The summer internship at BridgeYear is a unique experience and quite different from what I had expected this internship would be like. One of the reasons why I decided to be a part of BridgeYear was because I wanted to improve my skills as an effective leader.
This upcoming year at Brandeis, I will be the senior coordinator of Symbiosis, a Waltham Group program. As exciting as that is, I know that in order to ensure the success of any Waltham Group program, a good deal of leadership is required from the coordinators. Symbiosis is fairly new in comparison to other programs, so it will need committed people to run it, now that all of the founding coordinators have graduated.
One of my close friends from Houston and Brandeis had worked as an intern for BridgeYear this past summer, and she told me that she was able to learn many new things during this internship. When I spoke to her, she mentioned that working at BridgeYear was a lot of work, but it was work with a purpose. The supervisors were always looking for ways to improve different aspects of the organization and its people.
After working six weeks with the BridgeYear team, I can say that I have not had two completely identical weeks. During the halfway point of the internship, every team member had the chance to evaluate and provide feedback for other interns, as well as the current supervisors. The entire exercise was very eye-opening to say the least.
I learned that while I am capable of taking charge of projects, I am often times more willing to support others and their projects. This is not necessarily a bad thing. All it means is that I need to be more comfortable making choices on my own without having someone else to direct me in the right direction.
I take feedback very seriously, so during the four weeks I have left at BridgeYear, I will try my best to become more independent when it comes to making choices. I will deliver finished projects with urgency, but more importantly, with a sense of pride. It’s not enough to deliver a good project if I feel like I could have spent more time on it. This lesson can be applied to my work as a Waltham Group coordinator as well.
Symbiosis prides itself on its commitment to the community of the city of Waltham and its environment. As a coordinator for Waltham group, it is my responsibility to make sure every volunteer and community partner feels like they are making an impact. This means that each of our events should be structured in a way that allows everyone to do their personal best. In Symbiosis’ fight for a brighter future for the environment, we cannot be satisfied with just good. We have to be, and will be, eco-wonderful!