In the fall of 2012, I spent the first semester of my junior year interning with the Marketing and Communications team. I experienced a lot of “firsts” during those four months. I wrote my first wish story and my first ever press release. I remember how excited I was when I saw one of my very own wish stories in a newsletter publication, or when a reporter used information from a release for an article about one of our wish children. Most of all, I still love looking back upon the first time I stepped foot onto the 37th floor of the Gulf Tower, the Make-A-Wish office. That first day everything just felt right – I knew I wanted to stay (forever, if possible). And quite literally, they haven’t been able to get rid of me yet.
The following spring – April 1st to be exact (another first!) – I received an email from Ann, our Chief Operating Officer, while I was driving back to Pittsburgh from a weekend at home. Simply seeing the name “Ann Hohn” forced me to immediately pull over at the next gas station because I was way too excited to wait and read what was inside. Before I knew it, I found myself back on the 37th floor, this time getting a taste of the inner workings of the wish team and all that goes into the planning of a wish from start to finish. I worked on the wish team for about a month while they needed some extra help, and then returned home for the summer.
Towards the end of the summer, I was returning from studying abroad in Spain only to find yet another email from the wishworld.org domain. I think you might be able to guess what happened next, but I’ll fill you in anyway. By fall 2013, I started my second semester interning with the Marketing and Communications team, where I gained even more invaluable experience in this field. I guess I really wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to stay forever.
Most importantly, though, when reflecting on the past year, I realize how lucky I am to have learned so much not only about this profession and the nonprofit sector, but also about how important and rewarding it is to work in a positive environment with other people who truly love and care about their jobs. It has only been two weeks since I started as the part-time Communications Assistant and I am thrilled to be a part of such a meaningful organization like Make-A-Wish.