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Reflections from Maggie: A CS Summer Student

Posted on Jul 3, 2018 in Summer Student Blogs

Hi again!

WOW—have things changed since the last time I posted! When I wrote my first blog post (which I hope you all made your way to), I had been here in Chicago for a whole month. I thought time had just FLOWN by, as I had already completed two weeks of classes and two weeks of my internship.

We are now OVER the halfway point, and it still does not seem real to me that I have less than four weeks here. Hey, I guess it’s true: time flies when you’re having fun!

For this post, I would really like to share with you all about my internship and the wealth of knowledge and experience I am gaining through this process!

To refresh your memory, I am the Development and Communications Intern at The Family Defense Center. The Family Defense Center is a legal aid organization that advocates justice for families in the child welfare system. Under the direction of my supervisor, Connie, I aid in fundraising functions and managing the organization’s website, email marketing, and social media platforms. I have also had the opportunity to shadow the legal staff and attend different trainings they have hosted.

FOR FUN: {Peep my super cheesy “First Day of Work” picture that I had sent to ALL of my family members}

I came into this internship eager and expectant; I knew that I was going to be changed through this experience. Little did I know, beginning on the first day of my internship, that I would gain such valuable insight in such a short period of time.

When I say we hit the ground running since I first arrived, I literally mean that I have been working 90 to nothing every. single. day. From writing and researching grant proposals to composing social media posts to graphic and website design, I feel like I have done it all!

Grateful is an understatement when I consider how much The Family Defense Center has provided for me. Although it is exhausting, and I go take a nap every day after work, I feel content knowing and seeing all that I have accomplished, but even more so, that the work I am putting forth is serving people who are so deserving.

I have also learned so much about myself through my internship and am able to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. I would like to get real with you for a second and share some areas I have, and am continuing, to see improvement in:

*I am most definitely a perfectionist by all standards. I will put in the time, energy, and effort forth in hopes that my first draft will be my best and ONLY draft (hahaha, silly me right?). Making mistakes is something I want to avoid at all costs. However, my supervisor has been AWESOME at fostering a space where it is okay to make mistakes which I so, SO appreciate.

*I am one of those that prefers to do projects one-at-a-time and do not want to move on to the next task until the one before it is completely finished. At my internship, though, you balance between multiples tasks and typically have multiple things going on at any given time. This has allowed me to practice being efficient yet thorough and has taught me how to switch and focus quickly.

Well, I believe it is time for me to get back to work!

I would just like to leave you all with some advice that has completely changed my perspective. I have had dear friends, family, and even supervisors share this with me over and over again, and it finally made sense when I came here to Chicago.

{See every opportunity as a way to learn, grow, and better yourself}

Friends (yes, you are now my friends) — I encourage you to do this! It will change your life, just as it did mine. Talk to you soon!!

–Maggie