As my internship comes to a close, I really cannot believe that it is over. This was by far one of the best internship experiences that I have had. This summer gave me the opportunity to take all my past academic and work experiences and blend them into the career that worked for me.
Toward the middle to end of my internship I really learned about the art of blogging with Word Press. I scanned the internet for up and coming innovations in the sustainability world and wrote about them for LAGI’s blog. This was a really wonderful opportunity for me to see the new amazing inventions coming from engineers, artists, and architects and I loved being all the more educated about this business. My blogs have since been published to the internet and can be found here.
My dedication to LAGI’s Twitter and Facebook accounts had an overall large impact and increase in LAGI’s social media reach. During the first week of my internship LAGI had around 450 Twitter followers—they currently now have 668 followers (that’s over 215 followers added!) and the Facebook likes went from about 1,100 to 1,219 (over 115 added!). As someone who didn’t even have a Twitter account about a year ago, I cannot believe how much I adapted to the platform—it has become very intuitive—and I also learned so much more about the importance and impact of social media from my experience at LAGI.
During the denouement of my internship, me and my supervisor discussed the future of LAGI in the form of a 3-year plan. We brainstormed what LAGI would need to satisfy to bring its major projects for the near future into fruition. I couldn’t believe how much LAGI had to juggle in the coming 3 years: my supervisor already knew the locations of LAGI’s future sustainability competitions, and my supervisor is already flying to Copenhagen for LAGI’s 2014 competition in the fall. They also had a handful of local projects going on, including ongoing collaborations with both national and Pittsburgh-based artists to revitalize low income urban towns. It was a privilege for me to see the planning and components that go into the progression of an organization—and it taught me how important it is to be organized and to stay on top of the game at all times in order to not only manifest one’s own goals, but to maintain positive professional relationships with business partners (this last component can make or break a project–in most cases).
If I were to pick a major lesson that this summer’s internship taught me, it would be to never sacrifice your dreams just because you, or others around you, may think it’s not feasible to pursue your chosen field. This could be from the job’s societal stereotype/prestige, the starting salary it yields, and so on. My supervisor told me that most people start non-profits because they love the work they do—money is not the initial motivation to begin non-profit work. And to be honest, the supervisor that I had this summer was the happiest and most motivated supervisor that I have ever worked for. It is hard sometimes to defy the wants of others in order to pursue your own dream, but I really believe that if one is willing to put in some extra effort or time, the sense of satisfaction that it gives is worth it in the end.
I really did not want to leave my internship, it so resonated with my career interests and I knew that I wanted to pursue this field in my present and future. That’s why I was thrilled when my supervisor offered that I could help her with the planning of a major project happening next summer throughout the year, meaning that I could still be connected to this world of work even though I would be in a different state. This really makes me grateful for the internet—I can’t imagine correspondence without it!
I am so happy that this will be the field I pursue–both academically (through Brandeis’ IGS and Environmental Studies programs) and work-related through my internships and employment opportunities. It makes me very excited as I anticipate a very rewarding future ahead!
I want to thank my supervisors, Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, for offering their guidance, wisdom, and this wonderful internship experience.
I also want to thank the Hiatt Career Center, and the WOW Program, for giving me consistent assistance if I had questions, for providing me the funding to pursue this opportunity, and for adding the enriching component of an online blog so I could organize my insights and see the fruition of my peers’.
Thank you very much! I wish everyone a wonderful, and productive, remainder to their internship experiences!
–Karrah Beck ’15