch at an Indian restaurant called India flavors which was superb! Then we migrated to the garden. It was nice to speak with my group members in a casual fashion and start to actually get to know them. Mark, the man who works next to me, is a very loud individual but I could see his comedic side when we were at the garden. I did not communicate with him much leading up to this volunteer work because he’s an engineer and seems to be busy with his own thing. However, I believe I got along very well with him and can see he does too because he actually tries to make conversation since he knows me a little better now. The actual volunteer work lasted all of 30 minutes due to rain. It was also about 95 degrees so our group leader just decided to cut it short. It was a relief because the heat was unbearable. I always enjoy volunteer work because of two reasons. Number one (and most importantly), I am doing something to help the community and dedicating my time to a worthy cause. In this case, it was helping maintain the garden in order for fresh fruit % vegetables to be available for consumers. The second reason I enjoy volunteer work is because of the people I get to connect with through it. In my time volunteering, I have crafted significant bonds and been able to truly get to know someone. Also, it helps to know that they have a good heart and are dedicating their time to volunteering as well.

If you read through this whole post, I hope you enjoyed it because I enjoyed writing it. Although I haven’t touched too heavily upon my actual in-work experience in my blog posts, I like writing posts such as this one and about the city I work in along with the people I work with. If you want to hear about data analytics and electrical outage restoration metrics, I’d be more than glad to explain (and will go over it in my final wrap-up blog post).

I am both excited and a little sad that I am leaving this internship soon, but my time here has helped me grow in so many different aspects.

Enjoy the picture of my group volunteering (I am fourth from the left, top row),


Andi Bello


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