In fall 2016, I interned with The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) while receiving credit from my college, Stevenson University, which is located just outside of Baltimore. As a Business Communication major, I was able to apply the skills and knowledge I’ve gained throughout my college years while at VRG.
Writing for the Vegetarian Journal and VRG’s blog allowed me to practice my written communication skills. This was especially important to me because I hope to pursue a writing career after college. Because I wrote for the journal and blog, I have wonderful writing samples to include in my portfolio and to direct future employers to when they’re deciding whether or not to hire me. Being published in a credible magazine goes a long way in the writing field, and it makes a huge difference in the job market for a new college graduate.
Beyond written communication, I also practiced my verbal, interpersonal, and intercultural communication skills when interacting with other interns, VRG employees, and VRG members. While the commonality of veganism and vegetarianism brings all interns, employees, and members together, we all come from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. I enjoyed asking Alicia, an intern from Germany, about her educational and social experiences back home. I gained new perspectives from Charles and Debra about major issues in the vegan community. I learned about the lives of other local vegans and vegetarians at the VRG Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck. I met Marv, a Maryland man who’s conserved his 20+ acres of land from future development, and learned about the importance of preserving land for future generations as well as the hunting laws in Maryland. I read scholarship applications and responded to applicants, learning more about what young people are doing to promote meat-free lifestyles. I was immersed in the culture that veganism produces from all different angles and perspectives; this allowed me to broaden my thinking as both a writer and individual.
I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to incorporate my passions while writing for VRG. Staff encouraged me to write about topics pertinent to my life. For example, when Charles learned I was a distance runner, he assigned me the task of writing an article on vegan snacks for runners. After talking with Debra about living with my meat-eating fiancé, she assigned me an article entitled “Feeding Your Non-Vegan Significant Other.” When Charles and Debra heard me rave about my idol Scott Jurek, a record-setting vegan ultra-runner, they encouraged me to contact him for a feature in the Journal and let me review his memoir. Not all supervisors care about engaging their interns in the work, but VRG staff do. Allowing me to weave all of my passions into my writing made this an internship and experience that was enjoyable and interesting.
If you’re looking for an internship that will engage you and challenge you to become a better communicator, look no further than The Vegetarian Resource Group. They will make you feel at home, taking an interest in your life beyond VRG’s office. You’ll also gain valuable work samples and skills. I feel confident applying to post-graduate jobs because of the work I’ve produced at VRG, and I wouldn’t be as prepared for the job market had it not been for the internship.
For more information about VRG internships, see http://www.vrg.org/student/index.php
To support The Vegetarian Resource Group projects and internships, donate at https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?cid=1565
Or join VRG and receive Vegetarian Journal at http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php