Shane Clarke Internship

I spent Spring 17 interning at the American Red Cross in Springfield, Illinois. My job was working as a government relations employee,  and the position had the prospect to allow me to learn a lot over the semester. I ended up choosing the Red Cross, an unpaid internship, over a paid internship as I felt it had more value for my future. An opportunity to work at a rental car company as a Management Trainee was not the opening I chose because much of that work would have been sales based starting off.

The first half of my American Red Cross internship was strictly government relations related, but I was given the opportunity to diversify. I spent my time as a liaison at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, planning events, working with blood donations, and becoming certified to volunteer in natural disasters all over the country!

One of the main focuses of my internship was keeping track of the various bills being introduced by the Illinois House and Senate and their importance to the Red Cross. I reported to my supervisor every day with legislative updates. I also spent time planning events and working on various projects. I wrote a House Resolution, a Proclamation, a Position paper, and updated company board binders. I also spent time with our event coordinator ironing out details for the Red Cross Centennial event.

I had fun working on these projects, but they were also challenging. The House Resolution and Proclamation was read & reviewed by government entities, which made me very nervous while writing them. These tasks and projects have improved my writing skills as well as helping me to communicate more effectively. I also learned how to manage my time. I used to put off tasks, however, this semester I made a goal to set personal deadlines for myself which helped me stay ahead of schedule in both work and school!

At the beginning of my internship, I thought it was going to be very difficult. Being more of a political-science job I found myself learning new information others might have already known. Once I got passed this little hiccup I was finding the job to be right down my alley. My boss and I had the same work ethic which meshed fantastically. He was also available when I needed help on projects or didn’t quite understand what he was looking for.

While I did enjoy working for the Red Cross, I was not a huge fan of my government relations role. With this experience, now that I am finished with my internship, I plan to volunteer with the Red Cross every opportunity I get! My future career goals haven’t shifted since my internship as I still plan on either pursuing a job in IT auditing or actuarial science.