internship

Interning at ChildFund

by Mark Robinson, Communications Intern

I came to ChildFund unsure of what to expect from my first internship. We’ve all heard horror stories of interns who spent their summer filing papers and picking up packages. I didn’t want the best professional relationship I forged to be with the baristas at the nearest Starbucks. I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone. I wanted a chance to grow.

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At ChildFund, I felt like more than just “the intern.”

I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to work for 10 weeks as a respected member of the ChildFund communications team. Every project I’ve worked on has been purposeful. And aside from a now infamous assignment my mentor Cynthia Price gave me, I have been spared from doing too many “interny” tasks.

From day one, my mentors, Community Manager Virginia Sowers and Director of Communications Cynthia Price, took my goals into consideration and tailored my assignments to help me accomplish them. Because of their flexibility, I was able to focus on improving my multimedia skills. I researched podcasts and edited raw footage from Uganda into a video that was featured on ChildFund’s blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. My work has been showcased, not hidden away. But with all that said, I doubt when I look back at ChildFund that I’ll remember the work.

I’ll remember poking my head over ChildFund writer Christine Ennulat’s cubicle to chat about my most recent journalistic pursuits.

I’ll remember the shock I felt when I learned KISS front man Gene Simmons sponsors more than 140 children through ChildFund and the subsequent buzz around the communications pod after the episode of his reality show filmed in Zambia debuted.

I’ll remember the disbelief I felt when I found out my colleague and longtime ChildFund employee Alison Abbitt passed away following reconstructive knee surgery. We had spoken only days before.

While the extremes stand out, the small lessons I’ve learned here will not be forgotten and this, my first formal foray into the professional world, has prepared me in some ways for my next adventure: Botswana.

My next four and a half months will be spent studying journalism at the University of Botswana in Gaborone. It’ll be my first trip abroad, so my feelings about it fluctuate between giddy excitement and crippling nervousness on a day-to-day basis. I do now, however, have the comfort of knowing that a network of sympathetic world travelers is only an email away.

While I’m in Africa, I plan to freelance in pursuit of my career as a foreign correspondent. Who knows? Maybe one of my stories will find its way into ChildWorld.

Supporting the Mission of ChildFund

by Frances Correa, Communications and Public Affairs Intern

The Communications team is in denial as our three terrific interns from Virginia Commonwealth University prepare to depart. They are blogging this week about their ChildFund experience.

When I started my internship at ChildFund International I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. As a journalism major, I wanted to gain experience in video storytelling in a professional environment. I also had a passion for the ChildFund mission.

Creating videos to help tell the ChildFund story.

In my own personal experiences I have seen what can happen when children, while they have a lot of love in their lives, lack the means necessary to reach their potential because of their environment. I was excited to be a part of this mission of helping excluded and vulnerable children around the world, while also gaining experience.

This is now the last day of my internship. In my time here, I have created videos that tell the stories of children around the world including malaria victims in Africa, young people in Haiti struggling to survive after this year’s earthquake and school programs in the Philippines.

More recently, I created a video about the contributions of one of ChildFund’s more generous donors, Mick Foley. Foley has been a donor and child sponsor since 1992. Some of his most notable contributions include sponsoring seven children as well as funding the construction of an early childhood development center in the Philippines, seven schools in Sierra Leone and a community center in Santa Fe De Laguna, Mexico.

Needless to say, he’s pretty incredible. Working with the video, I felt like I got to know him, and it only fed my passion for ChildFund’s mission.

I have gained more from my internship at ChildFund International than I ever imagined. I have truly honed my skills as a video storyteller while working with an equally passionate group of people who have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and excited.

I love the job so much I’m even going to stick around a little longer. This summer, I will be working as an employee at ChildFund on a temporary basis while I search for full-time employment. (For those of you who are wondering, I am looking for a job in online multimedia journalism in the D.C. metropolitan area.)

Although I cannot stay in a permanent position at ChildFund, I still plan to support the mission. Once I do find stable employment, I will be calling ChildFund to become a child sponsor. After seeing the faces and hearing the stories of these children every week, I can’t help but get involved.

I thank everyone whom I have worked with at ChildFund. I admire the work that you do and I look forward to getting more involved in the future.

Gaining Experience Outside the Classroom

by Kathryn Glushefski, Communications and Public Affairs Intern

The Communications team is in denial as our three terrific interns from Virginia Commonwealth University prepare to depart. They are blogging this week about their ChildFund experience.

My internship at ChildFund International wraps up Friday. Since January, I’ve worked in the Communications and Public Affairs Division while also completing the final requirements for my bachelor’s degree.

Getting hands-on experience with a PR campaign

From my first day, I was welcomed into the ChildFund family and quickly immersed in my assignments. It was exciting. I was finally out of the classroom and applying what I had learned to a real-world situation.

I quickly became acquainted with the Communications team and was also given the opportunity to interview four other ChildFund employees from neighboring departments. Each person I met had a unique story to tell, and I enjoyed writing features about their experiences throughout their careers and with ChildFund.

A considerable amount of my time was spent working on the Power to Play project, which is a unique collection of toys handmade by ChildFund children. ChildFund has developed a public relations campaign around the traveling exhibit. While working on the campaign, I was able to see and touch toys made by children of all ages. It was humbling to say the least. These toys truly illustrate how resourceful and adaptable children are.

For this assignment, I worked closely with Ellie Whinnery, public relations manager, on developing inventories for new exhibit venues and compiling press kits to achieve media coverage.

It was wonderful to work so closely with a campaign. Not only was the work educational and relevant to my career interests, it was truly enjoyable, rewarding and inspirational. This experience has been more than I could have hoped for.

On May 22, I will be graduating with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in public relations. I have no doubt that this opportunity at ChildFund has prepared me for whatever lies in my future.

To everyone I have met and for all that I have learned throughout this journey—thank you!

A Great Semester with ChildFund

by Lani Tailor
Communications and Public Affairs Intern

The Communications team is in denial as our three terrific interns from Virginia Commonwealth University prepare to depart. They’ll each be blogging this week about their ChildFund experience.

As my internship with ChildFund International is wrapping up, I’m feeling accomplished and confident.

Fours months of hands-on experience has been good preparation for the workforce.

My first day, Jan. 20, seems ages ago. I walked in the building and was met by Cynthia Price, director of communications.

She proceeded to give me an overview of the Communications and Public Affairs department. It’s such a cliché, but that first day was such a blur! I enjoyed meeting everyone in the department. At the end of that day, I was jokingly asked to match everyone’s names to their faces. Needless to say, the more I worked with the staff, the better I got to know them.

I’m so grateful to have been able to intern in this department. From assisting me in my projects to lending me a fork because I forgot to pack one for lunch, everyone has always been so eager to help.

One of my most memorable assignments was interviewing ChildFund staff about their travels. I enjoyed hearing their stories and learning about their experiences. I can only wish to see the wonderful sights they’ve seen and experience the joy of helping people around the world. Just a few things I learned about traveling: be eager to learn, enjoy the food and be prepared for anything, such as airplane rides with chickens.

My expectations of interning at ChildFund have definitely been more than met. I wanted an internship where I could utilize the skills I’ve learned in school and also acquire more knowledge in my field. I’m leaving ChildFund feeling enthusiastic and eager to move on in my career.

With just a week left until this wonderful experience ends, I want to thank everyone for being so welcoming and generous. Thank you!

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