Hi all! My name is Natalya Bachoura, and I am finishing in my third year here at Chapman. I am double-majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and Spanish, with a minor in Business Administration. This interterm I was fortunate enough to intern at Our Community Network as a communications intern, and it was such a rewarding experience!

Our Community Network is a non-profit organization based in San Dimas, CA. They aim to put on programs and provide resources that help community members live in hope and grow as individuals. Through this opportunity I learned so much about what it looks like to care for our communities and invest in other people. OCN taught me what is possible when an intentional, caring, and supportive community comes together.

I found this internship through a family friend, and I was excited to dive right in. My primary responsibility in this role was to canvas the community to see what ways they were looking to receive support from OCN, specifically through social media groups. I started by talking to previous event attendees and researching how people tend to use social media. I then created a survey focused on wellness that was sent out to the community to gather more information. My work in Research Methods (295) taught me a lot about best survey practices and was put into good use with this task! All my research culminated in my working to help OCN partner with surrounding organization to plan a wellness fair for our community.

Throughout my time at OCN, Casey Cox, my supervisor and the founder of OCN San Dimas, challenged me to grow in my communication skills. He was a role model on what it looks like to listen with intentionality and to express oneself with clarity. One of the biggest lessons I will take with me from my time with OCN is what I learned about personal wellness. Casey is a big advocate that wellness isn’t another “skill” we pursue, but something that we can contribute to: we can contribute to the wellness of our community by serving, loving, and striving for better for those around us! I love this idea that the wellness of our community is in our hands to work toward & better.

To be a part of initiatives like the ones carried out at OCN filled me not only with a lot of new skills and knowledge about wellness and communication strategies, but also such an amazing example of what it looks like to truly be an organization that is for the community. Interning here opened my eyes to a whole new part of my community that I had no connection to before, and I think that is the importance of interning: to not only grow your career path but also to learn more about our world and what we’re passionate about. So that would be my advice for other Chapman students looking for an internship: find one that is part of a world that you haven’t thought to explore yet and go for it. Everything I’ve learned has been another amazing piece added to the path I’m following, and I’m excited to see what piece will be added next!