Event planning and fundraising are the two activities I have most often engaged in during my internship. I’ve had several opportunities to test both; however, my time with KKOOM has expanded these skill sets in surprising ways.
At the start of my internship, I began with a list of possible activities and skill sets my supervisors wanted participating students to build during our Dream Camp in Seoul. Over the past several weeks, I have developed three missions. Each mission required hours of research, creating a points system, and compiling instructions–a lot of administrative and logistical details to wade through.
Mission 2, for example, is comprised of three separate activities: (a) an on-campus scavenger hunt at Hongik University, (b) an interview with a foreigner, and (c) a cafe/restaurant review. The scavenger hunt requires students to navigate Hongik’s campus by finding and taking pictures in front of various buildings. Our hope with the interview is to encourage students to use their English, no matter how limited they perceive their English speaking ability to be. Lastly, the cafe/restaurant review will help students learn the importance of budgeting (they receive a set lunch stipend) and observing one’s surroundings.
I’m an old soul and appreciate planning things with pen and paper. However, with all the necessary research and cross-referencing needed to plan Dream Camp, almost all my work was done electronically. Call me old-fashioned, but this experience helped me learn to plan events in a different way. I started off with pen and paper, and had to switch to my computer for efficiency’s sake.
I have held several fundraisers for various NGOs and 501 (c)(3)s in the past, but KKOOM fundraiser gave me an extra challenge. Asking for money wasn’t the problem; the concern was being as non-political as possible. A challenge our organization has faced is that of people associating us with adoption. Our focus is opening up educational opportunities for orphans and it’s important to us to keep things focused on the students. The language used when creating a donation pitch was incredibly important.
I successfully meet my goal. In fact, I raised 400% of the original $500 goal. (To save you the math, family, friends, and strangers together raised $2000.) Before launching my campaign, I needed to carefully contemplate my wording. It is important to not only understand an organization’s mission, but also know how to clearly explain it.
Although I’m hoping to pursue a career in speech pathology or forensics linguistics, I know that having experience with event planning and fundraising will always serve me well.
As the youngest member in KKOOM, I am grateful for the confidence and trust the other Board members have in me. From our time spent together at our LA Board Retreat to our emailing/messages to the upcoming weeks in Korea, I have benefited and will continue to benefit from their experience and knowledge.
In terms of lessons I’ve learned about myself in the workplace, there are several, but to me, the most important is learning to have more confidence in myself. Planning the Dream Camp seemed rather impossible at times; reaching my fundraising goal, unlikely. But, they both happened.