Guest Submission by Madi Wilson, former Volunteer Iowa Intern
Most individuals would probably agree that internships are both exciting and intimidating. They are filled with new people, places and priorities. Paid or unpaid, internships give students an opportunity to practice their skills and thrive in their specific area of study. My internship experience, however, gave me something I didn’t expect: a heart for volunteerism.
As a senior in college, I had the wonderful opportunity to complete a video production internship with Volunteer Iowa. I was looking to share my passion for expressing important messages through creative, meaningful videos. I wanted to build my communication skills, as well as my video editing skills. I wanted to challenge myself and take my video production skills to the next level.
Fortunately, Volunteer Iowa allowed me to do all of these things and more. As I dove deeper into the mission and vision of Volunteer Iowa, I witnessed how volunteerism makes a difference in the world, gained an understanding of what volunteerism truly means, and realized how valuable my volunteerism as an intern was to nonprofit organizations such as Volunteer Iowa.
Volunteer Iowa helped me recognize my own skills and abilities and encouraged me to put them to use. I constantly received positive feedback and words of encouragement from my supervisor and those in and out of the office. Volunteer Iowa increased my level of confidence and inspired me to continue working toward my goals. This organization helped me realize the value my video skills presented when I didn’t feel they had any value at all. Volunteer Iowa showed me that volunteering allows an opportunity for growth, understanding and a change of heart.
As an intern, I attended various volunteer-related and national service events, conducted interviews with amazing volunteers, national service members and program partners, and created several video projects concerning AmeriCorps, the Service Enterprise Initiative and Day at the Capitol. I met amazing individuals who dedicate their lives to volunteering and work to give back to their communities.
I went from being an intimidated intern to being a confident, appreciative intern who came to value the work she created. Volunteer Iowa pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. This organization taught me to take risks and quit doubting my abilities. I was able to thrive in my area of study while finding a passion for volunteerism. Interning at Volunteer Iowa was the best decision I ever made and an experience I would recommend to other students.
Do you know of someone who is looking for a volunteer internship that would be a great addition to our team at Volunteer Iowa? Send them our way! firstname.lastname@example.org