A photograph of Lorna Jacques and Samantha Pena

Based on my previous work experiences, I held certain expectations coming into this internship. Mostly, I had flashes of sitting at my desk with nothing to do, or running around making tea for everyone in the office. However, the reality of my time here so far has been vastly different - and better than - my previous roles as an intern.

I expected to have a small cubicle, with walls segregating me from the rest of the office and a computer as old as my grandfather. Instead, I have my own desk, with a new-ish computer and easy access to the rest of the digital team in case I need to shout out for help.

We do drink a lot of tea here, but no one orders me to deliver cups of tea for everyone in the entire office. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone offers to get each other cups of tea. Also, I am anything but bored here. There is always something for me to do, whether it is writing some tweets and Facebook posts to promote the organisation’s events, working on my blog, or even sitting in on some meetings!

Site visit to Peckham

Last week, I ventured away from the office to attend a meeting in Peckham, where the team discussed the logistics of a Facebook photograph competition for our Intergenerational Community Cohesion Project

It was exciting to observe not only some of the organisation’s workings but also the dynamic between the members of the team.

Before the meeting, I never realised that so much planning was necessary for a seemingly simple Facebook competition. However, by the time the meeting ended, I’d seen the many intricacies and complications they had to deal with to launch this competition for next week.

Also, the camaraderie between everyone in the room was pleasant, which contrasts to some of the high-stress meetings I have observed in past internships.

Meeting our project workers

After the meeting, I talked with Lorna Jacques, Senior Project Worker for the Intergenerational project, and Geraldine Boyles, Senior Project Worker for the Safe Choices programme, which is also based in the Peckham office.

Lorna told me a bit about her project, which goes to schools and nursing homes to host workshops and sessions that facilitate a better relationship between younger and older people. She even showed me a video – which you can find at the end of this story – featuring one of the project’s success stories.

Speaking with Geraldine was also engaging because of her involvement with Safe Choices, which aims to prevent and reduce violence against young women. Because of my involvement on my university campus with women who have survived sexual violence and domestic abuse, learning about the support that Safe Choices gives to young women motivated me to want to learn more about the programme. 

Despite my moments of confusion when beginning my internship - like setting up my work email or getting lost from my desk to the common area - this internship so far has been a positive surprise that continues to challenge my expectations of working here in London.

By Samantha Pena - Digital Marketing Intern
Samantha Pena
- Digital team

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