As many of you know, I’ve been working with a handful of interns this past year. They have provided outstanding support to Melibee Global and most recently, to MelibeeU. One of my interns, Katie, just had a baby this past weekend – but not before she managed to send me her outstanding research on a MelibeeU course that is in the development stages. Another core intern, Danielle, is completing her MA this spring, yet still manages to serve as a senior intern despite her other job, a 2nd internship and full-time studies.
They inspire me.
Fast forward: Spring 2012. While on a NAFSA sponsored collegial conversation about getting into this field, I innocently mentioned that I worked with virtual interns. And that is when the avalanche of queries hit my inbox:
“I’d like to intern…”
“I saw your comment about interns on the transcript today – how can I help out?”
I was overwhelmed, but excited to see such interest. I created a survey and sent it to the prospective interns, explaining that I’d need to choose who to interview by narrowing down the field a bit. There were just too many of them and I only have “so much time.”
They completed the survey.
The problem was that their answers were uplifting! TOO uplifting!
I couldn’t find any way to “weed out” ANY of them. Not ONE! They inspired me with their interests, their international experience, their creativity and passion about how to move our field forward.
Several of the new group are mothers. We even have two men in our group – the underrepresented gender in our field.
Their enthusiasm is INFECTIOUS! They are eager to be put to work, to contribute to our field in whatever way they can.
I’m so incredibly inspired by their charisma.
I’m humbled that they trust me to play a mentor role in their lives. It is core to the internship. Sure, we review what they’ll do for Melibee, but we also talk about what I will do for them. This internship comes with a promise that they won’t be given “busy work.” They will be given contacts, introductions, interesting research and a network of support as they pursue their dreams.
That unique brand of magic happened this past weekend in NYC. Not only was Katie’s baby born this weekend – a new relationship emerged between two Melibee interns – Chikako and Vanessa. They met for a bite to eat and for some delicious conversation. And they were thoughtful enough to share the moment via a photo with the team to inspire us about their new friendship and time brainstorming together. And with their permission, I share it with you.
Despite our busy days and stressful jobs, know that MUCH is possible in this work that we do.
We can’t do it alone and sometimes, we feel that stopping to take the time to train and mentor someone seeking a new experience in this field is too much work.
I can assure you that it isn’t. In fact, it is exactly what uplifts you when the calendar is too booked and the ideas are flowing too fast.
And just when you think you are serving as a teacher, the universe reminds you how much your mentees are teaching you.
Humbling indeed. I will be learning so much from this group. The good news is that you will see the fruits of their labor! We are so very fortunate.
Thank you Melibee interns!