I applied for the Development Summer Internship Program for a number of different reasons. I wanted to learn more about fundraising and philanthropy to be better prepared for my position of Vice President of LiNK at Umich next semester. I wanted to spend my summer on campus doing something productive and maybe get paid along the way. I wanted to experience the professional life and prepare myself for life outside of school. Among all these reasons, however, I find that friendship is the most valuable thing I am gaining from this experience.
During my sophomore year I began to participate in a student organization called Liberty in North Korea. It is a non-profit organization that helps rescue and rehabilitate North Korean refugees. The former president of the club and I developed a great friendship, and it was through his recommendation that I applied for the D-SIP program. He told me so many great things about his own experience in the internship and helped me with my resume and interview skills. I was accepted into the program, and in an ironic entertaining twist I am working at the exact placement he did with the same mentors and supervisors.
Friendship continues to be a powerful throughout my internship experience beyond him as well. The whole D-SIP cohort from the very beginning greeted each other with open arms and now we have formed somewhat of a family. We support and encourage one another both professionally and personally, inside and outside of the internship program. As I begin my internship experience I am realizing more and more that I have the amazing opportunities to do what I want to do because of the people around me. Whether it be my fellow students and peers, the coworkers I meet in the workplace, or a stranger who generously gifts me with a scholarship, these “friends” are what truly define a great experience. I hope that as I intern this summer, I can be a friend to all those around me as well.