Wrapping up a successful internship.
The following blog was written by Kenny Monroe, a second year University of Delaware student and the Delaware Jefferson Awards Foundation LEAD360 intern for Spring 2017.
One day in early November of 2016, I was sitting at work clearing out my inbox. I was working as an attendant for one of the museums on campus at the University of Delaware, where I am a student studying Entrepreneurship and Innovative Technology. An email sent from my advisor with the subject ‘Student Awards and Opportunities’ was one of several unread emails that had been hanging around in my inbox for a few days now. Rather than simply clicking the ‘mark all as read’ button, I decided I had some time to kill, (Side note: it was a slow day at the museum (Side-side note: they were all slow days)) and clicked each of the emails one at a time to clear my inbox the old-fashion way. When I got to the one sent by my advisor, I was drawn in by the colorful, well designed page header and logo. Someone must have gone to the Lerner School of Business at UD to learn how to craft such a beautiful email header…
Just Kidding, I saw the words ‘Internship Opportunity’ and thought to myself, “hmmm, I could use some cash.” But, after reading about the position, I immediately forwarded the email to my mom, with the caption ‘This is perfect for me’.
I have a bit of a history with public service. As a child I went to St. Anne’s Episcopal School. This was where I spent the first 9 years of my on-going educational career. I attended the school from kindergarten all the way to 8th grade. This school did a ton of community service work, and instilled in me a deep seeded desire to help others. There was always some sort of food drive going on, or an event to raise money for cancer patients. This school seriously was obsessed with community service, and I was no different. In high school, I had my own service project. I partnered with an organization called Soles4Souls and collected over 1,200 pairs of shoes and raised over $2,000 for Haiti and its people. I was also able to travel with Soles4Souls to Haiti and distribute shoes to children. This was an amazing experience for me and it created a desire to do more service and help others as much as I can.
I am lucky to have very supportive parents. Shortly after forwarding the email to my mom I received a text from her. She urged me to apply and promised to buy me a suit if I got the job. I emailed Michele no more than 15 minutes after reading the job description. We eventually scheduled a date for me to come in for an interview. That day eventually came, and I, a mess of nervous excitement, put on a button up shirt and some khakis and drove in to Wilmington. I parked my car in the parking garage and made my way to the second floor of the community service building on the corner of 10th and Orange. I remember getting to the door of the office and seeing a doorbell. “Great,” I thought to myself “well do I ring it or just go in?” After weighing my options I came to a realization, this was no easy decision. Flustered by the thought of either walking in unannounced or ringing the bell when I wasn’t supposed to, I decided to walk around the building for a little longer. I eventually elected to just go in, and I immediately realized there was nothing to be so worked up about. Michele and Mallory were friendly and welcoming. The interview went well and I was even more excited than I was before.
A few days later, I received a call from Mallory informing me I got the job. The call came during finals week of my fall semester at college, so you can imagine how happy I was to receive this good news. A few weeks passed and it was finally time for me to begin my first day of training. Michele talked to me about some of the history of JAF, and explained the different initiatives the organization supports. I was excited to get started.
I have been with the Jefferson Awards Foundations for about four months now. In that time I have developed many new skills and improved on some old ones. I have become much more comfortable with public speaking, something that has always been difficult for me. For me, I learn best by doing. The Jefferson Awards Foundation has allowed me to learn more about working in business than I ever possibly could reading a book or taking a class.
There have been a lot of great times over the past several months working for JAF. Communicating with several Delaware Mayors, organizing local LEAD360 ceremonies, and meeting the kids who work on these amazing projects are just a few of the highlights I’ve had working for JAF. I look forward to my future with JAF, not just as an intern, but as a life-long supporter.
Note: Kenny will serve as the Delaware LEAD360 Intern for the Summer of 2017. If you or your organization is interested in activating our Phase 2 national project, Emma’s Art Carts, please reach out to him at email@example.com.