I have now spent almost two months interning at the Center Houston. The Center is a not-for-profit United Way agency that promotes the pursuit of choice, growth, and personal independence for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It partners with other organizations such as ExxonMobil to provide their clients with work and opportunities to improve their day-to-day life. I enjoy seeing the smile the clients have when I ask them for an interview to be featured in weekly newsletters. The work that I do is very fulfilling and rewarding.
I have learned to be more outspoken, manage time, write press releases, conduct presentations and get people together. As a new CA this coming year at Brandeis, the skills that I am currently gaining at my internship will help me manage and work with students in groups. As a CA it’s important to plan monthly events with your hall. The Center gives me the task of bringing in groups of volunteers, which include scheduling a set day for their visit, giving an orientation of what the Center is, and writing volunteer highlights. The skills that the Center is providing me with are rewarding for networking and for public speaking, which is something that also happens in most of my classes at Brandeis. Beyond Brandeis, the skills that I am learning will help me as I would like to pursue a career in marketing–preferably in the field of medical technology.
So far I have learned that I am able to work with large groups of people while maintaining a structure. From previous experiences, large groups were something that always terrified me because that meant public speaking to more people and having multiple opinions, which can be challenging. However, working with experienced adults has helped me with mentorship as they welcomed me with open arms and gave me the opportunity to learn what I always wanted to learn in a professional setting. For this challenge, I was very intrigued to learn more about fundraising for large organizations such as the Center. I have learned that it has multiple moving parts, but the one thing that stood out the most is the passion that the staff have to do their job.
I have learned to fail. Even if my internship has been a great experience so far, writing my first press release was not a huge success. However, I was mentored by my supervisor and I have gained skills that I can apply in classes and my future career.
This picture was from a cookie photoshoot that took place two weeks ago. We had a photographer who volunteered to take pictures for the new Gingersnaps website, which is being updated. For this project, I helped the photographer with picture ideas that would make the cookies more appealing. It was a great experience, because I was able to apply skills I have learned such as networking, putting project together, and managing them. The best part was eating the cookies after the photoshoot was over!
Lesbia Espinal ’20