Dealing with Road Blocks
By Devin Taylor
As we approach the end of the semester, I’ve been feeling like a chicken with my head cut off. There seems to be an endless list of things I need to get done, and not enough hours in a day to accomplish them. I’m thinking that this is one of those times that college teaches you how to prioritize.
Despite my feeling like I’m juggling a million things at once, things are wrapping up quite neatly for my internship with the Ferst Foundation: we’re getting ready to launch the long-awaited Facebook contest (thanks to a prize donation from a member of our Community Action Team), and I’m nearly finished producing several Ferst Foundation PSAs. These things, coupled with the call logs and media relations I’ve managed, make for a pretty successful semester.
As I reflect back on my experience during this internship, I think the biggest takeaway for me is that I’ve learned how to be resourceful. In a past blog post, I talked about how going into this internship, I felt a little intimidated. I normally like to follow explicitly stated guidelines for a project, and this internship is the opposite: it essentially consists of a list of tasks that I accomplish on my own. I work on my own time, from home. To accomplish these tasks, I’ve had to get creative.
My resourcefulness has really been tested these past couple of weeks as I’ve been trying to find a prize for our Facebook contest. Initially, it was my goal to get an iPad donated, but after trying five or six possible donors in the Columbus area and being turned down by each, I wasn’t feeling very resourceful. I tried approaching managers in local stores as well as calling the corporate headquarters of several large companies (Target, Best Buy, etc.) before my search yielded any results. Finally, it seemed that Walmart (my last guess as to who would donate a prize to us) would pull through.
I was advised by a Walmart employee to write a letter for a grant request and staple it to the Ferst Foundation’s 501c3 letter, and that I was too late for the current month’s allotted donation money but would probably qualify for the next. I did as she asked and waited several weeks before calling back to find out that instead of being granted the iPad we requested, we would be given a $35 gift card.
Thirty-five dollars is drastically lower than what I was hoping for, but I’m more than happy to receive it nonetheless (it will buy envelopes or printer paper or other materials that Ferst can definitely use). Luckily for me, one of our Ferst Community Action Team members is employed at a local jewelry store, and has offered to donate a high-valued piece of jewelry to be used as a prize instead. Thanks to his generous offer, we are now moving forward with the contest.