Before interning with Humanity and Inclusion (HI) I didn’t understand the importance of an internship. I thought that my experiences of traveling abroad and attending conferences would be enough preparation for my life after Luther, but I was wrong.
My internship with HI taught me many things, but mostly it taught me the importance of loving what you do everyday. Each and every person at HI that I got to know showed me passion for the work they do on a daily basis. I had no idea that could exist in so many roles in a workplace from funding, to communications, to directing. Working at HI has made me excited to start working after graduation and other future possibilities.
I also was pleasantly surprised by what I was able to accomplish in one month. When I first met with the staff at HI they told me a few tasks they wanted me to do, but I wasn’t quite sure if I could do it all. Once I started to complete tasks, it became easier. By the end I had edited over a dozen documents, completed six research projects, attended panel discussions, and even had a few French lessons! It felt great to be able to accomplish so much in just one month.
The largest project I worked on was to create a list of congresswomen/men from the House of Representatives that HI could contact about their EWIPA (stopping Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas) campaign. Creating the list was daunting, but once I had direction from the staff at HI it became easier to complete. I created the list by finding members on certain committees, and then called their offices for their contact information. Then, on my last week in D.C. I was able to arrange a meeting on Capitol Hill with my congressman, Dean Phillips (Minnesota 3). I went with the communication’s director at HI and it was an experience I will never forget!
I also gained an appreciation for new topics such as disability rights and inclusion, cluster munitions, and how institutional funding works. Luckily, the staff at HI were all more than willing to sit down with me and talk to me about all the questions I had, and to give career advice too. Their kindness and guidance exceeded my expectations. I also appreciated their honesty about life after graduation and the next steps I should be taking.
For anyone who is debating if they should intern before they graduate here are a few more benefits: learning how to interact in an office, managing small and large tasks, figuring out how to interact with coworkers, and building relationships for future connections and job possibilities.
I truly believe that any internship is important for undergraduate students to experience, and especially if it is a good fit. For me, deciding to intern with HI this past month was a great decision, and I hope others have been encouraged by my posts to apply for an internship as well!
Thank you to all of the HI-U.S. staff for exceeding my expectations this past month, and I am looking forward to staying in touch! Thanks also to Miriam Skrade, for the Strengths advice on writing these blogs, and to Dan Marlow for arranging the J-term internships!