My Fall Internship at Maryland Nonprofits

December 4, 2018 | Blog, Leadership: Volunteers

Guest Post by Sara King, Marketing Intern, Fall 2018

My all-too-short time at Maryland Nonprofits comes to an end today, and though I only worked at the office for a month, I credit this internship with changing my career path for the better. I first found out about this position at a time of change in my life – I had just moved back to Baltimore after graduating from college and was unsuccessfully looking for a full-time job. After being rejected from my dream job, I was at a loss. I took a step back to re-evaluate, and rather than applying for more full-time jobs, I decided to start looking at internships. Maryland Nonprofits was the first internship I applied for, and as luck would have it, I successfully landed the job.

On my first day at Maryland Nonprofits, preparations for the annual conference were in full swing. Within the first twenty minutes of arriving at the office, I was introduced to my supervisors Lydia and Allison and my fellow intern Ashley, given a username and password for the computer, and thrown head-first into conference preparations. Ashley and I were tasked with creating an app for conference attendees to use as a “one-stop-shop” for all things #MANOAC18. I think I can speak for both of us when I say the first two weeks of our internship were a whirlwind, filled with spreadsheet after spreadsheet full of information for the app.

Three weeks later, most of the app’s content was uploaded, and the next phase of planning was set to begin. The next task to conquer was signage and the slideshow played in the auditorium throughout the conference. I will be the first to admit that graphic design is not my strong suit, and creating the layout for the slides was one of the most challenging projects I’ve had at any internship so far. Despite the difficulties, with Allison and Lydia’s guidance, I designed a layout for the PowerPoint slides that looked fantastic projected on the big screen.

Time flew by, and before I knew it, the conference was a week away. I was filling in at the office full-time, watching the (organized!) chaos unfold. Monday and Tuesday came and went, with stress growing palpable with each day. The day before the conference, everyone in the office was under pressure to put the finishing touches on conference prep. Staff members were running around completing last minute projects, printing all necessary materials, and packing cars to the brim with all the necessities for the conference. The day ran smoothly until a last-minute power outage threw a wrench into everyone’s plans. I helped with whatever I could, using my phone’s flashlight to help the team with anything they needed. By the time I headed home, the lights had yet to come on, and it was coming down to the wire to get everything done.

To say the day of the conference was the highlight of my experience at my internship is an understatement. Despite having to wake up at 5:00 AM to commute from Towson to Linthicum, the day was one of my favorite professional experiences yet. To see all the hard work the team put into the conference come to life was incredibly rewarding. Ashley and I helped attendees download the app, and we also served as room monitors in many of the breakout sessions. I met incredible people at the conference who taught me valuable information to help me in my career in marketing. One of the highlights from the conference was getting to listen to a panel on the opioid crisis in Maryland, where attendees were certified on how to administer Narcan to a person overdosing on narcotics.

Though I’m sad to leave Maryland Nonprofits, I look forward to the next chapter of my life at my new full-time job. I’m grateful for the staff at Maryland Nonprofits for being incredibly welcoming and kind, and for my experience as an intern. I especially want to thank Lydia and Allison for being the best supervisors, and my co-intern Ashley for our weekly lunch dates and loving Dunkin’ iced coffee as much as I do (but more importantly for being an awesome co-worker and friend).

A-Z resource on nonprofit best practices

Advocating for the interests of families and youth

Promoting a thriving and effective nonprofit sector

Nonpartisan initiative promoting investment in MD’s communities