What Have I Gotten Myself Into? | #2

So, two weeks into my internship things got pretty crazy and I am already feeling the stress. As a Summer Team Intern I have to report to a Project Coordinator and act as their right hand. This person is in charge of coordinating all of our field trips, guest speakers, and basically make everything run super smooth. Well… our project coordinator quit yesterday and we are one week away from the start of program.

For the last two weeks we have been doing a lot of administrative work within the Hispanic Center so we can be prepared when the children arrive and we begin working at our host site, Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus. Now that our project coordinator is gone no one knows what is going on and many of the other team leaders are coming to me with questions I don’t know how to answer.

When I walked into my internship this year, I knew some things were off. There were many things that weren’t getting done and many deadlines we weren’t meeting, but I didn’t feel it was my place to say anything. However, I honestly did not expect things to go downhill so soon. There are so many things that still need to get done and I have so much work on my plate and I am very overwhelmed (you can probably tell from the picture my coworker took of me above).

I couldn’t imagine how I would feel if I were in an unfamiliar city, so I am very grateful that I am able to do this work in my own hometown. This stress has kind of made me question if this is truly the field for me and I’m starting to worry. When I started feeling like this I reached out to a friend who has had a lot of experience working in the nonprofit sector and she told me that my experience isn’t all that rare. She let me know that here is typically a lot of turnover in the nonprofit sector and many people tend to burn out in their first year. After hearing that I felt a little discouraged but a big part of me still wants to work to make this area of service more stable and efficient.

Our parent orientation coming up fast so I have to buckle down and get that ready because I will have to work with a lot of parents. Still, I can’t help but feel so excited to talk to students and their parents and let them know how excited I am to work with them. Deseame buena suerte! (Wish me good luck!)

One thought on “What Have I Gotten Myself Into? | #2

  • July 11, 2018 at 8:35 pm
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    Ashley,

    I’m sorry to hear about the obstacles you are working through in your internship. It is always difficult to readjust and power through when a key team member departs – particularly when it is right before a large event. Have you had any discussions with your supervisor over resetting some expectations with the rest of the team? You are truly building some critical skills that will absolutely be of use to you later on, but it can be really overwhelming when it feels like you are responsible for everything without the right support. If you’re feeling overly stressed, I’d really consider chatting with your supervisor to plan a course of action that meets your needs as well as those of the organization.

    Despite these difficulties, the fact that you have retained your passion and excitement for the community you will be serving should be commended. I am so impressed by your determination to press forward and deliver great content despite all the difficulties. I am also really impressed by your initiative to reach out to your friend for a different perspective – perhaps it would not be a bad idea to connect with some other folks who have dealt with similar circumstances?

    -Josh

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