By Emily Wagner, former intern and volunteer
I can’t believe that it has been three years since I applied and interviewed for my internship with Make-A-Wish Central New York. This was just the start of the relationship I have been fortunate enough to have with the organization ever since. As Make-A-Wish Central New York celebrates 30 years of wishes, I am excited and honored to reflect on my internship experience.
In January of 2012, I was a college sophomore at SUNY Geneseo, home in Syracuse for the winter break, and confused about the direction of my future. I started applying for local internships to learn more. When I interviewed with Debbie Simon, I knew that Make-A-Wish was the place for me, and I couldn’t wait to start working! Even though I was officially a summer intern, I started training and a few projects in January.
In May of 2012, I returned home for the summer to a busy schedule of fundraising events at Make-A-Wish. Every day of work was different, as I helped to plan, organize, and execute four different fundraising events. A lot of my day-to-day activities included calling sponsors and guests; confirming guests lists, venues and entertainment; visiting event locations; creating invitations; writing announcements and thank you letters; and (my favorite) meeting Make-A-Wish kids and their families at events. This internship challenged my skills and helped me to create a much stronger portfolio of work.
In the last three years, I have not had one job or internship interview that hasn’t asked about my time with Make-A-Wish. My experience was especially relevant when I interviewed and interned with The Walt Disney Company in 2013. Some of my favorite memories were meeting Wish Kids and their families who were visiting Disney World, and it was amazing to see wishes come full circle. I was even lucky enough to work with the Disney VoluntEARs and spend some of my free time at Give Kids the World. I really hope to return to Disney and manage communications between the company and not-for-profit organizations someday.
I truly can’t speak highly enough of the amazing work that is done by the organization and the positive energy that is always there. No matter what department you work for, whether as an intern or volunteer, you feel that you are part of a team that works together to make people smile by making wishes come true.
Happy 30 years, Make-A-Wish Central New York!