unWhen I first learned about Athens’ Own, I was excited that I had found a local opportunity for an internship. I read through parts of the website and got excited about the work they were doing. When reading over the application questions, I felt inspired to write down my passions and was full of ideas for ways I could help the Athens’ community and to get some real marketing experience. As an RA, I would already have a free place to live and some income if I was accepted in to the program, so I wouldn’t have a lot to worry about while in Athens for the whole summer.
The night I found out that I would have an opportunity to work with Athens’ Own was the night of my parents’ annual big Christmas party. I was surrounded by OU alumni and family members and lots of family friends, who all shared in the excitement of me getting my first internship. Only a day or two later I had the At Home with Holistic Management workbook ordered, and was preparing to move back to Athens for the Spring semester. While ideally, I would have loved to get started as soon as possible, my time commitments and hard course work ended up pushing back the real beginning of my internship until May, though I worked on a few side projects.
When I first started with Athens’ Own, I was hoping to get real world experience that would be a great resume booster and that also provided a different angle than the internships I applied to that would have been in faraway cities with rent costs. I was also extremely excited to see a new side of Athens County, because I have loved Athens for a very long time but have never really been on the business side. I was excited to see what creative advertising and event coordination projects I could do that would potentially be helpful for Athens, and also for my portfolio
After getting to know the program and getting well acquainted with Constantine and Kathy, I don’t think that my goals have changed. I am still really excited to get to participate in a program that emphasizes preparedness and community wellness, but that thinks that economic wellness is a great part of that. Growing up with liberal parents who spent a lot of time teaching me the value of passion and hard work, and being up to new challenges, has helped me along this journey as I’ve tried new things and learned a lot about sustainability and resilience, and about the world in general.
I never could have imagined I would spend the majority of my intern time learning and having well educated and deep conversations about the world and politics. I love that I am allowed to share my opinions and that everyone is open to learn from each other. Though sometimes it’s hard to commit five weekdays to being at the internship, and then a few hours at home working on materials, especially because it’s my first summer where I am not just goofing around and serving Skyline Chili, I still have that same excitement I had in December when I got the email from Constantine asking when I could get started.