Musings of a Staff Member

Posted on July 30, 2010

Writing something interesting, inspiring or otherwise on the Areyvut blog is not always as easy for me as it seems. Lucky for me, over the course of the summer, I have had a number of incredible interns write for the blog, resulting in my brief hiatus. I figured, since they wrote about their experiences during internship I would do the same.

While many determine the first day of summer based on the calendar and vernal equinox, at Areyvut it’s based on the first day of the summer internship. This year, the first day of summer was on June 7th when we officially welcomed Mollie, Ilana, Becky and Aliza to the Areyvut office. As in years past, I was apprehensive about the first day. You never really know if the interns are going to gel together, enjoy their work or even, for that matter, like you. My fears lasted about a week until we went to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat is a fantastic organization, but they were not kidding when they tell you that you’ll be covered in dirt and beyond exhausted by the time your volunteering day is over. It happened to be rather hot on the day we volunteered…I ever so casually pulled out a bandanna from my bag to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Every single intern made a comment mocking my “style”. I knew we’d all be just fine for the remainder of the summer.

There were catchphrases (“My parents won’t help you.”), weekly events (Friendly Friday) and gifts (fly swatters). I knew that I was having a great time getting to know everyone, and if I had to guess, I bet they were feeling the same way. Why? Because they took staff meeting games seriously and because they were not happy when I started to mention the “newbies”, otherwise known as the interns for the second half of the summer. To say that the initial interns were territorial would be an understatement. They left notes for the “newbies” and one intern even gave her computer some weird virus to keep me from setting up an email for the new intern. Okay, maybe she didn’t intentionally give her computer a virus, but subconsciously, she probably did.

Thankfully, the new interns (Aliza – a different one and Hannah) seem to be enjoying their time at Areyvut so far. That, or they are scared to admit they are not having a good time since the others raved about it. The most telling part of the internship no doubt took place after Mollie, Ilana, Becky and Aliza said goodbye to us on July 23rd, their last day. On the following Monday, just three days after they completed their internship each one sent some sort of communication to me to see how the “newbies” were doing and to let me know they were thinking about the collective us. I used to think the mark of a great summer internship is the work that is completed while one is in the office, now it’s signified by the relationships that are built and maintained.

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