2005 PFIG Recipient Julie Arrington

Career Administrator

Julie Arrington
College of Arts & Sciences
Human Biology & PreComm
2007 Graduation Year

Internship: Muscular Dystropy Association

Notes on the first week

After my best friend and I got into a car accident the weekend before I was to begin my internship, I suffered a concussion and had to postpone the start of my position with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. My supervisor was more than understanding, and I got the impression that my co-workers were very team-oriented even before I began working with them. That was absolutely the case, I found, upon starting my internship. The Muscular Dystrophy Association is an organization that works to raise money and morale for the fight against the many neuromuscular diseases under the umbrella title of muscular dystrophy. Although I have an older brother with one form of the disease, within a week’s time, I have already learned so much more that I never knew regarding the diseases and how they affect their victims differently.

My projects thus far have included event planning and coordinating for our first major event, that was held just a few days after my starting the position; two separate newsletters to be distributed in our district; planning for MDA’s Summer Camp for children afflicted by muscular dystrophy; and I have just begun work on our latest fundraiser which is to be my own! I have been thrilled with the internship, and the opportunity to take the position. Not only do we work well together, but I get along great with each one of my co-workers, and I seem to be a wonderful fit for the office in which I am working. My immediate supervisor is the district director for our area, and I can already tell that she is grateful to have me, as I have been doing a lot for her during this past week, and will continue to do so for the remainder of the summer! Thank you!

Midway

After having completed half of my summer internship with MDA, I am even happier that I was able to have the opportunity to take this position. I just recently returned after spending one week at MDA Summer Camp for children with neuromuscular diseases. I can honestly say that this was the most rewarding experience of my entire life. Camp consisted of 50 children, ages 6-21, who had the week to spend enjoying activities they might not normally be able to pursue. In addition, they were surrounded by others who face the same or similar daily challenges, as a result of muscular dystrophy. I had the opportunity to speak with many of the campers regarding their personal struggles, and truly saw them in an environment where they are free to be themselves, unconcerned with societal factors that often play such a harsh role in their lives. My role at camp was that of Activities Coordinator, and I spent several weeks beforehand planning for and organizing each of the themed events in which the campers would participate.

Looking back on the first half of my summer internship, thus far I have put together one regional newsletter, one Summer Camp newsletter, and two local MDA newsletters. I have worked on several events and projects, and worked very hard to plan enjoyable events for the children at MDA Summer Camp. I can see that I have really gained from this a better sense of responsibility as well as a heightened ability to delegate and manage tasks.

Final Reflections

Now that I have completed my summer internship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I feel that I have grown in many aspects. Not only did I learn a great deal about the diseases of muscular dystrophy, but I have developed a greater sense of responsibility for delegation and to creatively complete all tasks and projects. By working in an office in which my co-workers all come together and combine their efforts to get their work done, I had the opportunity to work under several people. I was able to see several aspects of what it is like to work for a non-profit organization, and just how rewarding it truly is to spend time with those people who are benefited by the association. I was able to meet several of our MDA members (mainly children), as well as their parents, and had the chance to speak with them regarding their individual struggles and accomplishments over the disease.

My favorite part of the summer internship position was the week that I spent at MDA’s Summer Camp for children. Never before have I had such touching and memorable conversations with people, and formed friendships that I see lasting for a very long time. I was able to interact with, help, and just relax with nearly 50 children who are victims of the disease.

Looking back, I believe my business-related skills were most benefited by taking this position. I have gained a greater confidence in my abilities to produce work that is above and beyond what is necessary, and I appreciate the cooperation and teamwork of which I was able to be a part. Thank you so much for making it possible for me to take this internship. It is an experience I will not forget!