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Working for an NPO in College

Miranda L. Melvin -- After seeking to enhance her resume, the author shares lessons and skills learned, and rewards and opportunities earned, from a summer internship.

As a Junior in college, I realized that my resume was not as strong as it needed to be. If I truly wanted to find a job after college, I needed more than a resume with only restaurant experience. I needed a resume with a job where my college degree would apply. After a few short months of trying to find a job that related to marketing, I realized it was not going to be easy. Then, I started focusing my time on finding an internship. I did not have the necessary experience I wanted for a job in my field, so I needed to be practical if I wanted to gain such experience. After a short search, I discovered an internship with a local nonprofit. Instantly, I knew that was the internship for me. After getting in contact with the Outreach Manager, I quickly became their Marketing and Communications Intern for Summer that year.

During this time, I learned so many things. I learned the importance of social media. I learned how community relations is important if the NPO wants to continue serving the community. I used multiple marketing sites (including Constant Contact) to help reach the people within the community. Most importantly, I learned that my heart is in nonprofits, and that making a significant contribution to the world is more important to me than anything.

As my internship was ending, a small part-time job was opening up with the NPO. I knew I would have to give up my full-time job with paid vacations but that did not matter in the end. I wanted nothing more than to continuing being a part of this organization. After a short meeting with some of the staff, I was given the position. I started as a paid employee right before classes started for the fall semester.

My Client and Donor Support job was the most important aspect of my life. Every day, when I would come to work, I would imagine how humbling and rewarding every minute of it was. Even if most of those minutes were spent typing data into a computer and then running reports to make sure nothing was messed up in the end.

I learned about time management, hard work, compassion, and most importantly, team work. With a total employee count of eight, we had to work as a team. I learned to be thankful for the Volunteers who selflessly give their time to help this Organization serve the community in need. In class, I realized I could get so much more done and still be able to do what I wanted by managing my time. I did better that semester than the previous semester in terms of turning things in before they were due. Instead of sleeping through my hour and a half break between classes, I would work on homework and get it done so I could do something fun when I got out class.

Hard work was definitely a lesson I needed to learn. I had always been a hard worker; hard work was something I thought I knew about. I worked three jobs and attended classes for almost an entire semester. One semester seemed like such a short amount of time. But for me, though, it felt like an entire lifetime. I did nothing but work and homework and part of me was really unhappy. I learned how to balance hard work with having time away from everything. As I started taking real breaks during work and during homework. My stress levels decreased significantly and I started loving school and work again.

If I had the chance to go back and change my decision to work for this Organization, I would never do it. The people I have met and lessons I have learned make everything worthwhile. My job is so much more than a paycheck; it's a step closer to my dream career. All of the hard work is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

Source: Ezinearticles

© 2017 Miranda L. Melvin

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