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Wishing Well Blog

The Impact of An Internship I Never Expected

Marketing/Communications Intern Aileen Ryan
I began my internship at Make-A-Wish® in the spring of my sophomore year, but I was no stranger to this amazing organization before that. During my freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh, I was eager to be a part of something bigger than myself so I joined the sorority Chi Omega. This decision ended up changing my life in more ways than one—ultimately leading me to my internship here.

Chi Omega’s national philanthropy is Make-A-Wish, and the organization has slowly worked its way into my heart. Every year, we host a campus-wide event called Make a Dish for Make-A-Wish in which the sisters of Chi Omega each contribute food to our giant potluck to benefit Make-A-Wish. Not only do people come out for the home cooked food, a rarity in college, but they get the chance to listen to a wish kid talk about their experience. Seeing the impact our event had on people was inspiring, and it wasn’t long before I knew that I had to become more involved. After seeing older Chi Omega sisters intern and work at Make-A-Wish, I decided to apply and nervously waited for the phone call that would lead me to my internship on the Marketing and Communications team.

Being my first experience working in an office setting, to say I was nervous is an understatement. However, those nerves quickly faded when I realized what warm and welcoming people I had the privilege of working with each day. It wasn’t long before I got the hang of things and began to enjoy my time in the office so much that I hardly thought of it as “work” anymore. Before I knew it, my semester-long internship was coming to an end, and I had become more attached than I ever thought possible. I wasn’t ready to leave, and thankfully they weren’t ready to see me go either, so I was able to stay through the summer doing what I had grown to love.

I consider myself to be so lucky to have had the opportunity to play just a small part in all that Make-A-Wish does. Before my internship, I hardly knew what a press release was, let alone how to write one. While at Make-A-Wish, I was able to expand my horizons, not only on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. Although I have gained a great deal of knowledge about work skills, this internship taught me even more about the long-standing impact that an act of kindness can have on a person’s life. After spending hours upon hours writing about the amazing wishes that these children got to go on, I couldn’t help but leave work with a permanent smile. I am honored to have had the chance to work with such a rewarding organization and will take the lessons that I learned at Make-A-Wish with me no matter where I go in life.  

About this Blog

This blog brings Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to you -- sharing first-person stories of the Make-A-Wish experience and the impact of a wish from the perspectives of wish families, volunteers and staff. This blog highlights wishes come true and the special people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that help create life-changing experiences for every eligible child.

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Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
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