(3) Leadership is about Communication and Organization

During a typical summer, after school ends, I would go to my seasonal job of being a server and youth camp counselor. But this summer I decided to aim for a job in the professional field that I hoped to be in some day. I found an internship at the nonprofit the Power in Place Project: Settings of Inspiration, which was started in 2015 by professional photographer Katrina Hajagos and highlights the stories of women through photojournalism. Content such as photoshoots, portraits, political haikus, podcasts, and write-ups, are all products of Power in Place (PiP). For this summer, I was assigned as a project manager for the PiP Time Capsule. In addition to my assignment as project manager, I had a short term project of interviewing a woman in office or potential candidate. I chose North Carolina Associate Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls.

Justice Anita Earls at the judges bench

The PiP Time Capsule has three parts: the physical time capsule, the virtual timeline, and the outreach/connections section. I specifically spent my efforts on the virtual timeline with two additional project managers and twenty other collaborators on the time capsule project. The physical and outreach sections were aimed at reaching out to female politicians to interview them about their political ambitions and experiences in office as women and/or women of color.

A small sample of the virtual timeline and what we’ve created for the overall Power in Place Project

My section, the virtual timeline, was an art and research project focused on retelling the story of the feminist and suffragette movements, beginning in the 1800s through present day. The bulk of the summer was spent on research focusing specifically on suffragettes of color whose stories have not been as amplified, but played a significant role.

Towards the end of the internship program, I worked with the team of graphic designer putting the entire project together, and so far we’ve accomplished digitalizing the 1940s to the early 1990s. There is still much work to be done, and since the internship program is coming to an end, I will have to pass it on to the next group of collaborators.

The overall experience was fun one and definitely a learning process. I enjoyed working with other collaborators from across the country (and the globe!), hearing different approaches to problems, and working together to make solutions. One thing I did not anticipate going into my internship was the organization of the workload. The workload itself was manageable, but I did not anticipate the time that the art section of my project would take. The entirety of the 1940s-90s itself took a week and a half, and by the time I completed it, there was only a week left in the internship program.

Additionally, I found it challenging to balance the two projects at hand. Our manager/boss heavily emphasized that we work on our long-term projects (virtual timeline) the most, and the short term (interview) project  when we had individual time. I personally felt that my interview needed to be published, seeing as I’d put in the effort to interview and do a full-write up. That can be found here!

Three things that I have learned from this internship program are:
1. communication is the key to success not only as an individual but as a team
2. write our your weekly schedule, and
3. the key to a good write up is in the detail.

I did not foresee my first internship being fully remote, nor did I foresee stepping up into a leadership role so early. Regardless, I enjoyed my experience and this furthers my interest in pursuing a job in politics.

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