I knew from the time I arrived for my internship interview that Dogwood Alliance would be the place for me. I never heard about them until one of my friends from UNC Asheville blurted out their name when we were talking about what we were going to do when we were finished with undergrad. I’m going into my senior year at UNC Asheville studying Business Administration and Environmental Studies. I’ve always been interested in nature and more recently ways to change humans impact on the environment. I’ve known for a while that I wanted to work for a non-profit because change occurs one battle at a time. Non-profits are where you get your hands dirty and are actually a part of the action. And after doing a bit of research on the organization and stopping a few times after my interview I knew I was in for an adventure that would provide loads of experience as well as an office atmosphere that would be unmatched anywhere else.
For the summer my main tasks and responsibilities are focused in the development aspects of the organization. Pretty much making sure that all the information on Dogwood Alliances supporters are up to date and as accessible as possible to the staff. I’ll be working closely with the data base that Dogwood Alliance uses as well as helping out wherever I’m needed in the rest of the organization. In working with the data base my goal is to get all of the staff members on board and to help them use the data base in the most effective way possible. In doing so it will hopefully allow Dogwood Alliance to get their message out to even more individuals, recruit more supporters and to have an even greater impact in saving the Southern forests than they are already doing.
So far my time at Dogwood Alliance has provided me with the ability to actually take the processes that I am learning about in the classroom and apply them to the real world, testing my abilities before actually stepping out into the professional world. And the experience is proving to be invaluable. I have much more freedom than I would ever expect to have but that freedom sort of took me for a loop. I am responsible for completing tasks without having someone set the time line, which was something I have rarely experienced. And setting my schedule has allowed me to hone my time management as well as other skills. For the rest of my internship I am looking forward to the other events Dogwood Alliance will be attending as well as all the opportunities allotted by this internship.