Bye California, Hello Ann Arbor! #5

As my internship came to an end I sat at my desk homesick and ready to leave California and never come back! Of course that’s a stretch because I’d love to go back just not at all in the month of September or October, maybe when Michigan weather starts to get really cold. If you would’ve told me when I boarded that plane for Los Angeles I would’ve learned more about myself than anything else this summer I wouldn’t believe you. Internships are about gaining experience in the professional world, how exactly will I learn the most about myself. As a 19 year old woman I thought I knew myself but moving to the other side of the country alone for a couple months taught me more about myself than the last couple years of my life.

I spent time in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tahoe and The Bay Area. I made it a point to see different things and learn all that I could about the marketing field. I have gained so many connections with executives to human resource departments and other interns.  Working directly with the CEO of the company and working with a professional basketball team I gained knowledge about many different fields. I learned that I enjoy going to sleep early, working out became fun, I learned it was possible to cook breakfast lunch and dinner for myself daily and that I may not be the most disciplined young woman but when I put my mind to something nothing can stop me. I learned living in California is expensive and grocery bags AREN’T FREE. Most importantly I learned what I want to do in life is attainable and no matter what people say my dreams are not too big to become my reality. I enjoyed my internship and grew to love my field and received an offer to return next summer for a higher position. Getting my foot in the door was my goal but I may have found my own. Being the youngest person by 5 years in every professional setting this summer I realized that Michigan has put me in a position to be ahead of the game. I feel like I’m on track to do great things and this summer showed me that.

I can’t wait to see what this school year has in store for me and what next summer’s internship will show me! I couldn’t be more grateful to those who helped make this experience real for me. Bye California, Hello Ann Arbor!

Another Summer at Rebel Nell | #5

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Another summer with Rebel Nell is officially in the books. While I am still continuing to work with this company, I wanted to take a moment to look back on the summer and evaluate how much I’ve built up my professional career skills and how this internship has impacted me as a person.

This summer was definitely a different experience than my first with Rebel Nell. Going abroad halfway through my internship made things a little more difficult, but it also challenged me to prioritize. I realized that in order to remain accountable for the work that I was trusted with, finding time and committing to it was half of the battle. Even though it was a little more difficult to work from so far away, it made my work much more meaningful and purposeful.

As I begin my senior year at Michigan, I can’t imagine how my time here would have gone without having this internship– or any internships at all, for that matter. I truly believe that the experiences I gained through my internships not only enriched the education that I was getting in the classroom, but it also gave me a drive and motivation to pursue a career in a field that I am passionate about. Not to mention all of the practical real-world connections and networking opportunities having an internship afforded me. There is such a real value to having internships while in college, and I would recommend it to any student in any field of study.

Final Reflections | #5

As I enter my senior year of undergrad, I can’t help but reflect on how much I’ve changed, learned, and grown since I graduated high school. It’s safe to say that my summer abroad has made the greatest impact on who I am today.

Being abroad has taught me more about the world around me than a classroom or textbook ever could. It’s one thing to visit a foreign country, but it’s a completely different thing to live in it. You can’t fully immerse yourself in another culture without living it.

From working and traveling in Asia, I’ve learned so much about the region my parents call home. I discovered where the customs and traditions my parents raised me on came from, as well as how they came to be. I had a better grasp on why certain economies are the way they currently are. In southeast Asia, the only developed countries are Singapore and Hong Kong. When I visited Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, the differences between a developing and a developed nation became extremely evident. The less developed states often lacked what we would consider basic essentials. For instance, when I was in Bali, I was shocked to find no lanes on the roads and no address numbers on the buildings. Navigating became a little difficult, especially since I didn’t purchase a SIM card for the weekend trip.

But enough about my adventures; I’ve learned more from my internship than I could have hoped to gain. I got to experience the highs and the lows of entrepreneurship second hand. That basically sums it up, right?

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to intern at Covetella. There are a million pros to the internship, but what really drew me in was the founder. When I was preparing for my interview with her, I did some research on her and quickly realized that I really admired her. Her long list of accomplishments and unique character made me want to make her my mentor. She has taught me so much about business, networking, and life in general, and I don’t think I could ever thank her enough.

Being abroad on my own has taught me so much more about myself. I grew up pretty independent, but this experience has given me the affirmation that I’m ready to begin a life and career of my own. From all the places I’ve been and all of the people I’ve met, I’ve realized that I could easily move almost anywhere in the world and be okay.

Final Reflections | Blog #5

Looking back at my internship, I’ve found the experience to be a very rewarding, affirmative experience for me. I’ve been committed to majoring in Screen Arts and Culture since I was a freshman, but recently I had some concerns about whether I would be able to find a job in the entertainment industry or even find enjoyment working in it.

Thankfully, my internship has helped alleviate many of my concerns. I genuinely enjoyed my job and found my work incredibly rewarding. Meanwhile, I found people were more than helpful in offering advice and guidance. It often surprised me that so many people were so willing to take time out of their day to answer my questions or ask about my interests. I’ve come to greatly respect the people I worked for and am glad to have made their acquaintance.

The insight I’ve gained from my internship has also shaped how I view filmmaking. Before, I only had what I learned in class about how films and television shows were made. But, during my time at Red Wagon, I’ve come to see these ideas in practice and how pre-production and deals actually work.

Overall, I felt like I’ve grown a lot during my summer in L.A. A job in the entertainment industry doesn’t feel so much like a far off dream, but a practical career path at this point. I still have a ways to go, but hopefully I’m on the right track.

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A final look at the office

 

Resume-Ready | #5

For the first time in forever, I am excited to write my resume; and trust me, I never expected to hear those words come out of my mouth.  In years past, I’ve toiled hours and hours on crafting the perfect resume, but would always find myself caught in web of confusion.
“What kind of jobs am I applying for?”
“Do I have enough experience?”
“ What am I doing?!”
These questions would eat away at me, and my confidence suffered consequently.

But this year is different! The experiences I gained this summer have strengthened me as a soon-to-be graduate in more ways that one. I finally have clarity. No longer will I be wandering around the Career Fair applying for whichever jobs I come across. My internship has given me the direction to seek out the right opportunities and the skills to succeed in those positions.
For that, I am most grateful. With confidence in my heart and a new resume in my hand, I am ready to tackle the entry-level job market that awaits me. Wish me luck!

The End | Blog #5

The end of summer is here, but not the end of my internship.

This semester, I am going to continue to work a few days a week. I enjoyed working at my internship so much this summer and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to continue this school year. Working full time taught me so much about the industry and gave me the unique opportunity to really see if advertising was something I wanted to continue in the future. Before this internship, I never really had the chance to explore the industry, but now I think this is something I will consider in the future.

Besides just being able to learn more about the industry, I also was able to make some great connections that I will be able to use in the future. Since the company I worked for was so small, I was able to build unique relationships with my coworkers, as well as with my bosses, which I don’t think I would have been able to do with a bigger company. I am very happy that my internship is not coming to an end because I cannot wait to continue growing and learning!

Lost | Blog #4

Before I started my internship, I was very lost and confused about what I wanted to do with my future. I think I changed my mind about a million times, and I really didn’t even know what I could do with a Communications degree. When you tell people that you are a Comm Major, people don’t even understand what that means or they think it’s a waste of a degree. Well, this summer I learned that it isn’t a waste and there is so much that I can do, as long as I continue to work for it. I think I finally stopped listening to what people had to say and realized that there are honestly endless opportunities when it comes to the future. I understand that I will need to go get my masters eventually, but I am plan on taking some time off first.

Since I am a senior this year, I am trying to decide what I want to do next year and I have decided (hopefully I don’t change my mind this time) to go abroad and teach English. I know this isn’t really directly correlated with my major or internship, but through my internship I learned to step out of my comfort zone and experience new things every day. I am so excited to see what the future has in store, and once again I am so grateful for the opportunity to have such a great internship this summer!

 

Just Call Me Ace/4

When I entered college three years ago, I was pretty sure I was going to be a reporter. I’d be the front page journalist and cover ever big breaking campus news story. I joined a paper, but after just a few weeks, I was overwhelmed with the time, the stories I was covering were of little interest to me, and I just hit a point where I thought’ This is journalism? No thank you.’ I gave it another shot one year after that, but with the same results. And so ended my desire to be ace reporter.

Now, when I applied to be a communications intern, I knew there would be a journalistic quality to my writing. There would be no fiction (which is my niche) but instead I’d be writing articles.

Yet, I couldn’t say no. Even after receiving another offer, I couldn’t say no. For some reason, the idea of covering stories on people intrigued me.

And three month later, it may have completely changed my career goals.

I am a senior and in just a few short months, I will need to have some sort of plan for the upcoming year. While I do not have anything quite yet, journalism has risen back to my list of possibilities. What is the difference between my failed attempts and this position?

I was writing about something I was passionate about. And that sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? Write what you love, love what you write. Cliche as the day is long. But you don’t think about then when you’re searching for your first job out of college. You don’t think about that when you’re just trying to get your foot in the door. But its a lesson I’ve learned well.

Following a passion, especially when writing about something, you will succeed if you love it. Words convey messages that we don’t even realize and if yours shout ‘This thing is fantastic!’, people will notice.

And writing stories about people who have gone through Detroit’s One-stop centers, helping them find jobs and resources, is just so amazing to me that I loved writing about them.

So, we’ll see where that resume of mine might go to this next year. Newspaper world, look out.

The City in the Headlines/3

Growing up in a small Northern Michigan town, I knew little about that big city that everyone seemed to have mixed reviews on. Mostly what I knew about it was from varied headlines and history books, and all too often, it wasn’t great things. So, announcing that I had an internship in Detroit and would be traveling there three days a week honestly freaked out a lot of my fellow Northern Michiganders.

Then I spent month there and I am thrilled I did. Now, any of you skeptics out there probably just sighed and went, ‘I bet she just stayed in a nice downtown office and saw only the nice parts’. Well, yes, my office was near Campus and it was beautiful. I could walk past a fountain, a fake beach front restaurant, and occasionally live music on my way to grab coffee. And that was wonderful, it truly was. Downtown is a hopping place. It has great coffee shops, a fun atmosphere, tasty restaurants, and cool bars.

But, the great thing about my internship was that it wasn’t simply a desk job. I got to go out into the community. As a communications intern, I was writing stories about the residents of Detroit. That meant visiting locations and work sites and other various trips to the other side of Detroit. The sides that are still recovering, still working to come back from the hard hits this city has taken. But you know what I saw?

I saw people working hard. They would come into our centers just searching for help and ready to put in the effort. And yes, Detroit is not all glamour. There are the rundown parts, the hard to look at parts, the ones you keep in your prayers because you are unsure of how else to help.

Going into those parts wasn’t always easy, but it was always good. I saw real people, in real lives, working to regain their independence. Detroit isn’t always for tourists. But it is for the resilient, the dedicated, the kind. It isn’t the shiny side of downtown, nor is it the scary rundown you see in alarming headlines. No, Detroit is a city that’s alive and growing and moving and working towards a future.

I can’t call myself a Detroiter after one summer, but one summer sure has changed my opinion on this city. It’s beauty is in its people. And it is one beautiful place.

Making Meaning|Blog #5| Final Topic

My work this summer has been in storytelling. In short, I interviewed alumni who graduated from the School of Natural Resources and Environment between 1950 and 1980 and helped to come up with ways to tell their stories, their pieces of the larger history of the institution. Earlier this summer, I did a presentation about why storytelling was important to me and my work. As we have continued to learn, stories are incredibly powerful tools in philanthropy.  I would like to share with you a brief reflection on the story of DSIP.

For DSIP, the story was not driven by the conflict, which can often can seem timeless, inescapable, and overwhelming. After all, the world has so many complex needs that it can be difficult to see how philanthropy can address them all. Our D-SIP story was driven by the character development of everyone involved.

This summer, we were encouraged to ask the tough questions and to challenge those who opened themselves up to us because we had been giving an opportunity, a privilege to engage in ways that were most meaningful to us.We were told that now is the opportunity to learn and reflect. From Orientation, we hit the ground running, asking deep and necessary questions around philanthropy, engaging with donors and philanthropy professionals about the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work, about how your personal values were reflected and challenged in your work and how, if there was an issue, you reconciled those conflicts in values. We started to create a community. We shared in each other’s struggles, offered hands of support and spilled generous amount of tea. During the retreat, we reflected about what we had learned, how we had grown this summer, and so much of those reflections were focused on the community we had built together and how that community had helped us grow. And also understanding and appreciating the larger community of DSIP, a decade in the making before us that knew the power, the magic of this program and helped make it what it is today.

Stories are exciting and thrilling. They make us laugh and cry. Sometimes, they are real. Too real, but they all have purpose. Stories help us make meaning of the world around us. They help us to connect to one another. They help us heal, explore, and grow. But the really good stories challenge us. They force us to ask questions and leave us trying to make meaning for ourselves. They leave us wondering: what if?  And that is what D-SIP has done.

I think very deeply about my own character development. I think about how in  the wake of national tragedies, in the context of a world plagued by systems of oppression like racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, institutionalized violence against black bodies– how do I make sense of  this conflict? What power does philanthropy have in addressing such immense problems? I am an advocate. I work to raise the awareness of issues affecting marginalized populations. My work is rooted in a message of empowerment, constantly asking myself how I can center and uplift these voices in a society that often seeks to erase and silence them. I have learned that  understanding comes through experience, it comes through research, it comes through listening and connecting. Perhaps the meaning I have made for myself is this:

The meanings we make for ourselves, from our stories and the stories around us are different: each tailored to specific needs, passions, identities, and experiences. For me, I’ve seen the budding result of this story: to empower us. For me, philanthropy is about realizing how you would like to make change in the world and feeling empowered to do so. Whether that empowerment is through a commitment to justice, an expression of your faith, a part of your culture, connected to your personal values or rooted in the legacy you want to the leave in the world:so many people in some way wants to make this world a better place. And what that empowerment looks like: financial contributions, through connections, through education, through activism: all are valuable. However, we must push ourselves to think about who is afforded the opportunity to feel empowered, recognized, and valued and most importantly who isn’t. Philanthropy has a long way to go, there’s no denying that. As a scholarship student, standing before you today as a product of the amazing work that this community does, I can tell you that philanthropy must continue to be critical, it must continue to be transformative and work not only to create opportunities to empower communities, but we have a responsibility to keep growing, challenging ourselves to be more inclusive, more diverse, and tackle those big problems. Through the many facets of the DSIP experience, we have developed to the ability to see where we would like to make change and maybe how we want to do it.