STUDENT NAME: Rachael Storey

MAJOR: Literature with an Emphasis in Writing

CLASS OF (GRADUATION YEAR): 2017

NAME/ LOCATION OF INTERN SITE: Home and Community Options

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES: My major responsibilities at Home and Community Options are to interview individuals that work at the agency or are assisted by the agency, write up transcriptions based on those interviews, and compile narratives for the HCO newsletter about the members of the community.

HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THIS INTERNSHIP?: I found out about this internship through the Student Success Center, specifically with the help of Mike Hagarty.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST FAVORITE PART OF THE INTERNSHIP: My favorite part of my internship has been getting to know the community at Home and Community Options.  Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and understanding of my ignorance over different policies and agency history.  My coworkers are always willing to help explain why they are using some terminology over others and are always around to provide support and help with my articles.  Writing about the people I am working with has also been a surreal experience.  I know the life stories of almost everyone I work with, while they know me as the writing intern from Saint Mary’s.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THE INTERNSHIP: The most challenging part of my internship has been dealing with confidential and sensitive information.  Many of the people I write about have incredible life stories that I want to tell people about, but because a lot of the information has to do with individuals that HCO serves I have to stop myself from sharing these stories.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST LESSON(S): The biggest lesson that I have learned while at HCO has been the necessity of kindness within a non-profit organization.  At every challenge or turn the people I work with constantly give each other the benefit of the doubt and try to learn from their experiences.  They are some of the most awe inspiring and thoughtful people I have ever met.  They have inspired me to look into working at other non-profits.

ADVICE TO OTHER STUDENTS PREPARING FOR AN INTERNSHIP:  My advice for others preparing for an internship is to find something you are truly passionate about.  I didn’t know what specific field I wanted to go into and I wasn’t incredibly passionate about many of the internships that I looked into, but once I found HCO and knew that I could do some good while I grow and learn, I knew that it was the place for me.

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