At the beginning of June, 11 summer interns stepped into AmeriCares to begin a journey. We were complete strangers with one common interest: we were college students interested in learning more about the work of AmeriCares around the world. We learned, and as the summer went on, we all became friends.
I came into this experience hoping to learn about nonprofits, global health, and myself. I would say that I was successful in gaining knowledge about all that and more. I was especially impressed with the amount of educating that occurs at AmeriCares on a daily basis.
“We were fortunate to be exposed to all aspects of the organization.”
As a Development intern, I was invited to attend weekly meetings, conference calls, and take on any other departmental work I found interesting. Lorena Martinez, who interned on the Latin America and Caribbean team had a similar experience. “I was so impressed with the staff and their willingness to help and answer our questions,” she said.
At brown bag lunches, medical seminars, clinic site visits, warehouse projects, meetings, breakfasts with CEO, Curt Welling, and conversations with staff, we were fortunate to be exposed to all aspects of the organization. As a result, were able to learn about AmeriCares at a much greater level than through the lens of the department where we worked.
“AmeriCares did a great job educating us about all the different departments and roles that AmeriCares plays in the community. From the brown bags to the work in the warehouse to the trips to the free clinics, I really learned a lot about the organization and how they make such a huge impact on the world,” said Michael Hoffman, who interned with Free Clinics.
The work we did this summer has already helped people in need. One project involved working in the warehouse preparing emergency kits that were distributed to survivors of Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac and other major U.S. storms.
“This internship gave me valuable insight into teamwork.”
Our biggest accomplishment by far was a collaborative video project. We were given ownership of the entire project, from concept and planning, to filming, editing and messaging. It was a success in meeting the goals of increasing social media engagement among our age group and it brought us together as a group.
It started with the simple idea of a map, which grew into something much bigger. Some days were more challenging than others. How do we construct a map from scratch out of post-it notes? How can we make a video under three minutes that describes an organization that does SO MUCH?
“This internship gave me valuable insight into teamwork – not only with the video, but within AmeriCares itself,” explained Communications intern, Bijal Shah. Teamwork was crucial to the success of our collaborative project, and is necessary for the functioning of AmeriCares “There’s a strong sense of cooperation and community within the organization,” she added.
If you haven’t watched our video “Snapshot of AmeriCares,” I strongly suggest you take a look – and if you’ve already seen it, watch it again!
Eleven strangers began this summer with limited knowledge about AmeriCares, but left as friends, enriched by everything they learned and experienced.
Martinez believes that her time at AmeriCares this summer has challenged her personally and professionally. As a result, she said, “I feel better prepared and confident to face the “real world” after graduation.”
I think the rest of the intern class would agree.
Thank you, AmeriCares, for a rewarding summer!
Check out our video – A Snapshot of AmeriCares: