The Internship Blog@Naz is an opportunity for second semester interns to reflect on their experiences at their internship sites. Please feel free to follow current students through their internship adventure or read about past interns below! For more information about the Internship Program at Nazareth College, please visit http://www.naz.edu/internships or contact Director of Internships, Emily Carpenter (email@example.com).
Last Saturday (the 12th of April) there was a ton going on at Nazareth as far as athletics goes. We hosted the United Volleyball conference tournament, track had their invitational and women's lacrosse, softball and men's tennis all had contests.
Because there was going to so much going on down near the stadium and turf I wanted to do something to draw people to the games! I met with the Spirit Committee earlier this semester to discuss having an ice cream truck or something of that sort come that Saturday. It ended up working out that Residence Hall Council wanted to spend some extra money they had, so they paid for the truck and it drew tons of people to the various contests! The first 200 Naz students got FREE ice cream from Lugia's Ice Cream truck. It was such a beautiful day. I couldn't have asked for a better one!
It was a great experience to see something so successful go on! I really enjoyed seeing students come down to the turf/stadium area and get their free ice cream and hang around for one of the athletic contests for a bit.
This past Saturday was an exciting game for the Knighthawks. The Knighthawks beat the Minnesota Swarm 12-9 which helped them to lead the East division by two games with a record of 11-4. The fans were excited and energized throughout the whole game, which made it even more thrilling to watch.
My parents actually came to this game and truly enjoyed the experience. They have never watched indoor lacrosse before and fell in love with the sports and the excitement. It only takes ONE game to be addicted to the atmosphere of indoor lacrosse and I encourage you all to try it at least once.
Before the game and during halftimes, there was a lot going on as well. Since I work production during the game, I was responsbile for organizing and making sure people were ready for their performance or activity at the right time. I do not do this alone and have the help of two other interns that work with me: Chelsie and Courtney. This is a picture of us three!
During halftimes, we had several youth lacrosse teams and a dance performance from Strike It Up! The kids love to be on the field to perform and play in front of thousands of people. I love seeing how excited they get!
Our next two regular home games are April 12th and April 19th! After these games come PLAYOFFS which is extremely exciting since the Knighthawks have already clinched a spot! CAN'T WAIT!
During the first half of my internship, most of my typical days included a great deal of observation. Each CORE room at Eberhardt is slightly different depending on the needs and abilities of the participants in that room. Both of my supervisors felt that it was important to understand the different environments prior to more hands on, independent work. However, "observing" in this type of environment does not mean sitting in the corner watching what is occurring in the room. "Observing" could have included tasks such as feeding participants, working with activity groups, or assisting the CORE room staff in other ways. Once I felt confident with the different environments at Eberhardt, I began to ask for and receive more responsibility.
Informally, the room staff began to trust me a little more and would ask more of me when I was in the room. Although I cannot be alone with participants because I have not had the mandated training, I have become an extra set of eyes for the staff members who are outnumbered compared to the participants. A little more formally, I sat down with one of my supervisors and we discussed gaining a little more responsibility and trying to do some projects on my own. After discussing what I specifically had in mind, she passed the message along to my more direct supervisor and I also brought it up to him shortly thereafter.
I feel like I was actually really lucky because of the timing when I asked for more responsibility. My direct supervisor, who I interact with most days, was just about to take a week off and we came up with a small and relatively easy project for me to work on in his absence. I completed the project while he was out and it has been in place in one of the CORE rooms since then.
More recently, my direct supervisor has asked me to come along to some of the community trainings and workshops he does at local school. Even though I am not presenting anything at these workshops, I am learning more and more about how to train others, which will definitely be a part of the career I hope to one day have. I have also been privileged to analyze the behavior tracking data from two months (February and March). Despite this task being slightly drier than some of the other tasks I have completed, I love it because it demonstrates how effective the implemented data plans are and may provide insight into why a certain behavior occurred.
I am currently working on a communication board for a participant that I have definitely bonded with over the last couple of months. This board will allow her to communicate what she wants through a series of pictures. I am really excited to see how it turns out over the next week or so, and to see how useful it is for her. I know that gaining these types of responsibilities illustrate the trust and belief my supervisors have in me, which has been very rewarding for me.
On March 28th, the Rochester Knighthawks hosted its Kids Day Event before their game against The Rush. My responsibility in preparing for this game included contacting kid friendly places to donate raffle items for the event. We received donations from SkyZone, Adventure Landing, Rochester Museum and Science Center, Seneca Park Zoo, Bill Gray's Iceplex, and Horizon Fun FX. Also, I created the raffle drawing sheets and flyers to promote the raffle.
The day of the event was crazy and exciting! About 600 kids signed up for the event!! During the event, there were many activities for the kids to partake in. There was an inflatable obstacle course, laser tag, velcro wall, skee ball, and a jungle themed inflatable. Also, there was face painting, air brush tattooes, and clowns making balloon animals. Here are some pictures from the event:
Laser Tag Jungle Inflatable Velcro Pad
Here is a picture of my coworkers playing skee ball:
They took down most of the equipment by 6:00PM to get ready for the game at 7:30PM. The game was an exciting one. There were a couple of fights between players and the crowd was loud! Knighthawks have very loyal fans and supported them throughout the whole game. Althought the game ended in a loss for the Knighthawks, it was still a great game! At the end of the game, the players had an autograph session and me and another Nazareth student, Chelsie, got a picture on the field before we left!
I am back to office hours tomorrow morning to get prepared for the next game on April 5th. This is our Knighthawks Give Back Event! Come and join us for the game!
In nearly every office at Eberhardt, as well as all the offices in other Ontario ARC buildings, you will find a small poster that contains ARC's values. Each poster says "Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Quality, Commitment, Person-Centered, and Quality of Life." These simple words can be found in almost every office and throughout the buildings, illustrating how important these values are in the organization's culture. Most importantly, these words relate to how the staff and the organization as a whole try to follow when working with the individuals ARC serves. Ontario ARC asks that all staff members serve as advocates for those served and to act with compassion and respect when they come to work every day. Within my first couple of weeks at Eberhardt, I knew almost all of the participants names because of this culture. I thought it would be hard to learn everyone's names, but once you spend some time with the participants and discover who they are, it really is not difficult at all. Being able to say hi to a participant in the hallway is a small illustration of the culture at Ontario ARC.
Although these values were created to be used when working with participants, I believe that this philosophy is so ingrained at Ontario ARC that it can be seen in th rough the way that staff members communicate with each other. In one of my other posts, I mentioned the goodbye party that was thrown for a staff member who was leaving her position at Eberhardt for another position within the agency. Within the past two weeks alone, there have been a wellness party (where everyone got a free salad for lunch), a baby shower for two staff members who are expecting a baby, and other team building type events. I believe that I have mentioned previously that to me, Eberhardt feels like a family. Because Eberhardt creates such a personalized and tight-knit culture, it is almost impossible for people there to not know who you are on a personal level. I cannot even imagine how difficult it will be to be leaving this internship in several weeks because of how warm the atmosphere is at the agency!
After a busy and hectic two and a half days, I don't believe I have ever felt so thoroughly exhausted and yet completely fulfilled. To welcome four of the team members I was privileged to work with in Guatemala to my own college was surreal, to say the least. I was filled with anxiety over the reception of both and yet proud to introduce one to the other.
Throughout the events, I found myself acting in multiple roles; at once I would be facilitator and the next participant. It was a strange position to be in and one I found I could only navigate by understanding the situation and what was most needed at the time. While it placed me into situations wholly new and at times disconcerting, I could never discredit the experience. The truth of the matter is that I gained much more from immersing myself in the experience than from sitting on the sidelines, waiting to be called.
But for those of you wondering what now, I will tell you. While I enjoyed every single minute of my time with YIU, I feel the most important aspect as an intern of the event was the opportunity to network. Not only was I able to continue my connection with YIU, I was able to meet a number of very influential people
who have a lot of great advice to offer. My suggestion is to always remember that, at the least, an internship offers you affiliations with those who can be most beneficial to your future. All you need is a little determination, perseverance, and the knowledge to keep in contact with those you meet. You never know what doors they may be waiting to open for you.
This weekend I got to run a super fun contest at the last non-tournament home Men's Volleyball game! I cannot remember where I got the idea from, but we layed out Naz student section t-shirts along with Naz Volleyball shirts all over one side of the court inbetween games 2 and 3. Coach Cal let us have a 10 minute intermission instead of the usual 3 so that I could do this! Some of the game management staff along with Cal's assistant coaches and I layed out the shirts and also Mark's Pizza boxes! Some of the 14U volleyball boys that participate in Cal's camps got to serve as well as about 20 Nazareth students. Students lined up and each got two serves. If they hit a t-shirt they won that shirt and if they hit a pizza box, they won a gift certificate! Originally we were only going to have about 12 Nazareth students participate, but lots of people came down and lined up to serve and it worked out great! It was neat to see how I can work on the fly and adapt to what is going on.
One of the first definitions you will find if you Google search "values" is "the amount of money something is worth." Of course, this is not the only definition of that word, or even the most important definition, but I feel that it speaks a lot about the type of employee that you find at Eberhardt or Ontario ARC. The people that I work with are so passionate about what they do, helping the vulnerable in our community, that they do not need to make ridiculous amounts of money. I have so much respect for these individuals who work so hard and so diligently to help others without expecting much in return. Being able to work with such amazing people keeps me going when I am having a rough day. I think that passion and empathy are definitely traits that I hope to find in my future co-workers.
The supervisors and specialists at Eberhardt are also amazing! Even though they might not work hands on with the difficult participants day in and day out, they are very good at showing their appreciation for the staff that does. Maybe it is because he is a behavioral specialist, but my direct supervisor is great at this. He is constantly reinforcing the staff in the building (and me). Sometimes, all you need is a boss that says "I know today was challenging, but you handled a rough situation well." The behaviorist in me cognitively understands why this is incredibly critical in the relationship between a supervisor and employees, but it still feels great to receive positive feedback or advice. I think that the more I experience this, the more important it will be for me to find in my future "real-world" jobs and eventual career.
I already know that in my future career, I will not be making the big bucks. I think that is why it is important for me to work with people who care about what they are doing and support each other through the good times and the bad.
I've always enjoyed attending conferences, both as a participant and as a spectator. I will admit, however, that I have never before been a creator or planner of a conference and before this year knew very little of the goings-on or requirements of such a role. Now I have the privilege of welcoming five members of Yahad-In Unum (YIU) to Nazareth College for a two day conference that I helped put together alongside a number of Nazareth faculty and staff including Dr. Susan Nowak, Jamie Fazio, Janice Bertoni, most of the Marketing and Communications department and Development department as well as a number of others. While I knew subconsciously just how much work and effort it required to pull-off a well planned conference, I did not know just how intricate the process would be!
I'd say the greatest benefit of this experience was working closely alongside a number of Nazareth staff members whom I had not had the opportunity or privilege to work with before. Though I have worked around the corner from the Marketing and Communications department for three and a half years, I only knew those who I had met during the few interactions we had in the hallways or when they stopped by the office in which I work. Throughout this process, though, I was able to get to know most members individually and, I must say, it is amazing just how much these women contribute to campus and just how easy it is to work with them!
When they say "It takes a village..." they really mean it. Every member of our little team was incredibly vital to the planning and preparation process and without them, I cannot imagine how this event would have come together. And while it seems we have done so much already, it feels as if we have only just begun. Its the last week before YIU arrives, and I feel like I'm scrambling! Even so, I cannot imagine not being a part of this whole process. As we check to make sure facility orders have been placed, that the rooms we requested are set, and that our events have been well advertised, my anticipation begins to grow. Not only have I been privileged with meeting and working alongside Father Patrick Desbois and Marco Gonzalez as well as a number of other members of YIU, but now I will be able to welcome them to my own campus and share with them just what we do here in Rochester!
Before Spring Break, Emily Carpenter, who is the internship coordinator for Nazareth College, did a site visit for my internship. She expresses that this is one of her favorite parts of the job because she gets to see where students work and what they are actually doing at their internship.
My office hours on Tuesday are from 9:00AM - 12:00PM and therefore, Emily came to my workplace at 10:00AM. This is also the time that my friend Chelsie has office hours and since she also goes to Nazareth, Emily could make one trip for two interns.
When Emily came by, Nate, my supervisor, had myself, Emily, and Chelsie sit in his office to talk. The meeting was very short and Emily just asked what we were working on. I had been working on a couple of things. First, I was continuing to prepare for the Kids Day Event by calling kid friendly companies to donate raffle items. Second, I was helping one of the sales associates, Derek, with responding to donation requests and letting them know about the Knighthawks Give Back fundrasing event. This event gives non-profit organizations the ability to raise funds for their organizations by selling Knighthawk tickets. Lastly, I have been continuing to work on updating the suite maps and table maps for future games.
Emily seemed impressed with what we have been accomplishing in the organization and how happy me and Chelsie were with working for the Knighthawks. As I expressed earlier, I love coming to my internship and not many studnets are able to say that. I feel that I am actually learning something new and gaining experience that I will be able to use in the future. I believe Emily received that vibe which made the site visit very successful.