#UDIntern: My First Week at a Non-Profit

BY: BRITTANY O’CONNELL

A peer once told me, “If you’re nervous for a new opportunity that’s a great sign you are leaving your comfort zone and challenging yourself.” It took me a while to fully grasp this concept of embracing change, however after this past week beginning my summer internship, I can already feel the dramatic impact it’s having on my life. I will be spending my summer doing social media and marketing for an enviornmental non-profit called Grow It Green Morristown. Grow It Green focuses on sustainability and education in my town, and they graciously added me to their team to help their visibility both in the community and online sphere.

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Before the start of this week, I was nervous I had committed to something I wasn’t ready for. Social media? No problem! Sustainability and gardening? I definitely needed some more brushing up on terminology. Yet, after emerging myself more in the non-profit and the daily work that is accomplished, I became so invested in their mission and values that all I wanted to do was help. In order to battle nerves, I checked all of their social media channels for weeks leading up to my first day as an intern. I re-learned everything I memorized about the non-profit for my interview months prior and became familiar with their upcoming events. This proved to be valuable, because my first day in-office I was ready to go with some knowledge under my belt and didn’t need a lot of additional direction from my bosses. There were obviously enviornmental practices that I was still unfamiliar with, but I asked questions appropriately and everyone was eager and willing to explain anything I may not have learned in my field of study at school.

It’s clear to me now just how much you can do if you’re passionate. If you take challenges with an open mind and clear focus, opportunities become limitless. Thus far in the internship, I am not only learning new skills that relate to the communication field, but also about the enviornment and the importance of doing a job that makes you feel fufilled. The people in our office are all trying to initiate positive change in the world and their drive is contagious. It is a pleasure going into work knowing the non-profit I am contributing some of my time to is truly improving the lives of people in my community.

In the upcoming weeks I look forward to helping plan events and developing social media strategy. Maybe I’ll even learn more about gardening so I can start my own green space before the summer ends! To be continued…

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Brittany O’Connell is a rising junior communication major with a passion for Public Relations. She is a Social Media Ambassador on her UD-branded Twitter account @BlueHenBrittany, a Social Media Marketing Intern for Career Services, and the PR Director for PRSSA-UD.

To read more about Grow It Green and their mission visit their website: www.growitgreenmorristown.org/

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