The first few weeks of my internship have been promising. Getting to stay in Ann Arbor over the summer for the internship is a great bonus. Campus is beautiful and much more peaceful than during the fall and winter terms. I finally have time to explore Ann Arbor and discover new places to go when I need a break from school and work.
The internship that I am a part of is for PILOT. PILOT is a University of Michigan student organization that focuses on leadership development and campus engagement. Members of PILOT develop and execute projects that are based on social justice issues. These projects help foster individual growth. The Big House Program is one of these projects and it is what the PILOT summer internship focuses on the most.
The Big House Program (BHP) is a three-part program that works primarily on empowering first generation, underrepresented, and under-resourced students to work towards attending the University of Michigan. PILOT accomplishes this goal by exposing high school seniors to resources, academic support, and an on campus community. These students are presented with opportunities for networking with professors and administrators, shadowing students with similar academic interests, and receiving direct exposure to the college experience.
The PILOT summer interns are responsible for planning and executing the first part of BHP. So far we have each chosen an individual project and have collectively worked together to accomplish tasks for the beginning stages of planning BHP part 1. My individual project is to contact the previous generation of BHP students, those that will be starting attendance at the University of Michigan in the fall, in order to schedule informal meetings with them and current PILOT members during their orientation dates. I have texted each student individually and have heard back from most of them. Reaching out to the students who have not answered me for a second time will be my next task. I have not had any challenges so far and have enjoyed hearing from the students. Many of them are optimistic about orientation and then starting life at the University of Michigan in the fall.
From the work that I have been doing during the beginning stages of the internship, I can see that I will further develop my program planning and organization skills. Each intern is responsible for leading a handful of the weekly meetings throughout the internship. This past Monday I was lead for the first time. I would like to improve my leadership skills and be more confident in my meeting facilitations.
I am looking forward to meeting with some of the students from the previous generation and to meeting the new generation of BHP students at the beginning of August. Until then, I am excited learn more about the planning process and what it takes to run a successful program!