Several years ago, I was lucky enough to land my dream job as a developmental director for a homeless shelter for men, and safe house for women. Although not entirely qualified, I was eager to learn how to write grants, find sponsors and obtain raffle prizes for various events. I was excited to help those in need, and dug right into trainings, seminars and attended meetings where I hoped to learn from those who had been doing this for decades.
I successfully wrote several grants, and obtained a few high-end sponsors for our charity events. I absolutely loved what I was doing, so it all came naturally.
My dream was however, short lived. On good days it was incredibly fulfilling, on bad days the receptionist and my assistant, would line up bullets up on her desk or hide in cupboards, jumping out at me aggressively while I searched for her.
I left that dream job before I could even get started.
I took my new learned skills to Parks & Recreation, and continued to write grants, obtain sponsors and acquire raffle prizes, only this time I was doing it for minimum wage. Still, I loved what I was doing and jobs were hard to find. I went to work each and every day with a smile on my face, migraine free and happy to help.
Five years later I took another job with the same city, but they didn’t need grants or sponsors. What they did need was a clerk on the front lines of a busy office, to process permits, and answer the same questions, over and over, day after day. I managed to stay grateful that I had a job, and smiled through the tediousness. As months turned to years, migraines reoccurred, often. I began to clench my teeth, and the days became filled with aggressive constituents, sometimes violent, and slowly but surely my stress level and blood pressure began to rise.
I thought of the days of raffle prizes and sponsors with fond memories, and began looking for a new job in that field. Although now qualified and experienced, my experience level paled in comparison to those unemployed job seekers with much more experience than I had. I continued to job search and go to work every day, praying for a break.
That day came a few weeks ago, but not in the way I had imagined. I would head into my last semester at Bay Path University as an intern for Hippocampus Magazine. At first, I was told that I would be a social media intern, posting tweets and attending to other social media tasks. I liked and was familiar with Twitter and it sounded fun, so I instantly agreed.
To my surprise, the founder of the magazine, Donna Talarico had read my resume and thought perhaps I might like to help with obtaining sponsors and maybe even raffle prizes.
Yes! One million times Yes. I immediately replied.
I have loved my first few weeks thinking of companies who may want to become a sponsor for their big event in the summer, HippoCamp. I have been busy researching potential sponsors and finding contact information, as well as companies who may want to donate a raffle prize.
Although it is an unpaid internship, I am so happy to be doing what I love once again!