Lutheran Social Services of the National Capitol Area
While completing my internship at the AACC I accomplished a variety of tasks that exceeded my expectations including the complete development of an operating database, facilitating a conference, assisted in the composition of a newsletter, and developed a network of people that will definitely help me in my future endeavors. On an academic level I succeeded in completing many of my goals as well. The cultural diversity that was experienced out here was impeccable. The service that I was able to participate in really allowed me to further my horizons on a cultural and personal level.
Professional & Academic
In access I created a database that is capable of storing all data on contacts that the AACC interacts with. This database allows for users to only enter data once and then being able to categorize that individual contact in many different ways so that they can sort by using the category parameters. It is very efficient and successful in accomplishing what they had intended for me to do with it. I have also used this database to create mail merges for labels, nametags, badges, letters, etc using these same parameters making everyone’s job run much more smoothly. While at the AACC I was involved in many other tasks such as working with other colleagues to create a newsletter helping with the organization and composition of it. Contacting people learning business to business language and expectations involved with that was also an intricate part of my job. I was involved in staff meetings stating my opinions when needed and actually made some of them easier by the data organized from my database. I also assisted in getting the AACC ready for an audit by organizing the receipts and data in a manner that it could be easily referred to. The AACC held a conference in which I was asked to facilitate certain areas like transportation, guest lists, and population control keeping everyone on time and in order. This was a great experience as well as a great opportunity for me to network. There were around 300 people that attended and I met probably 75% of them making a number of solid contacts that I can refer to in the future for advice or job reference. I was actually offered one job at Washington Mortgage Group and interviewed at Athena International where though they couldn’t find a position immediately they did however inform me to contact them about mid-spring semester for a potential career after that doing business development and consulting in Afghanistan, which I am highly interested in. In working at the AACC it became apparent that there is a certain level of professionalism that other professionals expect. The intern position that I was enrolled in engaged me in professionalism and taught me the guidelines for doing business. I was also taught the importance of keeping in touch with contacts that were met through networking and composing emails in a professional manner being short and to the point.
The volunteer work that I encountered was absolutely great. The first volunteer was with the 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Dinner where I assisted in organizing the seating for attendees as well as assist them with their questions, worked with the program manager to keep everything operating smoothly, and used leadership skills to work with the other volunteers when problems arose. This event also offered a free meal and dining with influential people. The next volunteer I did was at the 2nd Annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival where I checked credentials, assisted in seating people, oversaw selling memorabilia for the event, and ran errands throughout festival multi-tasking between different positions. This was also a great experience to listen to great jazz music live being behind the scenes hanging out and speaking with the different bands. I also got on a first name with the Producer of the event Charlie Fishman. It was 3 days of absolutely great music and being surrounded by legendary people like Paquito De Rivera and others. The last volunteer work I did was Youth Service America where I reviewed grant applications from organizations seeking money to help children in high risk situations and developed skills in what is expected in a grant application. This was an excellent opportunity to see first hand what is expected when writing a grant.
As a person I expanded my horizons this semester. The experience gained and networking that was accomplished were simply priceless. I was able to develop into a more diverse and culturally aware individual from my experience out here. The people out here were great and are always open to share knowledge and their perspective on most issues. Working in the AACC’s Business Leadership Program through The Washington Center prepared me for a professional career in business and actually reinforced how much I love the fast pace of the business world. As an intern, student, and volunteer I accomplished everything I set out here to do. Primarily, prepare myself for a career and network to give me options after graduation. Not only was that done but so much more in my development as a citizen, student, and professional. The experience at work with the database where it was using everything that I had learned and then applying it while doing a trial and error with different ways of organizing was great. The hands on work I did with executives on a daily basis also gave me the networking I sought and in the mean time I was essentially offered two jobs after graduation, one of which is a definite possibility in business development and consulting. I believe I fulfilled everyone’s expectations, requirements, and more. While school is important applying it in an intern position is what I learned the most from, I advise anyone who wants a serious career to take advantage of internships and the skills, networking and experience that is gained.