My first step into the world of public interest communications was when I was nominated by my school to pursue this Fellowship. And to be honest, I did not know a lot about the field while I was applying. The application process was scary, how would I apply to an internship in a field I did not know anything about? Yes, I have worked in public interest areas before but I am a research and policy person. When it was time for the interview, I decided to talk about what I am passionate about the most: social justice and public interest advocacy. I had also connected with Fellowship alums to learn more about their experiences and what they had achieved during their summer. Talking to them made me fall more in love with this experience. It was a whole new world for me to be in, but I have always tried to push myself farther out of my comfort zone. I have learned that I only grow the farther away I am from it.
I was thrilled when I received the notification that I was accepted into the program and waited anxiously for more information to come… who would I meet there? Who was I going live with? Who would my host organization be? All these questions were running through my head nonstop. I was excited. But my biggest excitement was when I got matched with my host organization, Greenpeace. I had always wanted to intern with them sometime during my undergraduate studies and I am very glad that I got the internship through this Fellowship because they gave me the support and preparation I needed before starting.
So you know how I said it was a new world for me? The Fellowship Communications Bootcamp trained me in social media, storytelling, media relations, language, and grammar, to name a few. I felt more empowered and ready to take this Fellowship on and make the best out of this summer. I am glad to say that I have a support system that is comprised of my Fellowship advisor and the other fellows. Interning at Greenpeace through the Fellowship is giving me so many opportunities to connect and learn more outside of my internship. For example, I have been matched with a Fellowship alum to receive mentorship from and I can continue building my network even after the end of the summer. The Fellowship Ask Me Anythings are also a great opportunity to connect with the other host organizations. Fellows get the chance to learn more about the different participating organizations and ask their communications experts questions.
It’s a very special time to be interning in the public interest communications field, especially in an organization that prides itself on the intersectionality of its work like Greenpeace. I had always wondered what it’s like to work in such organizations during monumental government decisions. When the EPA vs. WV and Roe V. Wade decisions came out, I realized how much I enjoy and appreciate communications work. The whole team was working together to get information out to the people and fast responses were critical to organizing and sharing resources about protests and next steps. DC is an amazing city to intern in and I’m really glad to be here in person during these times, attend different events, and expand my network.
I cannot believe that I’m halfway through the Fellowship already. Despite not knowing a lot about this field a month ago, I’m now working with Greenpeace on social media responses, designing a changemaker toolkit for different intersectional environmental justice topics, and have attended an actions camp where I learned more about creative demonstrations, blockades, and peaceful demonstrations. I’m very excited to see what the rest of my journey holds for me and how my summer projects will come along for the final presentation.