Summer 2016 HQ Internship Finale

None of us here at HQ can believe how quickly the summer has come and gone! At the beginning of the summer, we introduced several of our interns, including three HQ interns. We cannot begin to describe how grateful we are for their hard work and dedication throughout their time at FIMRC. No matter the task (and yes, there were some boring tasks), they had a smile on their face and were determined to perfect the project with which they were tasked (even during the cubby decorating contest, of which you'll see the results next to each of their names). But instead of telling you about their experience, we wanted you to hear it from their own perspectives.


What was your favorite project you worked on during the summer?

Believe it or not, I think my favorite project of the summer was fixing all the MailChimp issues we ran into--particularly from the Form Submission Errors we were getting at the start of the summer. This project wasn't particularly exciting or creative, but because I knew nothing about Squarespace or MailChimp when I first tried to tackle the problem, and ended up fixing all of the forms based on my own research, I felt accomplished afterwards. I was certainly more confident in my technology capabilities, and I was happy I could be the one to put in the time necessary to finally fix it. It also felt great to be trusted with something that serious!


what did you learn about yourself that was unexpected?

I'm not sure I can say that I learned anything unexpected. My time with FIMRC has only solidified my preexisting understanding of myself and what I want for my future.


what is an area you'd like to learn more about in the industry?

I'd be interested in learning the financial side of the industry. I chose my economics minor hoping that it would come in handy for the nonprofit field, so I'd like to know more about budgeting and how nonprofits make tough decisions about where their limited funds should go.


how do you think this internship impacted your future career?

I think this internship impacted my future career in the sense that I have gained tangible skills and useful knowledge regarding the nonprofit field. My internship with FIMRC has helped me to build my resume and feel more confident in my ability to work both in the nonprofit sector and elsewhere.


how many times did you wish you were somewhere other than the office?

I can't lie, there were more than a few times I wished I was somewhere other than the office. Not because I don't enjoy the work, but because I knew the great city of Philadelphia was right downstairs, and I wanted to take advantage and explore! Also, because we deal so much with international travel, and hear/see volunteers having awesome times at our sites, it's tough not to wish you were in Costa Rica or at the beautiful guesthouse in Ecuador instead of the office! 





Working in FIMRC HQ this summer allowed me to be able to contribute to FIMRC in a way I did not think that interns would be able to. It takes a lot of work to be able to run an organization that focuses on sustaible solutions the way FIMRC does. Of the 5 projects I was able to work on, there is not one project I can say was more important than the others. As a recent graduate, I enjoyed working on all the projects which focused on improving the Chaptership Program resources. However, since I am now attending graduate school as an MPH candidate, the project that I most enjoyed focusing my efforts on was the Maternal Community Educator Training Program for Project Bumwalukani in Uganda. This project was developed initially by another MPH student, who completed a needs assessment and did much of the background research. My job was to develop the training program for the educators to go out into the community and help new mothers and families stay healthy during the first 6 months after birth. Health promotion, program planning, and development are aspects of a career I am interested in pursuing in the future. Through this project I was able to gain experience in this topic and connect my knowledge of community health and maternal and child health to the first version of these training sessions. I look forward to seeing the evaluation of my work and if this program is able to create an impact in the community.


what did you learn about yourself that was unexpected?

The most unexpected thing I learned about myself was that I enjoyed working in an office setting. It was something I was unsure if I would be able to handle since a lot of community health work in IN the community and involves developing relationships and community buy in. At the office each day was something different even though I may have been working on the same project for weeks.

Working in an office is not always as glamorous as working in the field, but everything is public health. Increasing the quality of life for communities can come from health officials, politicians, or from a community champion. You don't have to be the person who is "getting down and dirty" to impact the lives of human beings. You need both sides and a diverse compilation of perspectives to find the best way to keep members of the community safe, health, and feel empowered to make a change.




what is an area you'd like to learn more about in the industry?

Based off of the projects, my own interests, and topics of the discussions we had, some areas I would like to learn more about would be:

-Non-profit management (general)

-Management of healthcare organizations in both private and public sectors

-Maternal and child health policies in place in developing countries

-The development of reproductive health programs and use of oral contraceptives in developing countries

-Other national or international programs that focus on the prevention of infectious diseases in new mothers and pregnant women

-The career path and use of midwives and doulas


how do you think this internship impacted your future?

This internship with FIMRC has definitely given me a more positive and confident feeling as I go into my last year of graduate school. The projects I accomplished and the people I met during this internship have made me feel as though my efforts and desire to work in public health are valid. I love that I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to see FIMRC from several different angles, having been an undergraduate chapter member, participated in the SIHF program, and now having the experience of working at HQ. My next semester course load involves a class on health management and policy and community health analysis. I am looking forward to being able to apply the creative problem solving tactics I learned and witnessed from the women at HQ where it pertains to rural and underfunded healthcare programs in this last year of school.


how many times did you wish you were somewhere other than the office?

Everyone wishes they were at the beach during the summer. But once my summer classes ended, I actually ended up coming more days than the internship required. I was excited about taking on multiple projects and wanted more time to work on them so I could do them to the best of my ability.




My favorite project was making the Chaptership video. I really enjoyed looking at all of the pictures and videos from each of the project sites. I felt like I was traveling without leaving my seat! The faces of all the volunteers, clinic workers, and patients could not look happier.



I had never experienced work in an office environment and I definitely had to get used to it. The first couple days felt like forever, but as the summer wore on it seemed like sixteen hours a week was not enough time! I did not expect to like office work because I love running around and doing all sorts of errands, but I really enjoyed staying in one place and instead of my body running around, my mind was! I think my patience also grew because I used new software programs that were very frustrating and difficult to work with at first.



I think I would like to learn more about the finances in a public health organization. Medical supplies are really expensive and I am amazed at how little of a budget the project sites are able to operate on. I would also like to learn about some of the special programs at the project sites and see their impact on the people.



I think this internship impacted my future career greatly because I know I definitely want to work somewhere in the public health field. Even though I didn't get my hands "dirty", I know that my time at the office was just as useful as the time I would have spent in the field. This makes me rethink my original plans of wanting to work in the field. 



Only once or twice! But I was wishing I was a project site instead!

Posted on August 25, 2016 and filed under Headquarters, Head Quarters, Internship Program, Internship.