When I had first began working for Celebrating Healthy Communities, my original thoughts were that I was going to outreach to the community. We went among the youth of the community to open their eyes to how the drug and alcohol addiction can be prevented. Throughout the internship I worked mostly on my own in regards to communicating with the restaurants and bars that I gave posters to. My responsibilities were to work with restaurants and bars to incorporate a designated driver program into our community. This program has been a part of the community for the past couple of years, and every year the coalition gives out more posters. This year it was my responsibility to give out the flyers to the restaurants and encourage more to join.
This semester I also participated in a campaign in which I helped talk to parents about teaching their kids about drug and alcohol addiction. We played games with the children, took photos, and encouraged parents to talk to their children about how to prevent drug and alcohol addiction. I would meet with Pat once a week to talk about how my project is going. Other than my weekly meetings with Pat, my responsibilities were to gather information about the community to help explain how we can improve the community.
When it came to making personal relationships with the businesses I contacted, it was a great experience to be able to build upon my professional career and experience. When I went to the first business, my self confidence in what I was going to say was really low. I did stutter and probably wasn’t the greatest performer. But with more practice I was able to improve my personal communication skills and understand more of what I was supposed to do. I managed to make a better experience for myself by practicing with those around me and receiving feedback from Pat. I was able to portray the meaningfulness of the coalition off to the restaurants that I was trying to persuade.
I have never been the greatest with social talking, but when I managed to get used to the spiel I was giving, the confidence began to grow.
In regards to my own personal life, the experience was definitely one that has expanded my growth in personal professional skills. I think one of my downfalls of this experience was to hold myself accountable and be timely. I made my own schedule, and I think this is where I have less discipline. I now know in my own job experience that I have to have a set schedule where I do not have that much freedom. I do better with repetitive and consistent routines, and this internship has showed me my weaknesses in the professional field. I do not believe that I want to be in an outreach program, I would rather be in an office working with files, computers, people, basic administration office. I do like to organize and work with other departments, which I was able to do with this internship. I was able to meet other people involved to fully grasp the playing field that the CHC has to go through to make a change
I had many struggles with the internship due to being very far out of my comfort zone. The idea of reaching out to people to advertise how to make a difference is not my strong suit. It took quite the adaptability to be able to talk to others to bring across my point in a professional and graceful way. Although I did have struggles, I was able to overcome them with the encouragement of Pat, and working to improve my people skills.