My Summer Internship

Aug 04, 2015

An unpaid internship seemed like the worst possible way to spend my summer. It would mean having to be far busier than I was the year before, since I would need an extra job in order to have spending money during the school year. At school, I have been on track to work in the Communications department of a social justice non-profit, and I did not want to have to admit failure in choosing this path. I was absolutely terrified to intern at the Institution of Scrap Recycling Industries for the summer because I could possibly hate the field, and if I were to find out, two years into my studies in college, that I needed to do something completely different, I would have gone into a tizzy. I also knew nothing about the non-profit, for it was not even social justice -- it was in the scrap recycling industry. I am horrible at change, and always have been, so taking this job opportunity would make this summer different than any I had in the past. I had certainly never predicted that interning with ISRI would change my life, in the best possible way.

ISRI gave me the opportunity to access my creative abilities independently. I was assigned the task of writing multiple press and news releases, which I had never done for a professional company, and I seemed to have excelled because what I wrote was published with only a few edits. I learned more in my few weeks with ISRI than I could have ever learned in a classroom. I was allowed to sit in on meetings about how to properly utilize social media in specific situations, and ask specific questions, like why certain social media outlets were utilized more than others. The encouragement of an inquisitive attitude contributed to the all-around comfortable community that ISRI embodied.

The atmosphere at ISRI is exactly the sort that I had been hoping I would be a part of in the future. It was business casual; we were all getting business done, but there was a friendliness and respect that everyone had for one another. There were jokes passed around the office, conversations about home life and weekend activities. I knew I didn’t only want a job, I wanted a comfortable group of friendly coworkers, and ISRI was just that.

I learned more at ISRI than I ever could have in any classroom. I was shown the ins and outs of my future department, given a rundown of the sorts of nonprofits I should look to work for, and created professional friendships that would make my future possible and positive. I am forever indebted to the kind attitude that was ever-present at ISRI.

Erin Magnino is a summer communications intern for ISRI. She will soon be entering her senior year at Bridgewater College and would like to pursue a career in communications in the nonprofit sector. This post originally appeared on her personal blog The Odyssey Online.

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