Story time: I earned an internship this year, as a sophomore, at a reentry program. There is never a dull moment at my job, and there hasn’t been a dull moment since the start. So sit back, grab a snack, and put on your reading glasses (if needed).
It was toward the end of summer, and I was going to be leaving the warm sun rays of Florida and heading to Arcadia, where the leaves would change colors soon. My friends and I were working hard to figure out how we were going to make this academic year productive, meaningful, and filled with growth. We juggled the idea of becoming gym rats, but scratched that real quick. We thought about joining a random club, but realized being involved in the Veg club and Mindfulness Club was just about all we could handle.
During our little life-planning session, I received an email from my adviser about an internship position that had opened up for a reentry program called Uplift. Honestly, I wasn’t going to open the email because:
- My only transportation was my feet.
- I knew diddly-squat about getting around Philadelphia; therefore, this internship looked like a one-way ticket to me getting lost.
But a part of me— the nosey part— wanted to see what this internship was about. I mean, I lost nothing from reading the darn email. Boy, am I happy I read it. I found out that the program was built to help returning citizens get back into the workforce. They offered life skills and cashier training. After the members completed the six week training, they had a guaranteed job at Fresh Grocer or Shoprite.
The program was doing wonderful things for people who were trying to better their lives. My goal is to become a mental health counselor, and the fact that these people would be seeking to improve themselves had me wanting to be part of the Uplift team. Not to mention, the program was only three minutes from Arcadia. How convenient is that? It was destined for me!
I replied to my adviser about five minutes after he sent the message— talk about being interested.
For the next few days, I emailed my adviser and now boss, Lauren Ruday, about my qualifications, experience, and eagerness to be part of something so positive. My adviser, Steve Robbins, even sent Ms. Ruday a recommendation on my behalf, explaining why I would make a great candidate for the position. A million thanks to him, because I think that recommendation letter won her over.
After what felt like decades (but was really only like two days), I was asked if I could meet in Philadelphia for a face-to-face interview. My heart sunk because I live about 19 hours away, and it would be far too expensive to book a flight just to speak for 30 minutes. I explained my situation and was expecting a polite “okay-no-problem-but… problem” response. Instead, Lauren and her supervisor, Barry, asked if I had time for a Skype call in about 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES? I hadn’t mentally prepared my wowing responses yet, but I couldn’t say no.
Long story short, I received a call the next day that I was hired! Nothing felt more rewarding than earning my first internship. My parents didn’t attend college; therefore, they didn’t understand this whole internship thing. After explaining it to them, they celebrated with me by letting me pick where to eat out that night.
So that, ladies and gentlemen, is my story. I actually recorded a mini “Day in My Life,” which includes my internship. Check it out if you have time!