Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Summer 2010 Site ReviewPosition: Summer Intern (Arlington, VA)
Student: Psychology Junior
Interning at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA is a great experience. The staff is great to work with and the leadership does a great job of mentoring interns. You get to do real work, and you have some flexibility as to what projects you want to take on. Also, with the majority of Arlington residents being people who either work for or consult for government agencies and huge corporations, you meet a lot of interesting people and can do a lot of networking. It is also really fun to live so close to Washington, D.C. Overall, this internship is pretty much what you make of it.
A typical day is hard to define because you are always getting new projects and tasks assigned. You would start the day by answering work emails and messages. You would then either ask around the office for who needs help, or someone might come to you with a job. Many of these tasks are simple administrative ones, such as making copies, sending letters, or filing. Being the youngest person in the office, you will most likely be asked to help with something on the computer or internet, such as fixing a problem on the website or sending out the weekly email.
Then, you might have a meeting of some sort, either a staff meeting where everyone checks in about the past week and plans for the next, or a smaller meeting about a particular situation. Depending on the day, around noon you might go set up and prepare for a weekday church service. After that is lunch, which everyone eats together in the conference room. Throughout your day, plan to be interrupted. There are always parishioners popping in who want to talk or who need something, and there is a small crowd of elderly folks who like to hang around the office and chat.
After lunch, you may be assigned more administrative tasks. This is also a time when you often have to take the initiative and find something to work on. In the afternoons, I often accompanied one of the clergy to go on pastoral visits, usually to elderly parishioners who didn’t make it out of the house often, or to people in the hospital. These are very interesting and satisfying visits.
All in all, the job description for interning at St. Mary’s is “other duties as assigned.” Every day is different, which keeps things interesting. But you need to take the initiative to work on things you are interested in to make it a really enriching experience.