2020 PFIG Recipient Ann Clark

Jessica Meyers

Journal Entry #1

This Summer I am interning with United Way Worldwide as the international network engagement intern. I am a rising fourth year and I am double majoring in Media Studies and Sociology. United Way Worldwide is located in Alexandria, Virginia. However, my internship is remote this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I am working from North Carolina. The office in Alexandria is reopening June 22nd, and I am hoping to be able to move and work in the office for a couple of weeks in July.

I applied for this internship because I would like to pursue a career in marketing and communications for non-profits, and United Way is the largest non-profit in the world, and their mission is one which works to mobilize communities and support all people, specifically through education, health, and financial stability. My role is to communicate, support, and share the work of the international branches of United Way in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. I have been working on a variety of projects, my main responsibilities are to learn about what our international non-profits are doing in their communities and promote, both internally and externally, the stories of their work and successes. This has been especially interesting and important during COVID-19 to share their relief responses around the world.

My internship began in May and so far, I have loved working at United Way and feel that I have already learned a lot from my colleagues and my supervisor. I have been able to attend and participate in zoom meetings with United Way employees all over the world and have been able to learn about the invaluable work they’re doing; I am working to do my part to support and share information about their efforts. The culture of United Way is one which seeks to be inclusive, receptive, and advocates for equity and supporting vulnerable communities. I am excited for the remainder of my internship and hope to continue learning and advancing the mission of United Way.

Journal Entry #2

I have been working as the international network engagement intern for United Way Worldwide for two months now and I am continuing to enjoy my internship, coworkers, and I’m learning a lot from my work. I am continuing to work remotely and will not be moving into the office to work. While I had hoped to be able to work from the office for some portion of my internship, I have still been able to connect with my coworkers and have had an educational and enriching experience through my remote internship. Additionally, I was offered to continue the internship through the fall, I accepted the offer and I’m very excited to continue my work with United Way Worldwide.

My main objective through this internship is to share and highlight the stories of the international United Way network and specifically highlight their COVID-19 relief efforts around the world. I have found this project to be very interesting and important to learn, share, and promote the needs and efforts within international communities as we face the global pandemic. I have also started a research project that will continue in the Fall portion of the internship in which I aim to track where the international network is appearing in United Way Worldwide communications and through surveys and data, I will identify the best practices in terms of creating awareness and support for the international network to guide where we invest our efforts to effectively market the international network. Another valuable aspect of my internship that has provided personal connections and guidance on my career path, has been zoom meetings with coworkers within the United Way Worldwide staff to learn about their work, experiences, and career paths and to apply their advice in my own career decisions and post graduate education path.

My internship has provided me knowledge and experience in non-profit work and has also provided me clarity on what I hope to achieve in my career. Through my work and relationships with coworkers, I have become more devoted and decided on a career in non-profits. Especially in my role of working with the international network, I have found my interest to be sparked by how different countries, societies, and cultures shape social issues and inequality within a community, and United Way Worldwide works to mobilize communities to support and care for its own. I find purpose in my work and my experience through this internship has been invaluable both in terms of learning and experience as well as in my personal career development and goals. I am excited to continue my work during this summer internship with United Way Worldwide as well as in the fall semester.

Journal Entry #3

I recently completed my summer internship as the international network engagement intern for United Way Worldwide. My internship lasted for twelve weeks, and during my internship I felt I learned a lot in terms of career skills as well as guidance on my career path and goals. My internship was completely remote because of COVID-19, and beginning in September, I will continue this remote internship during the fall semester.

In my final week of my summer internship with United Way Worldwide, I wrapped up most of my projects or came to a stopping point that could be picked back up when I return to the internship in September. Additionally, during my internship, I completed an intern course with other summer interns. At the end of the course, we had an intern showcase with UWW staff in which we shared our main projects, lessons we learned, and our next steps after the internship. We interns, also had the opportunity to have a zoom meeting with the CEO of United Way Worldwide, Brian Gallagher, where he shared his own career path and advice for the interns, as well as answered questions. I feel that my experience with this internship with United Way Worldwide was very successful in terms of learning more skills and programs, networking, and personal growth. I enjoyed the work I was doing and found it very interesting and exciting to work for such a large organization and learn about all the projects, communities, and missions United Way Worldwide supports.

As I reflect on my internship experience this summer, I realize how different it was than what I expected when I first accepted the position. While nearly all plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt lucky in how well United Way Worldwide adapted to a remote internship and all the support they provided to interns. Remote work is going to be a new normal for the foreseeable future, and this internship provided me the opportunity to adapt, learn, and gain a new skill as a student and employee who is experienced and equipped to work in a remote setting. Though my expectations and experiences have changed, I am excited to continue learning, growing, and completing my degrees at UVA, and I look forward to my upcoming return to United Way Worldwide.