Two Very Different Days

I intern at the Religious Action Center (RAC) for two full days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays. This week, the contrast between those two days perfectly encapsulated the two different parts of my (and I suspect most) internship. Wednesday was an exciting day, during which I got to do research, write two blog posts, and attend a meeting, whereas Friday was much more low key and mainly involved stuffing envelopes, but I see the importance of each type of work and enjoyed both days. This week I also wrote out a “contract” with my employers for my internship class, which I will include at the end of this post.

On Wednesday, I started off the day by writing about the pros and cons of having a drinking age of 21, in order to help people planning a debate/discussion on the issue that High School Students will be having as part of programming at NFTY Convention (NFTY, or North American Federation of Temple Youth, is the Reform Movement’s High School branch.) I found the issue interesting, and also saw it as a good opportunity to display my writing and research skills. I wrote quite a bit about it, using websites of organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and The National Youth Rights Association, as well as thinking up some of my own pros and cons. I really enjoyed writing it, and my bosses were happy with the finished project.

Perhaps as a result, later that day I was asked for the first time to write a post for the RAC blog. My post briefly discusses the news that President Obama signed the New START treaty, as well as the Reform movement’s support for it. I ended up writing a second post about the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Writing that felt a little bit different (not better or worse, just different) because I had asked to write about it rather than been assigned the post. By the time that blog was posted the next day, the bill itself had been changed so it had to be edited a fair amount- I got to see the finalized version via email before it was posted. During that busy Wednesday, I also had the opportunity to attend a meeting with other organizations on securing funding for birth control under the new healthcare plan.

Friday was a much more low-key day. My first task was to find contact information for the people leading young adult groups in about 20 different Synagogues. That wasn’t the most exciting task in the world, but it was technically research and I learned a bit about navigating Synagogue websites which I’m sure will be useful in the future. The person who the task was for also thanked me and told her the spreadsheet would be really useful- I mentioned this in my last post, but I will reiterate that office environment makes a huge difference! The rest of the day was spent stuffing envelopes for a mailing that went to all 535 members of Congress. My boss told me that I didn’t have to finish all of them, but I resolved to finish as many as a could before it was time for me to leave- I knew that everything I didn’t finish someone else would probably have to (they most likely want to get the mailing out before next Wednesday, and I’m the only intern.) I managed to stuff 300 envelopes by the end of the day. Even though it was not as exciting as Wednesday, I felt accomplished after Friday as well. Overall I would say it was a very good week at my internship. Now, as promised, here is the “contract”(my professor stressed that they are not actual legal documents) that I wrote; I think this blog post is already getting a little long so if you have any questions/comments about it let me know and I will discuss it more next week.

I will do tasks as necessary to assist with the Religious Action Center’s mission of promoting social justice and educating students. These will include administrative tasks such as filing and data entry, as well as tasks such as research and writing for the Religious Action Center blog and other purposes

I will accompany Religious Action Center staff members to briefings and meetings with other organizations at such times that scheduling is favorable

I will learn about the inner workings of a nonprofit

I will assist the Religious Action Center in any other mutually agreeable way

I will attempt to complete a long-term project during the duration of my internship