The Internship I Didn’t Know I Needed

May 14, 2019


As springtime winds to a close, we are spending our final days with many of our interns. One of them, Katherine Latour, wrote about her experience at Maryland Nonprofits this past semester. To Katherine and the rest of our interns who have dedicated time to working at Maryland Nonprofits – thank you. The work we do is always made better because of you. 

Prior to starting at Maryland Nonprofits, I was at a time in my career that was much more difficult than I’d like to admit. As an undergraduate at a highly competitive school, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged at times when it felt like my hard work was not enough. I came in with the learned mindset that my experience would likely prove to be valuable to a certain level, but would require me to pour my energy into something without receiving the recognition and encouragement that I was in such desperate need of. Long story short – college and career searching is rough, and I was in desperate need of some professional support and confidence building. Thankfully, professional support and confidence building is exactly what I have gained from my experience from Maryland Nonprofits.

To be transparent, I was floored after my first day at this wonderful organization. I walked into the doors of the office a little unsettled and unsure of what I would gain, and walked out feeling accomplished, capable, and inspired. The difference was stark, and I could hardly believe that the nature of the organization could already have such an impact on me in one day. One of the first staff members that introduced themselves to me was Heather, our fantastic CEO. I was touched by her humbleness and kind nature despite being in such an established position and amazed at her sharp knowledge that she has obtained from her vast experience in the sector. My supervisor, Lydia, shared the same level of kindness and intelligence, and I was additionally quite pleased to finally be working with someone who loves cats as much as I do. I walked out of my first day not only feeling like I took the time to get to know the staff members over lunch and discussion but that I had also learned substantially about the nonprofit sector as a whole. Additionally, I was pleased to have already completed tangible, meaningful work within one day of me being there. I had never even touched WordPress before that day, yet still managed to update web pages and information for our 2019 conference through it within minutes. Special thanks to Lydia’s thorough and consistent instruction and encouragement!

Describing the significance of my first day at Maryland Nonprofits does not even scratch the surface on how awesome my experience has been here, and I truly don’t think I can properly put the words into a sizable blog post to do this organization justice. I will say that looking back on my time here, I have gained the confidence I’ve needed through learning from the quality professionals of this organization, tempered with the positive and encouraging environment of our workplace. I have learned to be appreciative of the opportunities given to me, to understand the value of feeling comfortable and empowered enough to ask questions (no such thing as a dumb question!), and that there’s no use in comparing yourself to your competitors in school when you are truly trying the best you can – trying your best is more than enough! I have been so thankful for the multiple conversations that I have had with other staff members about stressful things such as grad school, different types of jobs in the sector, advice for my senior year, and advice for future job searches. I have not only felt like I have put valuable work into this organization but that I have met individuals who have truly helped me believe in myself and to open my eyes to the skills that I’ve always had right in front of me. Thank you so much to my Maryland Nonprofits family for being so great to me during my time here, and I am so thrilled to be coming back in a couple of weeks to intern here this summer!