One winter day, a Student Prince decided to go on a little adventure. “It won’t be long before I have a career,” the Prince said, “so I’d better start preparing now.” So with some ’Berg education under their hat, and some connections in their back pocket, the Student Prince began forging their way through an internship.
We continue our web series, Internship Chronicles.
Chapter 21: An Unexpected Expansion of Self
Lily Roth is a senior Integrated Media major from Toledo, Ohio. They are highly passionate about media, and are excited to create media at a level that leaves a positive impact on their community, whether artistically or practically. This semester, they are interning with the St. Francis Community in the Mission Advancement Office, in Tiffin, Ohio.
How did you find your internship, or how did the internship find you?
I attended the Fall 2022 PALS Lecture Series dinner where I was randomly sat at a table with Sisters and partners of the St. Francis Community. Previously, I completed over 40 hours of volunteer work for the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center--a ministry of the St. Francis Community--for a semester, so I was familiar with a few of the faces at my table. Andria Marquis, the Mission Advancement Office's Communications Coordinator and my current boss, sat at a nearby table. After the dinner ended, I stuck around to catch up with a person I worked with during my volunteer hours, and to say goodbye to the Sisters I met. Andria got word that I was familiar with the St. Francis Community and campus and made her way to me to promote the Mission Advancement Office's internship opportunity. I was humbled to have been thought of, and very excitedly completed the initial interview process. I feel greatly appreciative to currently be working with Andria, who has graciously taught me invaluable processes and functions of her position that I will undoubtedly use in my future.
What did you expect from your internship initially?
Based on the job description, I knew I was expected to create promotional materials for events, take pictures of programs, update the social media sites, and participate in various marketing campaign efforts.
What really happens in your day-to-day work?
I do everything that was listed in the job description and more! At the time of writing, the Mission Advancement Office has been gearing up for the campus-wide Mardi Gras Fundraiser event. This annual program is the community's largest and most anticipated fundraiser of the year, so a great deal of preparation is required in order to ensure that all operations run smoothly, and to publicize the event to the greater Tiffin area. Andria and I have asked almost every small or large business in Tiffin to donate materials or gift cards for the silent auction, reverse raffle, and gift card tree. I am most proud of contacting the Toledo Mudhens for ticket vouchers, a task I initially found daunting.
Outside of contacting businesses for donations, I create a lot of marketing material for campus events and programs. Most recently, I designed and published flyers advertising a viewing of "The Letter", a documentary following five leaders and their interactions with The Pope regarding concerns about climate change. After Andria and I create flyers, I hang them all around Tiffin. If you see a flyer advertising a St. Francis Community event, I likely hung it!
Andria and I also post to the Facebook pages for each ministry of the St. Francis Community, and update their individual Google Calendars. We promote events, share pictures of campus life, and celebrate holidays with graphics and images.
I additionally do odd-jobs that help Andria check things off her to-do list, like making copies and updating signage. Even the small jobs are rewarding because I am able to gain experience and create relationships with people all around the campus.
What connections have you made?
Not surprisingly, I have met a large number of Sisters in my time in the Mission Advancement Office. The Sisters are very familiar with the Tiffin community, as most of them were raised locally and have watched the town grow alongside them. This has allowed me to create connections through the Sisters and partners of the St. Francis Community I would not have otherwise had the privilege to create. For example, Andria and I interviewed a 97 year old Tiffin resident for the annual report magazine that chronicles Tiffin's do-gooders and contributors. I was able to use journalistic skills taught to me by Dr. Julie O'Reilly in my journalism course. It was thrilling to use content I learned in class in the real world with high stakes. With requesting donations for a fundraiser comes meeting business owners you might not have ever had the chance to speak with. I have met dozens of local business owners who were more than willing to help the Sisters raise funds for their programs that give directly back to the community. I thought I was familiar with Tiffin before my internship. However, the first time I hung up flyers, I realized there were a great number of roads I had never traveled, and places I had not gone. My internal map of Tiffin is growing not only interpersonally, but physically.
What is the most valuable thing you’ll bring back to the classroom after this experience?
My confidence in myself and my capabilities has astronomically grown, as well as my awareness of my community and the impact I have on it. Through the work I've done in promotion, partnering, and content gathering, I have learned useful skills that I will use in my career and gathered experience in networking and problem-solving. It is difficult to put what I've learned into words, but I am already aware of the growth I have undergone that is hard to teach in a classroom setting.
If your internship was a book or a chapter in a book, what should it be titled?
“An Unexpected Expansion of Self”
To keep up with Lily, check them out at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lily-roth-/
For more information on the St. Francis Community, check out their website at https://www.tiffinfranciscans.org