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Student Spotlights

Harriet: News Media

Harriet Norcross internship at Youth Refugee Coalition (YRC), a small, new non-profit organization, taught her some of the complexities of working in non-profit and gave her a list of marketable skills to take into the workforce.

Please describe your internship opportunity?

I interned at the Youth Refugee Coalition (YRC), a small, new non-profit organization. I was accepted to be, specifically, a journalism/public relations intern, but because the organization has few employees, I had the opportunity to do various tasks, some which applied to my position and some which didn't. I helped run the company's social media, edited training manuals, designed marketing posters and flyers, made banners, fielded phone calls, acted as a liaison between YRC and other non-profit partners, and organized travel information for young adults traveling on service trips to refugee camps overseas. I learned a lot about what it is like to work in the non-profit sector, and that I want to work in that field one day. I also learned that I have marketable skills which are valued by employers and that I am qualified to join the workforce.
What are your future plans? Find another internship and I will be continuing my undergraduate education at BYU. I have two years left.

What was the most useful thing you learned?

The most useful thing I learned from my internship is that you don't have to be qualified for a task in order to do a good job. I'd been so afraid that I wouldn't be able to succeed in the workforce because I doubted I had marketable skills, but my internship taught me that I am a valuable worker and that the most important things are a willingness to learn and a dedicated work ethic. The most important traits in an employee are things like reliability and scrappiness. This internship experience built my self-confidence and belief that I can find a job and succeed after college.

What professional skills did you develop?

I learned about marketing, and have now been able to add marketing and design to my resume. I never expected to do any work in marketing, but it was an enjoyable and helpful experience. I also had the opportunity to do a lot of editing, another skill I was blessed to develop during my internship. My courses prepared me by teaching me rules of proper formatting, how to build an audience through social media, and, most importantly, how to meet deadlines and work professionally. In my major, I've taken writing classes which included a focus on grammar and style, social media management/marketing classes, and a news reporting class in which I worked as a reporter for the BYU school newspaper. These experiences gave me the skills to complete my work more easily in my internship. Things like grammar and design came naturally to me at my internship, which proved an asset. Every morning at my internship, the HEFY and YRC team gathered for a daily devotional which focused on remembering the "big picture"--why we did what we were doing. We used that time to ground ourselves in our mission, the service of others. We kept our intentions on track.

I integrated the skills I gained in school into my work at my internship. Although many of my tasks did not directly tie to my field of study, I took the skills I'd gained in my major and applied them to my internship tasks. For example, I used newswriting skills when I edited the training manual and edited the YRC website, because so much of newswriting focuses on correct grammar, spelling, style, and ease of readability.

Would you recommend this internship to other students?

Yes, because my colleagues in my office were so kind and maintained a spiritual environment. It was a casual atmosphere and service is at the forefront of the company's mission. It was a joy to work there.