To be a Cleveland Foundation intern involves balancing work responsibilities at a host organization with participation in the Summer Internship Program’s weekly seminars and events.
To be a shared intern between three nonprofit organizations in addition to this balance has proven to be more of a juggling than a balancing act.
The Cleveland Tenants Organization is a unique nonprofit, providing a variety of services and assistance to thousands of tenants and landlords in Greater Cleveland each year.
The Environmental Health Watch implements several programs and provide research related to health concerns in an urban environment, such as asthma, childhood lead poisoning, and the barriers to affordable, healthy, and green homes.
As a research-based organization, Housing Research & Advocacy Center utilizes its information to combat housing discrimination and work towards widespread fair housing throughout Northeast Ohio. Each of these three organizations agreed to host a Cleveland Foundation intern in the same manner that they share their Development Director, Denise Cooper (my supervisor) – split the position in three ways to work on the same task: create and implement a social media strategy.
As I begin my fifth week as a shared intern, my project of creating three social media strategies is finally shifting from a phase of planning to one of implementation. A usual day consists of writing emails to employees of each agency, researching effective means of online communication, and organizing the abundance of chaotic information I receive about these organizations.
Work plans, post-it notes, file folders, and my planner have been vital in staying on task and knowing the office at which I am stationed for the day. Upon entering my position, I was quite overwhelmed at the task of deciding which social networks were appropriate for each organization. Does a research-based agency need a Twitter account? What extra information should be posted on this Facebook page? How can I alter the antiquated structure of this website to compliment the quality of its content? With the help of a few social media-savvy individuals and conversations with employees in a variety of positions, I was able to create detailed work plans for each agency.
Thus far, I find that each day brings new challenges, new locations, and new information. However, I find that this juggling act is becoming easier. My desire to pursue graphic/web design in my studies has increased due to this project, and my understanding and appreciation of the social media world has made the process of working in the virtual world an enjoyable experience as well.
As I work to bring these organizations into the 21st century, I feel confident that the next six weeks will result in the existence of three dynamic and sustainable social media presences, and I am excited to see the results of my project.
Each week we will use this space to give each of our interns a chance to reflect on their internship experiences. Anne Brewka, a junior at Fordham University, is placed at Cleveland Tenants Organization.