What was your favorite project?
E: My favorite thing that I got to work on was the (big surprise) Summer Food Program. I really enjoyed seeing the difference that it made in the community. I also loved being able to spend time with all of the kids, learn about them, and play with them. It was something I always looked forward to and is something that I am really going to miss.
A: Like Elizabeth, the Summer Food Service Program was my favorite thing I got the opportunity to be apart of. I loved interacting with all of the kids and getting to know them better. It was a great experience to be able to service this county and surrounding ones in this special way.
What have you learned?
E: I have learned so much during these last three months. I learned how to edit our website, create email blasts, and use other marketing tools. I am not gifted in the tech department so learning about this was really helpful. Another thing I learned how to do is work with kids. This is something that I’ve never really had the opportunity to do in the past so I’m really glad I got to here. From the Summer Food Program to all of the camps that the center teaches, I was able to gain quite a bit of experience with this. I learned how much of a difference nonprofits like the center make, and how valuable they truly are to the community. Oh yeah- I also learned that I like broccoli.
A: I have learned a lot of things in my four short months here. One of the most significant things I learned was the need for the Summer Food Program in this county and surrounding counties as well. I’ve also learned how to send out and create email blasts. I’ve enjoyed learning about all of the aspects of the nonprofit world. Along with that, Elizabeth and I made our presence known on the social media world. We learned how to help set up for events and take them down as well. When Maile and I went out west to Curtis, on our way home we stopped at Taste of India and I learned that I really like Indian food.
In what ways were you challenged?
E: There were definitely times where I was outside of my comfort zone. I had many opportunities to teach students and little kids- and if you know me, you know that being the center of attention is not my favorite thing. The first time I had to do this, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. After, I definitely changed my mind about it. Even though I’m still a lil awkward, I thought it was super fun- especially getting to teach the younger kids. I ended up really enjoying it and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do something I don’t usually do.
A: Maile, Kurt and Micheala challenge me in the way that I think. Since working here, I have been challenged to think more in depth about ideas and details. I was also challenged to get out of my comfort zone and talk to a wide variety of people and be an authoritative figure to people that were sometimes twice my age.
Best advice you received this summer?
E: The first piece of advice that I received here was given to me before I was even hired. During my interview for this internship, I was asked about school and what I plan to do in the future for my career. I basically explained that I don’t know exactly what I want to do as a career. They told me that it’s okay to not know and that even if it doesn’t seem like it, I have a lot of time to figure it out. They also told me about their experiences with career changes and uncertainty. This is something that I’ve always struggled with and would be stressed out over (stressed is an understatement), so I really took it to heart. Whenever I’m asked to give students at a D4LC conference advice, this is what I always tell them. Knowing how much this advice has helped me, I like to pass it along. I think it’s something that is really important to understand, especially for high school kids getting ready to go to college and make big decisions that center around this.
A: This question is probably the hardest question I’ve had to answer. After thinking about it for a while, the best piece of advice I received was during D4LC when Elizabeth and I were attending. Kurt and Maile were leading us through the Priorities section and demonstrated their lesson with big rocks, gravel, sand and glass jars. The larger rocks represented the big things in your life, like family, friends, and things that mean the most to you. The gravel represented things you have to do, like go to work or pay bills. The sand represented trivial things that take up our time. Those things can include social media or worrying about what other people thing of you. Maile and Kurt started their demonstration. They started by putting the sand into the jar first, then the gravel, and then the big rocks. This represented people not putting their priorities and important things first. Maile and Kurt did this a second time, but they started with the large rocks (important things), then gravel (things you have to do), then the sand (trivial things). When we did it the first time, not everything fit in the jars, but once we did it the second time, everything fit. The lesson was this: keep your priorities in check and to the things that mean the most to you. I still think about this lesson every single day.
Was the internship what you expected?
E: Nope. I kind of expected it to be your basic 9-5 office job where you spend each day working on your designated tasks. Which- don’t get me wrong- I was really excited for what I thought I’d be doing. But it ended up being so much more than that. The things that I have gotten to do because of this internship that I did not expect have been amazing. I knew I would be assisting with the Summer Food Program, but I didn’t expect to meet such a great group of kids and form relationships with them. I knew that I would be helping with camps and conferences, but I didn’t expect to be involved with such incredible programs or enjoy working with kids as much as I did. I didn’t expect to work with such awesome people and to have the opportunity to learn about the amazing work they do.
A: I didn’t really know what to expect in the beginning. Like Elizabeth, I expected it to be a monotonous 9-5 job. During the interview, Maile, Kurt and Micheala all told me that there was a variety of things that were listed on the intern duties and that each day would be different. They weren’t lying.
What was the most surprising thing that happened?
E: Old Greg- not what I expected
A: While we were about to have a cheat sheet meeting, Dario and I were discussing our love of sushi while walking down to the board room for the meeting. We carried our conversation into the room and eventually everyone started talking about sushi. Then Maile says “Well why don’t we just go get sushi?” I was very surprised that we were actually going to get sushi. It was very tasty by the way.
What did you succeed at?
E: Well I never got fired, so I guess I did something right hehe
A: I succeeded at creating new relationships with everyone here.
What was your favorite aspect/part of the internship?
A: My favorite aspect of this internship is that we had the opportunity to work in all the different areas that keep TLC running. I enjoyed learning new techniques in the kitchen and discovered the amount of skill and hard work it takes to feed a large crowd with certain tastes and expectations. I thought I knew what cleaning was, but once I worked in the facilities department, I gained a new appreciation for the amount of hard work it takes to truly have a squeaky clean area. My other favorite aspect was that everyone here is very upbeat and positive. It made everyday enjoyable.
E: I would say that my favorite part of this internship would be the people that I work with. They have made it so fun and memorable. While I’m at it, I want to use this as an opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has made these past three months wonderful. Maile & John: Thank you for always making me feel welcome and never out of place. Thanks for letting me watch the office and hang out with your cats. Kurt- Thank you for always being so inclusive and welcoming. Thanks for everything you do for the Summer Food Program and the kids, and for making it what it is. Jane: Thank you for always being there to help me and for answering my millions of questions. Micheala: Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging, and for always making the best jokes. Thanks for teaching me how to use the phones repeatedly because I keep forgetting everything. Dario: Thank you for giving me many opportunities to practice my sarcasm and for giving me tips about Italy. Abby: Thanks for being the best co-intern and for always being super fun to work with 🙂
What does the upcoming year have in store?
E: This fall semester starts on August 26th, so I will be spending a lot of time studying and in class. I will continue to work towards my degree in Entrepreneurship. I also start a really cool internship on September 1st. Our office is in downtown Lincoln and I’ll get to work with some pretty cool people. I’m super excited for it :). Then for the spring semester, I will be studying abroad in Italy for four months and I’m pretty excited for this too.
A: This upcoming year holds a lot of potential. I will be working towards my Elementary Education degree and work in an office in Downtown Lincoln with some awesome people as well :). For the spring semester, I will be deep in studying as I will have a huge amount of credit hours. I am thrilled about all of the opportunities I will have this coming year!
–Abby & Elizabeth