What are some of your daily job duties?
There are a multitude of tasks that I have partaken in throughout the course of my time with WaterFire. These tasks are to be done in the office, at the shop, and/or throughout Providence on event days. Tasks to be done in the office include technical skills, such as: organizing the volunteer check-in sheet on excel, researching new materials for event days, contacting community groups to discuss future partnership opportunities, as well as organizing event day materials. The tasks that are done in the shop are to work together to go through event day materials in order to organize and fix materials to make sure that everything is accounted for in time for the next event. On event days, I am waking up before the sun rises to pick up breakfast for the staff and volunteers. Throughout the day, I am managing as my coworkers and I set up each station throughout Providence, making sure everything is complete before sunset. Once we finish setting up every station, I head over to the volunteer check-in area to check-in the evening volunteers, while explaining and managing where they will need to go for the event. Throughout the event I am making my rounds to each station, checking in on my co-workers and volunteers, ensuring that everything is going smoothly.
What do you like most about your position?
What I like most about my position as a Volunteer Management and Engagement Intern at WaterFire Providence is interacting with my co-workers, volunteers, and the community members of Providence. I am so grateful that I was able to work with such an amazing group of people who are as passionate as giving back to the community as I am. I also was able to learn so much through hands-on experiences that have provided an opportunity to efficiently and effectively expand my management, psychological, and educational skills.
Did anything surprise you about the interviewing process or how you located your position?
The interviewing process was standard. There was nothing out of the ordinary when it came to the contacting process; however, during the interview, I was caught off guard when my supervisors mentioned the hours I would be expected to work. With having years of volunteering experience, I knew that the event days were going to be extensive—but for the hours that are required for WaterFire’s event days, extensive is an understatement. In spite of that, I have acquired the ability to take my responsibilities and face them with optimism, diligence, and flexibility.
What has been most valuable about doing an internship?
There have been many things that have been valuable about doing an internship. First, I have been able to take the knowledge and skills that I have acquired in the classroom, and present them in an organizational environment. Through these new experiences, I have been able to enhance my organizational perceptions and abilities, and thus, fundamentally grow as an intern, volunteer, and pupil. I have had the privilege to be a part of an organization that comes together as a team to achieve objectives; and I have gained the confidence to take initiative in times of need to ensure that specific organizational goals are being met.
Do you have any tips for other students that are considering an internship or seeking full-time employment?
The advice I would give to students who are considering an internship or seeking full-time employment would be to first visit the RWU Center for Career & Professional Development to gain insight and gather your thoughts on what you would like to gain from your internship and/or employment experience. This is a pivotal time to start thinking about your career goals and research internships/careers that pertain to those goals; however, do not limit yourself! You are only going to grow as much as you allow yourself to, so be flexible and open-minded to new and unusual opportunities. Before, during, and after your journey to discovering a preferred career path, it is important, and often encouraged, to ask questions—because asking questions is the best way to make the most out of your experience to intellectually progress as a student, intern, and employee. Last but not least, do not forget to have fun and use all of your opportunities to your best advantage!