This internship included a variety of responsibilities that really enhanced my learning experience. I helped out in the food pantry and assisted in preparing orders for curbside pickup and deliveries. I also assisted families in applying for various programs such as WIC, Head Start, and the LIHEAP utility assistance program. Another main responsibility I focused on was improving outreach efforts for the food pantry. I created an informative flyer including the details of our services and distributed them throughout the county. Daily tasks also included general office work such as addressing letters, printing off applications, and answering the phone. While answering phone calls, I assisted struggling families get the help they need either through our organization or through others in the local area.
My greatest accomplishment during my internship experience was seeing how much families in the community appreciate organizations like Mid-Iowa Community Action. Non-profits in the local area work very hard to ensure struggling families get the financial, education, and food assistance they need. It was rewarding to hear how thankful people are for the services I got to provide for them. I hope that organizations like Mid-Iowa Community Action will continue to find more ways to help people in the community.
The greatest lesson I learned throughout my internship experience is that there are no such things as stupid questions when you start working somewhere new. During my first week, I found that asking questions helped me learn a lot about what they expected of me and what I needed to be doing. Asking many questions also shows them that you are committed to the work and are eager to learn. Don't be afraid to speak up to your superiors.
What advice would you give?
My advice to future students in this major is to be flexible and patient, especially during rough times. Due to the pandemic, my day-to-day responsibilities vary, and it was hard to find a steady routine. There were also many changes to the office and the services offered by Mid-Iowa Community Action, so I was unable to do some things I had hoped to do. The best advice for situations like that is to make the most out of your experience and not be afraid to ask for more guidance and tasks to do.