I feel like before I start, I need to address the title. I do NOT buy into all of the “woman empowerment” stuff. I feel like we are given the same opportunities. Sure, it might seem like we have to work harder for them sometimes, but other times we don’t. That’s life! In the end, those of us that stop complaining and persevere will be at the top, and we will feel better about being there because of the extra time and effort it took.
My internship is quite a commute. I take the Northern Line on the Tube four stops to the Bank station, then I walk to catch the DLR, (Docklands Light Railway) basically it’s an overground tube. I ride one stop, transfer to a different train THEN ride a little over twenty minutes to get to my station THEN walk to my placement. It takes just under an hour.
The location of my placement is out in the Canary Wharf area. Canary Wharf is one of the largest financial centers in the world. Translation: there are A LOT of men in suits, and business women on the trains I ride are a rare sight. Keep that in mind when reading the next story.
When I went to interview for my intern placement, I wore a khaki pencil skirt, a nice blouse, my pea-coat, and some nice heels. While I was on the DLR, scared out of my mind because I had NO idea where I was going or what to expect, a man sat across from me. I didn’t pay him much attention until he said something to me. I had my iPod in and didn’t hear him, so I took my headphones out and asked him to repeat himself. He asked, “Why are you wearing a skirt?”
I was taken off guard to say the least. I didn’t say anything and gave him a confused look. He told me that it was a man’s part of town, and I didn’t belong here… And he was serious. I gave the same confused look to a male onlooker who sent it straight back, looked back at him, and put my iPod in without saying a word. I sang inside when that jerk got off.
My interview went well after that, and I’m now officially through with week two of my internship! Last Thursday I researched event venues and entered them into the computer, and last Friday I did some database merging work. (I checked one database against another and prepared information so they can eventually be one database.) Neither task was particularly glamorous, but I feel like I did some solid work that will really help out Richard House in the long run.
On Monday of this week I finished my project for corporate fundraising. It was supposed to take five to six weeks, and I finished in two. When I turned it in, my supervisor was impressed that I had included a summary and web-links to every business I researched. Apparently that wasn’t a part of the assignment! I had no idea I didn’t have to do that, but it only made sense to! What’s the point of having a company on a list if you do not know any information about it??
Tuesday was especially interesting. I was with the Communications Team, and when I walked in the door, I was handed a script. It was about 4/5 of a page single spaced. I was asked if I was still interested in helping with “Richard House News” and when I said yes, they asked me to memorize the script so I could tape it that morning. Oh, and I had half an hour to memorize it. OH and I had to do it all in one take. I did it, but it’s not exactly pretty. Not extemporaneous (Sorry Laura) AT ALL, but it got the job done! And if I get the blessing of doing it again, I’ll know what to expect, and I’ll do better! I spent the rest of the day researching potential celebrity sponsors, namely Adele, which was awesome!
Wednesday I was working with Trusts and Grants again. I spent the morning researching potential organizations that would donate money for a little boy’s birthday party. It’s the SWEETEST story. When he was born, his parents weren’t given any hope that he would make it too much longer. When he turned a month old, his parents threw him a birthday party, and they did the same for every additional month. He had a HUGE “Under-the-Sea” bash when he turned one that was sponsored by one of the foundations I contacted. Well, he is about to turn TWO, and I had the blessing of finding funding for another huge “Barney” themed party. He is one God’s miracles, and I am so excited I got to help the family in that way. I filled out another grant that got sent off before I got to leave for the day.
On Thursday, the office staff shrunk by several employees because they were on their way to Jordan to complete a Richard House international fundraising challenge! Well, while they were traveling, I was working for the events planning team! It was great. I researched more venues in the morning then did several tasks that had to be completed before my boss of the day got off for the weekend. I got envelopes together for the runners in two upcoming marathons, I researched balloon arches, vuvuzelas (I had NO idea what these were until this day), and I researched recipes for a fundraiser they had going. (Thank you Pinterest!)
On Friday before lunch, I started going through the files and checking them against a database. If they weren’t in the database, I shredded EVERYTHING in the file. Guess what… I did A LOT of shredding. After lunch I researched potential organizations to reach out to for our two big walks coming up. We need about 80 volunteers, so I had put together a list of places to contact.
So, that’s everything I did as a SECOND week intern. If I were a professional in the field, I would have delegated all of those responsibilities, completed all my responsibilities, made it to my child’s soccer game, and still had time to sign the check of the goober that talked to me on the way to my internship. Why? Because I’m responsible, hard-working,and efficient. Because I have goals, dreams, and ambitions. Because that is what a Chancellor’s Honors student, a Global Leadership Scholar, a “skirt” can do.