Final Blog Post
Well, it’s my final week working in the office at the North Country Children’s Museum (NCCM). To date, I have overseen five different events with our traveling exhibit, “Construction Zone,” with two more events to come next week, and I have written and/or helped write five grants. It’s been a pretty productive and rewarding summer to say the least. I’ve added some new writing and communication skills to my repertoire to take with me to future jobs. It’s also helped me figure out more about what I might want to do for those future jobs.
What are my concluding thoughts about this internship, as well as, SLU PIC, in general? I think that this collection of internships at local non-profits, in and around the Canton community is a really beneficial and worthwhile endeavor. While many people can apply for “prestigious” internships in big cities or internships around their homes, which, forgive me for making a generalization, is probably a larger municipality than the greater Canton-Potsdam region, there is something unique to landing one of the SLU PIC internships. SLU PIC, from what I’ve experienced and have heard about in weekly meetings, guarantees a level of involvement that I would argue is unparalleled to many and most internships offered to undergraduate students in that SLU PIC interns are expected by their “employers” to jump right in and immediately begin playing a crucial role in their respective organizations.
There is a unique experience found in working with small rural non-profits, which, if you actually decide to read this (you deserve the job already for taking initiative!), can really help you answer one of the application questions, provided they don’t change, of course. Rural non-profits have a very focused and small target group; that is, the community you’re serving is small enough where everything you do in the office or out in the field, feels like it has an almost immediate, as well as, important impact to the community. I saw this myself upon stepping foot outside the office building’s doors. From the first time I ran the exhibit at the Canton Dairy Princess Parade to now, I have felt a great deal of importance with every word I’ve typed, every time I’ve gone through a document to edit, every time I drove the exhibit trailer to a summer festival in the region. Whatever I was doing directly went towards benefiting a community, which unbeknownst to the given SLU student living in the cultural bubble of campus, is a lively and culturally strong community.
Now, this doesn’t mean that my experience here was all rainbows and sunshine because there were definitely some things that most certainly didn’t allow me to venture into such a landscape that Bierstadt himself would paint- mainly, the sometimes monotonous and redundant work that I had to do at my internship. As expressed previously in my first blog post, writing grants for a small non-profit organization can be pretty redundant because there really isn’t much variation or spin you can put on grants to make it interesting. The vernacular remains the same when the only foundations you write proposals for (those interested in community revamping projects, youth education, or environment) are ones that apply to NCCM’s mission. Nevertheless, I find that redundancy to be totally tolerable and filed in the extraneous category of my experiences this summer because of all the reasons and feelings discussed above.
In summation, I’ve met a bunch of wonderful individuals who really care for the well-being of their families and their communities, and the biggest take away is that I would like to seek out a job in the future that impassions me as much as all the people I’ve met this summer. From townhouse 601, Canton, NY, I’m George Salmons, signing off for the last time, good night and good luck.