Student Internship Stories: Sharlize Lescano (COM ‘23), Bakes for Breast Cancer

CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?

SL: This summer, I interned at Bakes for Breast Cancer, a nonprofit organization that aims to spread awareness and raise money for breast cancer initiatives, such as medical research and patient care. As a Public Relations Intern, some of my responsibilities included: curating engaging social media content, designing email newsletters using Constant Contact, and conducting research to support the planning and execution of charity events. I also worked closely with Carol to assist her with any administrative duties related to event planning and fundraising. 

CCD: What inspired you to get this internship?

SL:  One of the reasons why I chose Bakes for Breast Cancer as my internship site is that I wanted to see if a nonprofit career was a good fit for me. Last semester, I took a course on nonprofit public relations, which taught me a lot about everything that goes into managing a nonprofit and launching a successful PR plan. The class also sparked my interest in the nonprofit sector. Working at Bakes for Breast Cancer gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in class to solve real-world problems, which in turn led to a deeper understanding of class material. Another reason why I chose to intern at Bakes for Breast Cancer is that I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to help the organization grow and spread its message. 

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

SL: Since my supervisor didn’t provide me with a work schedule, I had to create my own. Sometimes, I would get so engrossed in a project that I would forget to take a break for lunch or even stretch my legs, which caused me to feel exhausted or mentally drained. . One of my favorite responsibilities was creating visual aids, graphics, and flyers in line with the nonprofit’s brand and voice. This really gave me the opportunity to practice my graphic design skills using Adobe Spark and Canva.

CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your experience?

SL:  During my internship, I also spearheaded the launch of our LinkedIn page. I spent two weeks working on my communications plan for LinkedIn before actually launching the page because I wanted to conduct thorough research and sketch out my plan of attack.  Since its inception, our LinkedIn page has seen tremendous growth in both followers and engagement.

Seeing this transformation unfold has definitely been the highlight of my internship experience. 

CCD: What is the biggest takeaway from your internship position?

SL: My biggest takeaway from this internship experience is that research is an essential part of nonprofit public relations. In class, PR professors always stress the importance of research, but I didn’t fully understand the extent of it until I started working at Bakes for Breast Cancer. Carol really encouraged me to conduct thorough research before I pitched any ideas to her. This forced me to think critically before drawing up a PR plan. Research really helped me make better-informed decisions and work more effectively to achieve the organization’s goals. 

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