This summer I am working as a marketing intern at the United Way in my hometown. I’m from a suburb of Flint, Michigan, and so I was excited to be able to work with the city of Flint. As I’m sure you’ve heard in the news, Flint was highly affected from a water crisis when the communities were told there were extremely high levels of lead in their water. This is an ongoing issue, among other real problems of poverty, high unemployment, and crime. The United Way I work for has been critical in supporting Flint, and has also helped support the surrounding cities in their needs as well.
My story of how I decided to intern at United Way started back in October when I had the opportunity to hear Stacey Stewart, the then CEO of United Way Worldwide, speak at the Ross School of Business. I understood that United Way was a large non-profit, but I did not understand exactly what kind of work they did. As Stacey Stewart spoke, she explained how United Way was committed to fighting for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. Immediately as she said that, I became excited that they were doing such good work and working hard to improve lives in a holistic approach.
One of the reasons I was excited to hear the CEO of United Way speak was because my cousin works in Alexandria, Virginia at the headquarters of United Way Worldwide. After I heard Stacey speak, I went up and talked to her about how I had a special interest in United Way because of my cousin who worked there. When I mentioned her name and asked if Stacey knew her, she responded with “Yes of course! She’s great. Actually, I was just emailing her this morning!” I was excited to have made the connection, and even more excited when my cousin told me Stacey had reached out to her and mentioned that she had met me.
A few days later, I talked to my cousin on the phone to ask her more about her work at United Way. I loved how she was able to be fulfilled from the work that she was doing, and I have always known I wanted a job where I could make a difference to improve people’s lives. At the end of the call, she told me she would be more than happy to connect me to anyone she knew. She ended up contacting the director of marketing at the United Way I am now working at, and I was able to get the internship.
I see this internship as an opportunity to further refine my career path. This internship was important for me to get because I wanted to gain experience in the nonprofit sector to decide if that’s a career path I wanted to pursue. I was excited to be able to come home for the summer. It’s an opportunity to be able to see a side of marketing I haven’t before, and I’m excited for the chance to think critically about how marketing is different for a non-profit versus a for-profit.
I’m going to be working on many different projects, including creating campaign videos and redesigning campaign materials.
Here’s some of the old materials that I have been working on redesigning.
So many meetings & so many notes.
Researching online and hearing about what has worked for other United Ways has been really helpful in my work.
The mission behind United Way.