I have been responsible for a variety of tasks. In the beginning of my internship I occupied the front desk at MICA where I greeted individuals and families who came into the office, assisted individuals using the food pantry, entered food pantry data into the computer, managed a schedule of appointments for MICAs energy assistance program, answered the phone in the front office, answered any client questions, handed out denial forms, and referred individuals to MICA programs and other services in Story County. As my internship progressed, I began to get more involved in both MICAs Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Steps to Success Program. Now I am responsible for pulling client files before home visits, assisting MICA staff on home visits for both programs, and building relationships with clients.
My greatest accomplishment in my internship this far is having the opportunity to build relationships with other staff in the office, which has led me to get involved in programs where I can go on home visits and meet directly with clients. This was something I was looking for in an internship, and I am very excited that I have been able to do it.
What advice would you give?
My advice to future students would be to not be afraid of taking initiative to make your internship experience what you want it to be. My internship coordinator told me from the beginning that I was going to have to be the one to make connections in the office and learn more about the things I was most interested in. This was a bit intimidating because I didn't know anyone in the office to start off with, and I didn't want to bother anyone or distract them from their work by asking to tag along on home visits. However, once I took the first step and began to talk to others in the office about what I was interested in, they were very willing to teach me. I would also say that it is very important to keep open lines of communication with your internship supervisor. This way, you can feel comfortable going to them with any questions you have, and they can be a great source of support as you learn the ropes of the organization you are interning at.