SP19 Internship at Columbus Nonprofit

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

For my STEP Signature project, I had the opportunity to work with a local Columbus Nonprofit that focused on getting artists grant money. I was the social media intern that was responsible for pasting about events on Facebook and Instagram.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

            By the end of my STEP project, I had gone through a sort of personal transformation. I realized that, even as an intern, I deserved to be treated in a better way than I had. That is not something that is often touched on by professors or mentors, so it was a difficult situation to resolve and to overcome. People often say that you will have to work with “difficult” people, but they don’t really say much else. However, by the end, I had come out of my internship with a more solid idea of who I was and what I wanted to do because of it.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

I want to start by saying that I did enjoy my internship in its entirety. I got the chance to make some lifelong friends and to meet so many great artists and help them through their grant writing process. It was a very rewarding experience that made me feel like I was doing something positive in and for the community. The friends that I made are ones that I will continue to stay in touch with wherever I go next and they helped me through my transformation by being a confidant.

My main job description at my internship was to run the social media pages for the company. I brought in a lot of previous experience from other nonprofits and internships. However, there were instances and interactions where my experiences that I was hired because of, weren’t being valued in the way that they should have. For example, I was asked to write multiple, in-depth, social media plans. I did, but they were criticized without much explanation and weren’t even read in their entirety.

The biggest interactions that lead to my transformation as discussed in section two were interactions that I had with my superior. They had the idea to start this nonprofit to cater to a niche in Columbus that was not being reached and they did it very well. However, there were interactions with them that I had that were very negative and where I was called certain names, out down, or blatantly ignored. It really made me take a step back and evaluate where I was, what I was doing, and why I was doing it.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

Dealing with difficult or disrespectful people is talked about by professors and parents but, for me, it has always been said in passing and described as something that “is just going to happen and you’re going to have to deal with it.” It is never addressed how you should deal with it and how stressful it can be. As negative as my interactions were with this particular individual, I am actually grateful for it. I am glad that I had this experience as a college student with the support system of school and my fellow peers in my major. Because I would not have wanted to deal with this in my future in the workplace when I could have felt very alone in it all.

Something that I am taking away that is very valuable for my future is now I have the skill to stand up for myself against someone in a position of power who seemingly “holds my future” in their hands. They don’t. And that is not something that I would have realized without this internship. I am taking this experience with me to all of my future jobs knowing that I can and will be able to handle those types of interactions with continued respect for the individual and myself.


A few of my fellow interns and I attended the National Arts Action Summit in D.C. to advocate for more arts funding (not a requirement or a part of the internship).

A fellow intern and I working the rained out 934 fest.


One thought on “SP19 Internship at Columbus Nonprofit

  1. Isabel,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your honest reflections from your STEP project. I am sorry to hear that you didn’t have the greatest experience with your project. Although working with a difficult person can be a growing experience (as you’ve clearly discussed), it is still never something I would want to happen to a student – or anyone really!

    A couple things are sticking out to me that I really appreciate about what you have written here. First, you have clearly applied a growth perspective on your experience and that is such a valuable “skill” to work on. I could see it being easy to just say, “Well this is a terrible experience and nothing else,” but you have taken time to think through what you could take out of the situation. Pretty cool stuff! Second, I appreciate that you still have a desire to treat this person with respect > and I think that is clear in your writing, too. It is easy to respect our friends, but hard to respect people who don’t treat us as we would like. You have demonstrated that you can respect someone while not letting them define you or put you down. Also, very cool stuff!

    Lastly, looks like you had some fun times with fellow interns. : )

    Ok sorry for the essay in response to your essay. I just appreciate your openness. Wishing you the best in your future endeavors, Isabel!

    Caleb – STEP Team Member

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