Devin Taylor

Now that the semester is drawing to a close, I’d like to use this blog post to reflect on my experience as the very first Ferst Foundation intern (what a mouthful!). To say it’s been a challenging semester for me would be an understatement – if you’ve read past blog posts of mine, you might remember that I took 24 credit hours this semester. Although this internship was only worth three credit hours, I feel that I put much more effort into it than my other classes, which are also three credit hours each.

At the very beginning of the semester, there were several things that I was completely unsure of, as far as how I would go about accomplishing them. I remember having a conversation with my mom about this uncertainty and her advice was simply to get creative. She said, “You’ve got a good head on your shoulders and you know how to get things done. Just devote yourself to the project and you’ll find a way to figure it out.” As it turns out, she was right. There was really no right or wrong way to go about accomplishing most tasks on my list this semester – all it took was dedication and creativity on my part. In most instances, the first solution to a problem that came to my mind ended up being the most effective way to tackle it. I recently met with the intern who will take my place, and she expressed doubts over how to accomplish several of the tasks on her list, too. I passed along my mom’s advice, and I’m just sure it will prove useful to her too.

As I mentioned earlier, I put more effort into this internship than any of my other courses, by far. I would even venture to say that I’ve put more effort into this internship than any course I’ve taken in my entire academic career – it was that important to me. Not only was I dedicated to the organization because I signed on to be just that, but the Ferst Foundation holds a special place in my heart. I developed a passion for the organization and its mission in the fall semester of 2014, while I worked on designing a campaign for it. Because of this passion, I felt a personal responsibility to do whatever was in my power to help the Ferst Foundation grow. I worked harder than I ever have, and it’s been equally as fulfilling. Before this internship, I was skeptical that I would find a career path I’d be happy in. After this experience, I’ve realized that the key is to find a career in something I’m passionate about, and clearly I’m on the right track by searching for something in the nonprofit sector.

This internship has had a great impact on me in a variety of ways. Most of all, I’ve learned more about myself. I’ve tested the limits of how much I’m able to accomplish when I really apply myself. I’ve explored my own interests and learned more about what my ideal career path looks like. I’ve been given opportunities and forged connections with people who have been great mentors to me. After this internship, I’m much more prepared to step out into the real world and search for a career. Saying that I’m grateful for the experience would be an understatement; I’m truly blessed to have been offered this opportunity. I only hope that any students that fill the position after me utilize this opportunity to its fullest potential, too.

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