This summer marked a lot of firsts and big moves for me. I officially moved out of my parents’ house, I started my first off-campus job, I started job-hunting for a “big kid job,” I designed more than ever before, I had my internship at Hospitality House, and I looked towards officially completing all of my graduation requirements. All this, plus the uncertainty inherent in our current COVID-19 world, made me intimidated, hopefully understandably so, but my coworkers and now friends at Hospitality House made everything a lot easier.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned during this internship is that everyone is right when they say the most important thing here is adaptability. You never know what you will have to do or what will come up on any given day. My first day at Hospitality House showed me how woefully unprepared I was to jump into the enjoyable chaos here. We cleaned out the attic for 6 hours straight and then took everything to the landfill. I had expected to just work at my laptop all day at a desk in the offices, so there I was, dressed in a nice sweater and dress pants, drenched with rain and sweat and covered in dust. I never made that mistake again. As I write this now, I’m sitting in a t-shirt, leggings, and sneakers, expecting to be pulled to help work in the seemingly A/C-less food pantry again at any minute as we have a new shipment of food donations on the way.
Hospitality House has pushed me out of my comfort zone over and over again. As the Communications Intern, I was tasked with creating the 2019 Annual Summary, multiple informational pamphlets, and redesigning and updating the Hospitality House website. These were all large and important projects for me to take on, and they all really helped me work on my design and communication skills, as well as help spread the word about the programs Hospitality House is offering right now, as a lot has changed due to COVID-19. Our food pantry hours are shorter, and instead of being able to come inside and choose their foods in our usual grocery store-style pantry, we are putting together food boxes for those who come by. We have also been having our dinners delivered to us by volunteers, instead of cooked in our kitchen, and we have created the Preferred Restaurant Order List so that local restaurants can help us provide more varied dinners and make it easier on our volunteers. Being able to create materials to help inform our community of these changes was really fulfilling, as these are essential services. I can’t wait for these materials to be printed and distributed and for the website update to go live!
Hospitality House has helped me feel more prepared to go into design and advertising full-time and has helped me feel more passionate about my career as well. Overall, my experience here has helped reinforce my thoughts and plans of wanting to work with local and non-profit businesses and organizations. I am really passionate about helping inform others of the programs available to them, and I want to be able to feel as though I am making direct positive differences and impacts on the community I am in. Hospitality House made that possible, even if only for three short months.