Love What You Do
By: Elyse Hessberger, Summer Intern in JEVS Communications & Public Affairs Department
In my hometown, graduating high school is as expected as taking your first steps as a baby. Attending as large of a high school as I did wasn’t easy but I was able to overcome the challenges and get the credits I needed to graduate with all of my friends. In the back of my mind, I know that graduating high school and attending college came a lot easier for me because of the resources I had at hand, resources that many people in JEVS programs don’t have.
When I heard that I was placed in the Communications & Public Affairs department at JEVS and that I would have another intern, Julia, working beside me, I was ecstatic. Being chosen for this internship is another stepping stone to fulfilling my vision of finding a job after college. I have also always been passionate about helping people overcome obstacles in their life. Not only has the Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship Program helped me gain the experience I needed for my resume but also fulfilled my love for helping people.
I have to admit though, I was nervous to work in an office setting with people who are more experienced and know each other well. But right from the start my anxieties were diminished as the employees made me feel welcomed and useful. To my surprise, I was given tasks to complete that made me feel like a part of the team rather than just “busy work”. It is important for me to be in a workplace where I enjoy what I do. The people at 1845 made getting out of bed in the morning easier because I didn’t dread coming to work; I love what I do and the people I work with.
During my time as an Intern, I have been fortunate enough to witness an E3 Power Center City graduation where they earned their diploma. This was a remarkable experience as I saw people achieve something they once thought would never happen. I also gained important knowledge and enhanced skills I already had. My internship started off with a project to write the Strictly Business nomination profiles. Reading the stories of the nominees was inspiring. I was able to practice my creative writing skills as I had to write each person’s stories for the panel of judges. I was even lucky enough to sit in on the selection meeting to give my opinion and vote on the winners. The most fulfilling experience was being able to learn a new social media management system, Hootsuite. Not only did I gain knowledge on how to use the tool but also trained the staff, alongside Julia, on how to use it. As the saying goes, I hit two birds with one stone because I added not just one skill to my resume but two through learning and teaching Hootsuite.
I also participated as a mentor for the Lasko College Prep Program, a youth program of JEVS. During this time I have been able to bond and be someone to look up to for my mentee. We spent time together at least once, sometimes twice, a week doing different activities and mentoring sessions with the other Interns and their Lasko mentee. This was a unique experience as I am the youngest sibling so I have grown up looking up to my brother for guidance and advice, but now I get to be that “older sibling” to my mentee.
Interning at JEVS has been a fulfilling experience. It has opened my eyes to the non-profit world and just how many “hats” one person wears, while in a corporate world they would have multiple people doing what one worker here at 1845 does. I admire the hard work and determination shown by my co-workers. I can really see that they love what they do, and after all, isn’t that the whole point of all this?