Four months after starting my internship at CCAI, I leave having gained valuable experiences, stronger communication skills, more confidence, and a better understanding of my goals in life.
I didn’t know what to expect before visiting the office for the first time. The close-knit, special, and busy office has been better than I imagined. There is always some project to be done, and everything has a meaningful purpose to ultimately help children find safe environments and loving families. The first few weeks at CCAI, I updated their website, answered the phone, and researched information to update our Country Updates pages. I was also assigned the fun task of searching through pictures from previous CCAI events, to put in frames to decorate our office walls with. Very soon after starting, I got the opportunity to attend meetings in Senate offices, and listen in on conference calls pertaining to adoption and general issues in Haiti and Uganda.
When I reflect on the projects I have worked on throughout my internship, the most significant work was helping prepare for the Haiti Convening titled “Building a Strong Foundation for Children and Families of Haiti” that we hosted on May 21st. I gathered contact information for our invitee list by doing research and calling offices to request a prospective speaker or invitee’s information. Calling offices I didn’t know much about; to ask for contact information for a person whom I also knew nothing about, put me outside of my comfort zone. Eventually, it got easier. As I called more offices, and learned more about the convening we were planning, I gained confidence in my communication abilities and myself. The convening itself was a great experience just being in the same room listening to these amazing, influential people present and discuss information to ultimately help Haiti and its children.
I have never worked with people so passionate and committed to the work they do. It’s very motivating, and even contagious. The staff members at CCAI begin projects with a flawless end in mind and do what it takes to complete the goal, even if it means late nights at the office, or bringing work home with them.
Interning here has been an eye-opening experience to the career path I want to pursue in the future. Despite a two-hour commute each way to get to CCAI; I wouldn’t have changed this internship experience for the world.
-Shari, Spring 2010 Intern