Interning with the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence has definitely been a great learning experience for me. I’ve previously held an internship where I worked on social media and some aspects of marketing for a small bar and music venue in my hometown. Working with a non-profit is different. We are working more to inform the public about what we do and our value and get to businesses involved instead of just selling a simple product that people need, like food.
What I’ve found most beneficial is working with the Alliance Ambassador, Media Evolution CEO Torie Robinson. Torie focuses on social media planning and marketing. I’ve been working closely with her and have learned how to target specific social media to different audiences and the importance of understanding the message that a company wants to present and how to express that message on different social media platforms. I created a Facebook page to help the Alliance reach more of their core audience.
On top of that, I’ve been working on a branding project for a toolkit which we will be part of our service provision to clients. At first, I thought that I would dislike branding because when I was presented with the project, I barely knew the company and was a little nervous about how I would be able portray the charity as well as the work. However, branding has been quite enjoyable. It was a later project, which meant that I got to know the company and understand what was important to the core values. What I found most important about the Corporate Alliance’s values is that they go the extra mile. Although there is a baseline for what the organisation provides, every single business involved in the Corporate Alliance is treated individually and the policies and efforts provided by the organisation are specific to that company. This is a tall feat due to the fact that Melissa usually does most visits personally and in person, which makes for a busy schedule, but a big impact on the safety of domestic violence victims.
One of my favorite parts about my internship is attending various round tables and client meetings with Melissa. It genuinely makes me happy to see people and companies who are so passionate about taking care of their employees and being as flexible as possible when it comes to accommodating them. Domestic Violence issues can carry into the workplace. While I view my work-space as something that is separate from my home and social life, most people can’t say the same thing. This goes just beyond domestic violence issues, but just disabilities in general. Domestic Violence victims can experience the “stereotypical” physical harm but the mental impacts are just as important. Businesses are willing to accommodate people to work at home, different work hours and fit the environment for that employee.
Working with Melissa has been great. I’m from America so some of the terms that she uses I don’t understand because of the slight language barrier. She is always willing to clarify things for me and offers help or clarification before I can even ask. She also has been full of praise and reassurance, which has been helpful because I’ve never done a lot of the projects or things that she has asked of me, but I haven’t felt overwhelmed or like the work that I was doing, was just random intern work. Melissa gives me important work and projects which makes me feel like I’m genuinely making a contribution that matters to the organisation instead of just doing coffee runs or making photocopies.
On top of the work place experience, I’ve also received lots of information and have been educated about domestic violence and how it impacts not just the victim at home, but in the workplace. I always knew that domestic violence was an issue, but I never realised how broad it was until I started working with the Corporate Alliance. This has made me more aware of my surroundings and looking out for warning signs before it’s too late.
Yelena Wermas, Marketing Intern