Consumer’s Union (Southwest Office)
Summer 2008 Site Review
My internship at the Consumer’s Union Southwest Office was an experience filled with rewarding, interesting, and challenging work. This internship did not involve any mindless or menial tasks. Rather, everything I did was directly related to current campaigns and projects that CU was working on throughout the summer.
Working on these campaigns was the best part of my internship. I worked to bring to light serious issues related to health care, consumer’s rights, etc. CU is able to get a lot of people to think about such issues on a very broad grassroots-based level due to their hard work and the work ethic and passion that is seeded in all the people I worked with. The organization is extremely advocacy and grassroots-activism oriented. This internship is ideal for an individual who is looking for a position that enables them to make a difference on a grassroots level but in a place that has the established and organized feel of a major corporation.
A typical day during the course of my internship involved coming in to the office at around 9:00. Depending on what I was working on, I would generally fulfill requests in my inbox from my supervisor or from team-members across the nation who needed my assistance with things they could not do while on the road. I worked very closely with the Media Relations Coordinator, and often researched potential contacts he requested for media interviews regarding our various campaigns. I was expected to work on my own, and was given direction when needed. I was expected to complete tasks in an orderly fashion, and at times given deadlines but generally my projects were ongoing. I communicated with consumers around the nation on a daily basis and also did a lot of media outreach and online networking. This was one of the best parts of my experience, as I felt very connected to the work I was doing. My day would generally end around 6 pm. I definitely recommend this internship to anyone who is looking to do something where their work is valued and they are respected as an integral member of a team.