This week is very exciting here at AJWS. One of the remarkable things about the organization is the involvement we have domestically and worldwide from our generous community of donors and staff. We are represented in four major cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Washington D.C. Here, we have various people working within their respective departments collaboratively to ensure seamless communication and rapport throughout all the work we do. The excitement I feel today stems from the event planning I have been doing to bridge the gap between our staff members far and wide. Not only do we have people flying in from all our tier one offices, but we have specifically planned engagement retreats and events to give everyone the opportunity to spend time with one another, align the work they are doing and bond as a cohort of people working to achieve and accomplish the AJWS mission.
Tomorrow’s event is centered around one of the many things that makes AJWS so unique. Our study tour group leader training is designed to give our staff members an inside look into the energy, knowledge and passion required to carry out a successful travel/study tour abroad. Recently we have had donors and staff return from Guatemala which is where AJWS is “focus[ing] on ending discrimination against women, youth and indigenous people, and protecting the land and natural resources that farmers need to survive.” This study tour training is important as it teaches people like me who have never experienced anything like this the logistics required to capture the hearts of our donors and the people who we are helping in developing countries. The second event is only for the development department in which employees who work within this division can have an opportunity to learn more about each other’s learning styles, office attitudes and the way they perform within the work place. These activities and skills are key in creating a safe and productive work environment, one of which AJWS has but this is unique compared to other organizations.
Along with planning required for these retreats to be successful comes the lessons learned after putting something of this nature together. Since this is my first time working on a task like this independently, there is a lot of responsibility and attentiveness to detail required. When networking with caterers and venue representatives, the most important skill is professionalism and hospitality. While I’ve enjoyed my time out of the office, these meetings can often be stressful, although they do provide general world experience great for navigating future career moves. I am thankful that I have been given so much freedom and that these events are turning into my own prized possessions.
The biggest event I oversee is known as the State of AJWS breakfast in which our very own CEO Robert Bank makes an appearance and speaks on behalf of AJWS to our community about the work we have done and will continue to do this year, and the years to come. Robert is inspiring, forward thinking and a true philanthropist who cares deeply about the people and the issues at hand. I must thank my wonderful supervisors and colleges for helping me to perform to the best of my ability day in and day out. Working with members of the donor engagement team including Stefanie, Aliza and Neely has been eye opening, as these strong women are always working hard to demonstrate their love for the organization. Our team is special, and I will miss them dearly when I am gone.
It’s hard to believe this is my half way mark. I have already served as an intern for 4 weeks! I cannot imagine what else is in store for myself, the friends I have made here, the executives, the board and the people we support throughout the world.