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Profile: Summer Internship at Big Brothers Big Sisters

By the end of the school year, everyone was scrambling to find a last minute job or internship.  As a college student looking to advance a resume soon to be used in the real world, having an internship is ideal for summer.  As internship opportunities come and go, many surrender and develop an “I’ll try and get one next year” attitude.  I know many people feel this way after the exhaustion that develops from all the cover letter writing and interviewing, but some persevere through this grueling process and find that great opportunities can arise.  Lauren Darwit is one girl who knew she wanted a summer internship and worked hard to successfully land a great gig with Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) of Champaign County.  I wanted to hear about her internship to inform the fabulous Her Campus readers about the great summer she’s having with BBBS!

HC: Please give a vague overview of your internship.
I am an Event Planning Assistant for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Champaign County. Specifically, I help organize the silent auction portion of Big Brothers Big Sisters main yearly event, Chocolate Extravaganza, which will take place in November 2011. I also do marketing like advertising and contacting businesses for partnerships to recruit mentors for the Littles (the children involved in the program).
HC: What are some of your responsibilities for the internship?
There is both a creative aspect and organizational aspect of my job. First, the other interns and I met and came up with creative basket ideas to be included in the silent auction. In the past, the most creative baskets have gotten the most bids, and in turn, a higher donation. After coming up with some creative ideas, we contact businesses to ask for donations through letters, phone calls or local visits. Another responsibility we have is to market the event to the Champaign/Urbana area to get as many people as possible involved. Last year we had over 400 people attend Chocolate Extravaganza and raised over $25,000 for BBBS. Essentially, I help to make BBBS fundraising events a success so that BBBS has the funds to provide mentors for the many children in Champaign that need a role model. It’s an amazing cause, and the Bigs and Littles are made possible through the fundraising events that I work to make a success.

HC: What is the most fun thing you’ve done with the internship so far?
The most fun thing I have done so far is develop relationships with the other interns and employees at BBBS. I’ve made great friends, and I’ve really come to value co-worker relationships. Because I get along so well with the people I work with, I have fun every day at work. I also enjoy helping my supervisor create advertisements that are released in local newspapers.
HC: What is a tip you can give to readers about finding and interviewing for internships?
Apply everywhere you can! I must have applied to at least 10-15 different internships for this summer, and every time I created a cover letter or edited my resume I got better at it. The career center has great resources like resume critiques and interviewing practice, and it doesn’t cost anything, so you might as well take advantage of it! Also, don’t forget about the connections you already have. If you are able to get a recommendation your chances of being hired are greatly increased.

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