After a rigorous interview process and much anticipation of June 6th to arrive, to be finally beginning my first week at the Rutgers University Foundation through the SIDAR program was a daunting task. A mix of nerves and excitement for the day had crept in as I walked towards Winants Hall, and as I ascended the stairs of one of the oldest buildings on our illustrious campus I realized that whatever awaited me on the second floor would be how I’d be spending the next ten weeks of my life.
As I stepped foot on the landing I was greeted quickly by the phenomenal members of the SIDAR team who are piloting the program at the foundation, and I was quickly ushered into a circle of people who I would find out were my SIDAR colleagues. In some ways, my fellow interns and I are guinea pigs for this program. There will be excellent SIDAR cohorts who may come after us, but we are trailblazers here at the Rutgers University Foundation who’ve joined only a select few other prestigious universities in developing a program like this to advance higher education development and fundraising through internships.
Knowing we are all together this summer may be the first common thread amongst our group, but almost instantly we were able to weave together more sophisticated threads that tied each other together and began to make up the tapestry for which Rutgers University proudly flies its flag. Being amongst those phenomenal people I knew that we were capable of great things, and in a week we’ve already built strong relationships with one another. I would be remiss to discuss my first week at the Rutgers University Foundation without mentioning the incredible colleague working with me at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Christine DeSpirito. Almost instantly that first day on the landing of Winants Hall while discussing our program with our incomparable unit leader, Denise Gavala, we formed a bond that has made our first week so successful. Christine and I have been tasked with a project that requires our constant attention, creativity and ingenuity. To this end, Denise has given us the guidance to set forth on this mission and learn as much as we can in these coming ten weeks.
An internship is only as good as those who prepare the program, those who lead the interns and the interns themselves. To have been selected for this program I know how talented my peers are, and I know how hard we all will work. I am spending my summer working on meaningful projects, surrounded by dedicated members of the Rutgers community, working alongside people that I can already tell I’m going to be friends with for a lifetime. To say all of this after only a week on the job is an indication of how incredible this experience will be the rest of the summer.
SIDAR, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences