By Shianne Chatarjee
Having graduated in May and knowing that I wouldn’t be starting my new position and career until September, I was hoping to find something I could do throughout the summer that was flexible but would still allow me to grow professionally. I was lucky enough to find a position with The Wakeman Agency. After taking the position as a Development Intern, I could not be happier with the way it has gone and how much I have gained. During my time in this position, I’ve been able to get a much better sense of the logistics and behind-the-scene efforts that support a large-scale event as well as learn the usefulness and value of social media, among other things.
Reaching out to potential donors and partner organizations was something I once shied away from, but through this position I have realized that most people are willing to hear you out and will help if they can. The parts of development and fundraising that I was the most nervous about quickly became something I am completely comfortable with. I’ve also learned just how valuable social media can be. Between using it as a platform to reach and interact with your targeted audience and using it as a personal tool to catch up on news, it is really one of the best and fastest methods of communication. For example, if part of your job requires monitoring Twitter all day, everyday, you will likely know every breaking news story far before all your friends, which will make you the new most interesting person to talk to.
However, the most important thing I learned in my time at this internship was that development really is about the cause. I’ve found that everyone I’ve worked with through The Wakeman Agency is passionate about the causes they represent. Calling people to action or requesting donations is an extremely difficult task, but it becomes much easier and more enjoyable when you can convince them to invest in a noble cause or something you believe in. Their passion and goal to change the world socially is something that I believe The Wakeman Agency has that makes them stand out amongst other run-of-the-mill PR agencies and I am glad that I got to be a small part of it throughout the summer.