Interning for a non-profit organization whose mission I am very passionate about has made me really think about what kind of work I want to do in the future. I know that I want to do something international and service-oriented, but have not yet figured out what it is that I want to do. Because work is a large part of most peoples’ lives and takes much of our time, I want my work to be meaningful both to myself and to others. What can I do that will add meaning to my life? And, what will I find self-fulfilling?
The organization that I am interning at is located in downtown Seattle. The organization so far is small (and young). There are three permanent staff members, three part-time staff members, and 6 – 8 interns. As we all share one office space and work in close proximity to each other, it can be slightly chaotic at times. However, the space makes it possible for us to easily talk to one another and keep track of what everyone else is doing.
It feels good being in an international and service-oriented environment and to be able to have contact with some of the students whose lives we are impacting. The organization has just finished hosting a three-week summer language and leadership camp, and has sent two groups of students to China. I am currently compiling a Study Abroad Booklet for the students who will be traveling to Morocco in August.
Working at a non-profit organization has made me realize how our academic lives at Brandeis tend to be self-oriented. When we are in school, the focus is entirely on us; the person who benefits most from every book we read is oneself; the person who benefits most from every essay we write is oneself. In sum, we do not work for others, but for ourselves.
At OneWorld Now!, the attention is entirely on the success of the organization and the success of the students whom we serve. Thus, each task we are given is not necessarily aimed at enhancing our knowledge in one discipline or another or improving our critical language skills. Though I enjoy working at OneWorld Now!, some of the tasks I am asked to do are not as exciting as others. This has allowed me, however, to develop skills that will help me no matter the job market. Interning at OneWorld Now! has taught me how to conduct myself in a professional manner, strengthened my problem-solving skills, and my ability to think on my feet. It has also taught me when to ask for help and how to pick up work from where someone else has left off.
In conclusion, I really appreciate being in a culturally sensitive environment that is not too stressful and living in a city that is so diverse. I am very grateful that I am honestly able to say that I find my work at OneWorld Now! to be both enjoyable and meaningful.
– Honore Cole ’17