Here is Stephanie (left) and her supervisor and Outreach and Volunteer Manager, Erica (right), at the Hawaiian Luau they put together for volunteers

Howdy my name is Stephanie Lam. I am a Junior Communication Major and Business minor from Houston, Texas, but more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2018! A-A-A-A-Whoop! Now that formal introductions are out of the way let me tell you a little about myself: I’m a college student who loves all things with big hearts and BIG causes.

Working alongside the development team at the Center for Hearing and Speech has been one of the greatest blessings and learning experiences to date. The development team is small and made up of seven of the most supportive people I have ever worked with. They have supported me to take on real challenges, have given me the opportunities to ask questions and stay engaged and they have also provided me the ability to test my creativity. During my time with the team, I was able to use what I learned in the classroom to collaborate and work with each person on the team individually.

Being an intern has a negative stereotype to it; most people think it’s about running errands and grabbing coffee for your boss -- think less Devil Wears Prada panic and a more relaxed work-at-your-own-pace kind of job. My internship and the projects I was given had a direct impact to the Center and the Via Colori festival (hosted by CHS). I loved what I did everyday and the patience I was given to learn and work through all my projects. Those above me never made me feel inferior; my opinions and ideas were always taken into consideration and never pushed aside. Knowing that everything I did was cause-driven and benefitting the children with hearing loss, truly made me appreciate the work I did even more.

So if you’re asking me what I’ve gotten out of this internship, I’m going to simply say -- a lot. I have learned to love the small agency-like work environment. I can see where my work goes and how it directly impacts those in the office and our target audience. The small work environment gives everyone so much more room for growth and learning; it wasn’t just my boss who taught me but everyone in the office. I’ve gained hands-on skills such as how to collaborate and share ideas, how to create different layouts for different posters and ad projects, and how to use and manage digital marketing using Facebook Business Manager. The content I have also created gets to stay under my name and as a creative, there’s nothing more important than that.

So as my summer working with the Center for Hearing and Speech is coming to a close, I would just like to say I wouldn’t have wanted to work anywhere else this summer. This internship was a chance for me to hone my current skills and build new ones. I wasn’t just an intern here. I was “a creative” to the Graphic Designer, the “video wiz” to the Senior Marketing Manager, and the “Community Relations intern” to my boss (or as I like to think, the best intern she’s ever had). As my journey continues, I hope that I can focus on personal development and learn more from those around me just as I have at The Center for Hearing and Speech.