3 Life Lessons From a College Intern

Well, I did it! I finally graduated from college with only minor scratches and bruises. I must say the last year was tough. Actually, no, all of it was kind of tough. I couldn’t seem to narrow down exactly what it was in life that I wanted to do. I was afraid to commit to a major, to only later realize I made the wrong choice. It just seemed like too much pressure. So I floundered around for a few years, as Dad would say.

Then, I realized the longer I floundered, the less life I was actually living. I decided to pursue a growing passion of mine, orphan care. So here I am the Communications Intern for Serving Orphans Worldwide, an organization that helps support 45 orphanages in 25 countries! The tasks are challenging, and the people are great. So far, I am loving it here!

Over the summer, I’ve learned so much about working for a non-profit organization, and just life in general. I’d like to share 3 things that I have noticed while being a part of the SOW team.

The people in this organization are dreamers and constantly reaching to expand their vision of how to better serve orphans. Brainstorming together with your team in honesty is the best way to run a diagnostic on how well the organizations purpose is being carried out. It keeps ideas coming in that are fresh. You might scrap 70% of those ideas, but what if your team stumbles on one that allows you to accomplish the mission more effectively. Today, I am making a THINK BOARD to pin up ideas that have been tossed around. A co-worker uses her office window to jot down new ideas! Don’t get caught up in making to-do list every week. Take time to dream.

If you find yourself in a slump, don’t take your slumpiness to the office. You have to have all circuits firing for the entire time you are at work. When I accepted this internship, I knew that meant moving to an unfamiliar place. I didn’t anticipate the loneliness that I would feel the first couple of weeks here. You may feel alone and even sorry for yourself at times, but just remember to throw that attitude in the trash before you step into the office. In my case 5,700 orphans are counting on me to give the best of myself for them. I am motivated by my Savior, Jesus who is even now, interceding on my behalf. 1 John 2:2 states that “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” If Jesus can humbly lay down his life to be my advocate, I most certainty can come into the office with an attitude of determination to advocate for orphans.

When I graduated from College with a Bachelors in Non-Profit Management and Urban Planning, I felt like a million bucks! I also had this perception that I knew so much about the non-profit world. After working in a non-profit for a while, I realized that I needed to watch and learn. Books, case studies, and strategy projects only carry you so far. To approach situations with a know it all attitude, is to learn nothing. Take criticism and suggestions to add to your experiences; these will produce growth.

My hope for you is that you take these three lessons that I’ve shared with you and put them into your life. Never stop dreaming about how God wants to use you or your organization, give the best of yourself everyday, and never forget that God “who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (Phil. 1:6).”

 

Story By: Abigail Causey

Photos by Mia Baker and Jeremy Snell

INTERN AT SERVING ORPHANS WORLDWIDE

We are always looking for highly motivated and talented people that share our passion for orphans.

Learn More about SOW Internships

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