Interning with the YMCA of Central Massachusetts
Name: Erika J. Jyringi López
Hometown: Quincy, MA
Major: International Business
Internship: YMCA of Central Massachusetts
As the Marketing/ IT intern, my responsibilities include:
- Assisting the IT innovator with web design, email marketing, maintenance of the organization’s website, electronic publications, and social media.
- Implementing a social web strategy and ensuring the messages are consistent with YMCA marketing efforts
- Analyzing and researching website options to enhance the association’s vision, voice, and credibility.
The YMCA, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization based in Christian ideals, is committed to three focus areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. These focus areas are the backbone of the mission. The essence of the organization is: reaching out to the community to encourage the development of leadership qualities in youth, supporting healthy lifestyles and providing a refuge for needy community members.
I began interning with a preconceived notion that doing work independently would mean stepping on my supervisor’s toes. I think this can be a tough situation for college interns. There is a fine line between knowing my boundaries, and being an independent worker in order to be of value to the organization. I found myself thinking I am expecting to know everything, know how to do everything well, and be a success at my first project. I was afraid to ask for help, afraid to show I needed help, and often in these situations, I fumbled. My supervisor told me that I was over-thinking. He had also told me that being an independent worker and taking initiative in daily tasks is a quality that businesses look for in their employees.
I spent the rest of my afternoon thinking about what my supervisor had said to me. I reminisced on past projects I had worked on in my academic life and extra- curricular life and realized that what he said was so true! I had an “aha!” moment. I realized that now I had found my motivation in academics, in student organizations, and most importantly, my internship. I needed to take the initiative to complete daily tasks. I needed to independently, reach out to other employees for information in order to create my own marketing campaigns and engage in social media networks. As I have overcome this challenge, my relationship with my supervisor has grown. I have taken a lot more initiative in daily organizational tasks. All in all, I have gained insight into my work ethic and professional responsibility.
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