My name is Jane O’Connor, and I will be a Junior this upcoming school year at Chapman University. Throughout my Chapman experience, I have taken a wide variety of classes that pique my interest. Still, ultimately, I have chosen to graduate in the Spring of 2023, majoring in Communication Studies and double minoring in Spanish and Psychology. I have always had a passion for languages and collaborating with peers, and these subjects have allowed me to do just that.
As the summer of 2021 quickly approached, I was stressing out trying to determine what job or internship I was going to have over the 3-month period. Lucky for me, my classes at Chapman were helping me succeed in finding an internship without me even realizing. This past semester, I took a class called Philosophy of Helping. One of our main projects for the semester was to interview an organization in Orange County that interested us, but also directly impacted the community in a positive way.
As I was looking through the list of recommended organizations from our teacher, I stumbled upon one organization called Family Promise. I knew that I wanted to interview a company that helped homeless families and individuals in the area because being from Seattle myself, solving homelessness has always been very important to me. Once I scheduled the interview, I prepared a set of questions in order to learn the most I could about Family Promise in a short amount of time. Because the person I planned to interview only had fifteen minutes to speak with me, it was necessary to be effective in obtaining important information. The interview was going very well and I genuinely enjoyed learning about how the organization operates and who specifically in the homeless population they were trying to help. As the interview concluded, Malia Cary, the woman I had spoken with, asked me if I would be interested in applying for their Communication & Marketing Internship for the summer. I was extremely flattered and knew that this would be an opportunity I’d love to pursue.
Once I was hired as an intern, we started the internship right away. As an intern, I was responsible for creating social media posts on all of the company’s media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as writing blogs on the company’s website. In addition, I also had the opportunity to help Family Promise organize and advertise for fundraisers such as their Back-To-School Event and the Jacob House Garage Cleanout. This allowed me to get more involved with the actual families that are connected with Family Promise, and taught me a lot about how little actions make a big difference.
In the beginning, I was nervous to take on these responsibilities because I had never done anything like this before; however, my communication courses, specifically my public speaking and group communication classes, at Chapman really helped me to be successful in this position. My public speaking skills improved tremendously by taking that course because it taught me how to talk clearly and slowly even in nervous situations, how to present myself professionally, and how to properly present my ideas in meetings in front of my co-workers and my boss. The group communication class taught me how to work effectively in order to use group members’ strengths to get tasks done quickly and efficiently. Although I am the only intern for this specific internship, I work with my boss, Malia Cary, via zoom every week and am able to come prepared with new ideas for projects and with problem-solving skills because of my previous classes.
Overall, this internship has been an amazing experience because it has helped me grow as a learner and has taught me a significant amount about effective communication and time management. Because this internship is remote, learning to use time effectively when in zoom meetings and communicating very clearly via email were very important aspects to being successful. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with an organization that directly impacts the lives of the community that I live in while at college, and I could not be happier to help make a difference in any way possible.