As a second semester junior, I have had many opportunities to prepare for this internship experience through course work and various other professional endeavors. While I have accumulated a small understanding of the work world, there are still many facets to learn and explore. By working at Disability Sports Australia, I hope to unpack how to better work on a team. I think this ability often goes unnoticed until there is an issue within the workplace. Individuals being able to collaborate effectively is extremely vital to the over strength and success of an organization. Instead of employees trying to one up each other to get ahead, they can develop stronger and more successful plans and strategies. I also would like to learn the behind the scenes of how nonprofits are operated behind the scenes. Individual programs and special days have a large success rate, but how are these monstrosities organized and produced? I want to have a solid foundation on what it takes to manage not only the events and programs, but the organization itself. I also have the unique opportunity to engage with another workplace culture. The organization is based in Australia which, though similar to the United States, still has a very different way of conducting business. I would like to learn how to best work on a global scale and adapt to the culture of the host country. Australian’s word usage can differ from our own so it is interesting noting the variances and how to better communicate with my coworkers. I am also extremely interested in disability activism. This organization can provide me information on best practice for disability advocacy. It is inspiring to see how well adapted and inclusive sports have the potential to be, and to be able to carry that mindset forward is a great take away.
Since Disability Sports Australia is a nonprofit, I am able to apply what I have learned in my academics. Obtaining a certificate in Nonprofit Management has given me the tools to navigate the sector successfully. I am getting hands-on experience and the ability to see exactly how what I have learned in the classroom applies to real life. It is one thing to view a powerpoint and pass an exam, however, to be able to truly see the power points and exam questions in action is a whole different ball game. I can now take what I learn in this experience and make myself a more competitive candidate for a job in the nonprofit sector, particularly on the global scale.
This internship requires me to develop my skills that ultimately relate to my personal identity. I have been actively working on time management. This job requires a lot of independent work on top of my already busy schedule. Dealing with two very different time zones is also a huge factor of time management. Communication also comes into play because sometimes it is difficult to speak with someone about an issue if one has never met them in person. Being confident and open is something my supervisor really drives home, so it is nice to be encouraged to seek assistance.