From Business Casual to Business Pro

By Communications and Marketing Intern, Grace Dean

Interning with the Red Cross was truly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had— there is really no other way to say it! I came in not having any expectations, whatsoever. I didn’t know what sort of work I’d be doing, the people I’d be working with; and as I found out on the first day of internship orientation, I didn’t even have more than a vague idea of what the Red Cross was. Now, I’ll be leaving this internship with so much: a variety of skill sets, new friends; and yes, I now know that the Red Cross does a lot more than just run blood drives!

On set for a YouTube video shoot! Grace Dean (left) with Red Cross Volunteer, Daleelah Sada (center) and fellow Summer Intern, Angel Emodi (right)

Being a rising junior in high school, I hadn’t gained any exposure to the working world before this summer.  Regarding my outfit choices, I didn’t even know what business casual meant (and I still don’t think I wear the right things). The great thing about working here was that, although there’s clearly expectations of professionalism, it’s not intimidating by any means. Sitting in the flex cubicle in Row 5, (which became my designated desk through the duration of the internship) I felt so welcomed!  From my very first day I was surprised with how approachable everyone was. I had already met my supervisor, Media Manager, Fred Mariscal, back in the interview process, and he was just as nice as I remembered. Everyone at the Regional Headquarters, which is where I worked, was just so friendly. I was expecting there to be at least one bad egg; but, nine weeks later there was none to be found!

I still marvel at all that I’ve done! Being in the Communications and Marketing department, I worked in everything related to print, television, and radio. The first few weeks were a lot of research work, which soon expanded to more. I wrote my first press release, reached out to newspapers for advertising, and after a few failed attempts, even learned how to dial a number from a Toshiba desk phone! But not only that, I also worked with Digital Communications Manager, Ashley Henyan and her interns on the Social Media side of communications. Being able to leave the desk every once in a while for a YouTube video shoot (or three) was fun and engaging.

My time at the Red Cross has given me a fun-filled learning experience— one that kept me engaged throughout the nine weeks! Though I wasn’t even sure what type of experience I was looking for, it turned out to be exactly the type of real-world experience I need! I consider myself extremely lucky to have spent my summer here at the Red Cross Los Angeles Region, and am grateful to have had this opportunity!

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