I’ve got time: Finding my way through internship experiences

Holly Grandin, left, Iowa 4-H Foundation Board President, and Meg Trumper, Iowa 4-H Foundation summer intern, enjoy the Northwest Iowa Golf Outing at Emerald Hills Golf Course in Arnolds Park, Iowa. This event fundraises for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

Name: Meg Trumper

Year in School: senior

Major: public relations

Position: marketing and special events intern, Iowa 4-H Foundation

Alright, let me set the scene for you. It’s insert any month here in insert any year from 2015 to 2018 here Younger me, talking to any person.

"Meg, what are your plans for after graduation?"

"Oh, I don’t know yet. I’m interested in different things and could see myself working with any of them. Social media management, creative writing, any kind of communication…Honestly, anything!"

"That’s okay, you’ll figure it out – you’ve got time!"

Well. Now I’m just six months away from graduation. I’ve worked a lot of part-time jobs. I’ve done things ranging from manual labor (yep, sanitizing livestock pens and power-washing mud off sidewalks) to sitting at a desk making phones calls to try to sell student apartments. I still haven’t figured out what I want to do. But, I have figured out what I don’t want to do.

I’ve got time right?

My name is Meg Trumper. I’m a senior in public relations with a minor in English. I’m currently the marketing and special events intern at the Iowa 4-H Foundation here in Ames.

The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps fund the Iowa 4-H Program, a youth organization focused on building lifelong skills in areas like leadership and civic engagement, communications and the arts, STEM and healthy living.

As the intern with the Iowa 4-H Foundation, I am responsible for helping with the smaller moving pieces of all of the events that we hold. These events aid in fundraising and alumni engagement. (Quick examples of the things we will have done by the time my internship is complete: a scholarship reception, a golf tournament, help with the State 4-H Conference and different parts of the Iowa State Fair.)

It’s interesting to me because I am very passionate about nonprofit organizations, and I am personally a Warren County 4-H alum. The work I am doing is meaningful to me, and it makes my job enjoyable.

I help create a lot of the collateral designs alongside my supervisor, who is the marketing and development manager. Seeing the things that I made in real life and actually being used – that is so cool! We make a lot of event programs, invitations and things of that sort. I also get the chance to manage all of our social media accounts. I get control of the content that we put out and even got to make my own social media calendar that we follow daily. It’s given me a lot of personal responsibility. I love it!

Earlier this summer was the State 4-H Youth Conference here on Iowa State University’s campus. I also got the chance to sit in on my first board meeting. I’ve gotten the “best” of both worlds, and I’ve had the chance to get beyond the walls of my little windowless cubicle. I was able to get out and talk with the youth, take pictures for our marketing materials and meet people who are higher up in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach chain. The board meeting allowed me to learn about the inside workings of a nonprofit foundation, how many people go into that and what makes everything work.

Through my internship so far, I’ve been able to learn more about programs like Adobe Creative Suite and have been able to practice my photography skills. These are both things I hoped to work on this summer, so I am pleased. I have also made several professional connections I hope to keep in touch with in the future.

In the meantime, I will continue trying to figure out what I want to do when I graduate. Maybe I’ll stay in a cubicle. Maybe I’ll get out and have the chance to meet people who can teach me each and every day. Maybe I’ll do both, or neither. Either way, I’ve got time.

Vote for this blog post in Round 1 of the 2018 Greenleee Summer Intern Blogging Competition. Voting opens at 12:15 p.m. CST on July 9 and closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on July 16. The author of the post that receives the most votes will receive the $50 Amazon e-gift card.