Jennifer Glose, Business Manager
Every morning, as I sipped on my coffee, with Bruno Mars blaring in the car, something magical about my summer internship kept me excited for what each day would bring.
Before the summer began, I received a text from a close friend, asking if I was still on the hunt for a summer internship. “Yes!” I said, as I immediately texted her back. My friend had met a wonderful woman who worked at the Allentown Rescue Mission. She was searching for a communications intern. My friend graciously recommended me to the woman, and she passed along her number to give to me.
I could barely sleep that night, excited to call the Rescue Mission first thing in the morning. And indeed I did. Within a week, I was sharing an office with Alexandra Hackett, the communications coordinator at the Mission, who would be my mentor, teacher, and friend for the next three months.
From the moment I entered into my role of communications assistant at the Rescue Mission, it became the most hands-on and educational experience of my life.
As I progressed through the summer at the Rescue Mission, I was able to learn and do so much. The Mission is a homeless shelter that offers three additional programs to help their clients to transform their lives and become self supporting community members. I wrote articles for the organization’s newsletter, pitched story ideas to media outlets, blogged, and wrote/edited copy for the website, just to name a few. I truly did not realize what a fantastic portfolio I was creating in the process.
Hackett confirmed in a telephone interview, “There is a lot of opportunity for an intern. It is a very valuable resource for a student.”
Dawn Washington, Development Coordinator at the Mission, who also happens to be the wonderful woman who passed her phone number along to my friend for me, also gave her thoughts.
“You can sit in a classroom for hours. An internship gives you real life experience,” she said.
Not only was my internship educational, but on a social scale it was endearing to continuously communicate and network with colleagues, clients, and volunteers of the Mission. Fundraiser events also allowed me to network with community members. Every aspect of the internship provided some sort of life skill that I will be able to take with me and use in the real world.
The Career Planning Center at Cedar Crest College offers guidance and support for students who are interested in an internship or for those that just need to be pointed in the right direction in their job search or degree choice. The center also offers interview coaching and resume workshops.
“Internships are the key to help students take what they are learning in the classroom and transfer it to the real world,” said Julie Ambrose, Interim Director of Career Planning at Cedar Crest College.
After I hung up the phone from my interviews with Hackett and Washington, I checked my Cedar Crest email. As ironic and coincidental as this gets, I had just received an email from the college stating that I have been nominated for the Joanne Day Student of the Year award for “Outstanding Intern,” which is given out by the PennACE organization.
If you are ever contemplating taking an internship, DO IT! Take it from me, it is well worth it! It will give you practice for what real work life will bring, and you will be able to build a better resume. You may even be able to gather a portfolio together of the work that you did while you were there. Most importantly, you will make the most important networks of your life.