Technically, next week is my last with UFE, but I am so humbled to know I’m still wanted here.
Every day spent in the office, I could count on my co-workers to travel from room to room offering fruit, humor, and genuine concern. They’ve all showered me with nothing short of compassion and laughter — as if I was a permanent addition to the team.
And actually, my supervisor offered to extend my term with payments coming directly from the organization. Initially, I was shocked. Being offered a job alongside such hardworking individuals is not an everyday occurrence.
Of course, I am thrilled to have this as an option. It is so affirming to know that my co-workers appreciate me as much as I appreciate them, but because of my positive experience here, I’m bound to expect too much in the future.
Most of my peers express frustration over their internships; so going forward, I will have to reframe my eagerness and temper whatever hopes I may have.
The support system I have at UFE is not promised, but thankfully, I have learned so much that I can take with me.
In just three months, I realized what was most important to me in the workplace. I thrive best in an environment that is constantly changing and keeps me on my toes. Typical desk jobs simply cannot satisfy me, since I get too tired of routine and need to have my mental capacity put to the test.
For anyone considering this internship or a similar one, I have three pieces of advice:
- You cannot specialize. Non-profits such as this one have limited resources and require each person to take on a variety of tasks. If you aren’t a team player, non-profit work either isn’t for you OR it could be good practice.
- Be prepared to get creative and execute your own projects. Sure, there’s plenty of work to be done already, but in the summer months, there tend to be lulls in activity.
- And LASTLY, non-profit work exposes you to an unrealistic amount of wonderful people. If the real world is as harsh and unforgiving as adults make it out to be, then you and I both are due for a VERY rude awakening.