Musings of an Intern

Posted on June 22, 2010

In my vast amounts of work experience, I’ve never sat behind a computer for more than 10 minutes a week- and that was just to fill out a few boxes on a spreadsheet. Since starting at Areyvut a little more than two weeks ago, I’ve done quite a bit of sitting at a computer. I’d like to think my computer and its faithful companion- my desk- are very important. They’re always there and functioning well when I need them (although I don’t really know how a desk could malfunction other than straight out breaking and falling apart….that would be a bit scary, please don’t do that desk- I like you how you are.)

I haven’t just been sitting at my trusty desk staring at my computer though. I have learned quite a number of things- and no, I’m not just saying that to get a gold star on my star chart….though that would be appreciated hint hint.

1. Being the intern who knows the area and can therefore run errands around the town is both good and bad. You get to take a break and maybe belt out some music in the car that might not be appreciated in the office, but it can be a bit annoying.
2. Mellow sitting and typing work is good. After working for a day on a Habitat for Humanity house I was overjoyed to just sit on my little spinny chair and type. Habitat was a great experience and I really enjoyed the work and the thought of volunteering and making a positive difference in the world, but my body protested against it just a little bit- by a little I mean quite a bit, I don’t recomend recreational sledge-hammering to anyone unless they have muscles of significant size.
3. Know the phone number of your office. Just really, do that. I’m in awe of my fellow interns- they’ve been talking away on the office phones no problem. My only two phone experiences involved sharing the wrong number for our office and passing the phone on to someone else because I has lost my voice.
4. Be able to dress professionally. Last week, Areyvut ran a seminar on Jewish Teen Philanthropy. The Areyvut offices are very relaxed and we can pretty much dress how we wish, but for learning about philanthropy in the city business attire is required. Despite having to both get up earlier than usual and put some effort into what I wore, the day was really worthwhile. I learned quite a bit from the presenters about filing for grants, marketing your program, and utilizing social media.

When writing about the seminar, I had a thought. One of the speakers labeled their session “Choose Your Own Adventure-” like those kid’s books or games where you decide what to do and your choice changes what happens. Well this idea kind of reminds me of interning. Imagine the situation- maybe think of it in big bold letters or imagine someone reading it out to you in an epic voice over way: It is now 9:15 and the office day starts at 9:30, you’ve just woken up and don’t have time to get to the office by 9:30- Do you, A- rush and get in late or B- call in sick?
Choice A of course- this is Areyvut we’re talking about, funnest office ever, no way am I skipping out on a day when I don’t have to.
Normally, the game would go on with more choices, but here I think the initial decision basically sums things up. Yes, I’m sitting at a computer quite a bit, but I wouldn’t trade this awesome internship for anything.

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