As I reflect on my midpoint at the Rhode Island Foundation, I am aware that I have experienced many positive emotions in and out of my workplace environment. I enjoy going to work at the Foundation so much so, that I come in before the time I am supposed to arrive everyday. I like to be in an environment filled with people who are passionate about the work they do. It encourages me and gives me hope that I will one day find a job that I can be equally as passionate about. My overall impression about the workplace is that the work can be challenging and tedious, but every detail counts. Life moves fast and it takes energy, skill and passion to make the work go by smoothly.
The world of work is different from university life in that you are not measured on your performance by grades, or how much you have memorized for a test. Instead, you are measured on how well you can work with members on a team and alleviate some of the pressures and challenges team members face. Academic work is oftentimes individualistic. However, I have realized that in the real world, you have to know how to talk, interact and learn from one another across a company, or in my case, a foundation. I know that this can be a challenge for many workplaces; however, at the Rhode Island Foundation, everyone tries to make time for one another so that communication stays open. I feel very well supported in this type of environment and because of the great teamwork and cross-departmental collaboration, I have been fortunate to meet and work with a large network of people.
The skills that I am learning in my internship are extremely valuable for me. I am learning how to analyze and read through large amounts of information, and then summarize it in order to present my findings to my supervisor. I am also applying my classroom knowledge of philanthropy and scanning broad search engines, such as Grants.gov, to do effective research for the Foundation. The research I am doing is time consuming and I am required to search many key-word combinations to find grants for which the Foundation can apply. It would be impractical to spend a lengthy amount of time on any one source so I have to find the information that I need quickly and then move on. I am now confident in my ability to be able to continue to use my skills to help the Foundation, as I have been receiving positive feedback from my supervisor.
-Lauren Nadeau ‘2017