Many of my learning goals for my summer internship with teachNOLA / TNTP Academy revolved around communicating effectively with those that I interacted with, and becoming knowledgeable with the tools that I was using to complete my tasks, specifically Excel. As my internship continued, I became a lot more confident with composing emails and communicating effectively with those around me. I learned it is important to repeat necessary things because not everyone will catch it the first time. I learned that even if you think an individual will ask a follow-up question or already should know the information, it is important to supply them with as much information as possible the first time you confer with them, as to limit any more confusion. Pretty much every task that I did involved recording information in an Excel sheet, or pulling information from another Excel sheet. One thing I learned to do with Excel was a VLOOKUP. This function allows you to draw information from a file of interest and transfer it to the file you are using automatically, with the use of a common identifier. This function saves a lot of time and unnecessary transferring from one document to the other. Another one of my learning goals was centered around asking fewer questions, and being more thorough in the questions that I did ask. I learned that the more comfortable you get in a position and the more confident you become in your abilities, the easier the question asking becomes, the fewer the trivial questions become, and the easier the answers are to understand.
During the rest of my time at Tulane, I plan to help where help is needed in my life. Many of the everyday tasks that I completed aside from my long projects were things that really just were helping get things done that other people maybe didn’t have time to do. Myself and the other interns made posters to hang up at PST and we helped with the folding and distribution of the end of training T-shirts. We also were at hand to help with anything the staff needed during the big hiring fair for the fellows as well. During the rest of my time at Tulane I also plan to just enjoy myself. Watching how stressed each of these fellows were about making sure they got through the program, and figuring out where all the money was going to come from to pay for it, made me realize how I am not ready to jump full-force into adulthood. I’d rather just enjoy the time I’ve been given to relax and be naïve, and take advantage of that time. In the future, I look forward to learning more: more about where I am at, more about where I want to go, and more about what I can do to contribute to society.
If anyone is interested in interning with teachNOLA / TNTP Academy, this is what I recommend. Be flexible. Take advantage of all the opportunities you get to help anyone. I wish I would have taken more opportunities to see what it is that actually happens during Pre Service Training, rather than just what is behind the scenes. Be on time. You can get a lot more work done, and have a lot more opportunities to do new things if you make the most of your time, including getting there early. Enjoy the job you are doing. The staff is great and more than willing to help with any questions you may have.
If you are interested in the field of non-profits I would explore the vast number of opportunities. There are many non-profits that offer a number of different services. If there is one thing I learned from my internship, it is that there are many different branches on a tree. Everyone each has their own job and their own leaves to support so explore.
I learned that to become a more effective problem solver, you have to be firm and flexible at the same time. You have to try to understand each individual’s problems while still trying to get your job done, which is heavily dependent on deadlines. It is all a balancing act, and it is important not to judge any one person because their situation may be a little more difficult than another’s.
I have had a great summer with teachNOLA / TNTP Academy. My favorite part was getting to interact with the staff, the fellows, and my fellow interns. I have learned a lot, and I look forward to implementing what I’ve learned in the future wherever it may apply.