CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
AH: I spent my time interning for Raising A Reader Massachusetts, an organization dedicated to closing the literacy opportunity gap primarily through their Red Book Bag program and parent education workshops. They serve families with children from birth to six years by partnering with after-school programs, preschools, community, and the like in cities across Massachusetts that have been identified as places with unrealized potential for growth and development. By empowering parents with dialogic reading strategies and physical books, they are supporting these communities in a way that is impactful, lasting, and thoughtful.
CCD: How did you get the opportunity? What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?
AH: I originally stumbled upon RAR-MA when I was exploring organizations that had hosted Yawkey interns in the past.
CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?
AH: Being a remote intern and working independently was more isolating than I expected—I never really felt like I was part of the RAR-MA team. I also found that it was difficult to keep to a strict schedule and stay motivated to work productively when I wasn’t in a work environment. However, one of the most rewarding experiences during my internship was finding that my coursework in Questrom was relevant to the work I was doing. I used my knowledge of databases when using Salesforce, my experience from Management Communications and CORE in creating presentations, and my Excel skills from the QM Questrom courses to combine and present data. Even courses that I took outside of my major ended up coming into play: I used what I learned about journalism in Introduction to Communication to write blog posts, and my English classes on poverty and race to better understand the communities RAR-MA serves.
CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your experience?
AH: I attended a member meeting with parents where staff from Raising a Reader MA shared data that they had gathered and got the parent’s input. This has been the most rewarding part of the experience so far because I was able to engage with people at the other end of the organization.
CCD: What is the biggest takeaway from your internship position?
AH: I’m confident that after this experience, I wouldn’t want to work at an organization that was primarily remote for an extended period of time. As my internship progressed, I started to realize this and the fact that I do enjoy working in a team as a way to separate blocks of individual work. But, this internship confirmed for me that I do my best work when I feel like I’m making a difference and my values align with the organization’s values and mission.