By Amy Stoneman
Thinking back to when I first applied to be an intern at UniversalGiving in February, I remember exactly what stood out to me about the organization. UniversalGiving perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a great non-profit organization. “100% of every dollar donated goes directly to the cause” is just one of the key facts that stood out to me, and still does.
I had a feeling UG would be an amazing organization to work for based on its commitment to its cause, but I had no idea that my internship would be so rewarding. Soon after I began my internship after sufficient training and integration into the team, I was given a lot of responsibility as a Marketing Intern. I was given the responsibility of outreaching to journalists to create strategic marketing partnerships, as well as helping to manage our social media platforms. Soon, I was able to see the effect of my work, and was thrilled to be having an impact on such a wonderful organization. I got to know my team members and we all worked together to produce some really great work. Not only was I lucky enough to work in such a great team, I was working alongside the CEO, Pamela Hawley, who has consistently been a tremendous mentor. After an amazing 5 months at UniversalGiving, my student visa was expiring. Thus I had to leave the U.S., so my time as an intern came to a sad end.
At this time, I had been offered a job in Dubai to start immediately. Faced with an unexpected and potentially exciting job offer, I took it and set off to Dubai.
After spending some time in Dubai, I soon realized that the job was not for me. I couldn’t help but think about the time I had spent at UniversalGiving, and how much I loved my time there. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Dubai wasn’t the place for me, and neither was the job-I wasn’t feeling the same level of passion and excitement about going into work as I had felt every day I walked in to UniversalGiving’s office. My job in Dubai involved working in a corporate, sales-orientated environment, and this was just not something that allowed me to feel fulfilled or happy. Dubai is an incredibly beautiful country, and every part of it that I saw embodied luxury and perfection. However, the strongest force that I felt during my time there was the draw of money: many people there value money over all else, and this way of thinking conflicted with my own worldview. I decided to leave Dubai and return to the UK, my home country.
After spending some time at home and researching my options, it was clear that my ideal scenario would be returning to UniversalGiving. After discovering that I qualify for a J-1 Graduate Internship visa, I am thrilled to say I will be back in the San Francisco office working for UniversalGiving! It’s such an honor to be able to return to UniversalGiving, an organization about which I feel truly passionate.
I have known for a long time that I want to work for a non-profit organization, specifically one which facilities international aid. I have been involved with a number of volunteering projects throughout my time at University, and I also took part in a volunteering project in Thailand. All of these volunteering experiences were fulfilling and inspiring experiences for me.
I am so excited to return to this wonderful organization. The principles and beliefs behind the organization truly stand out to me in an inspiring way, and I can’t wait to begin some great work.