SPO recently concluded its first Summer Internship Program: a two-month immersion experience into SPO National Headquarters for two students currently involved in SPO Chapters. For its inaugural year, SPO welcomed Emily Giannini from New Jersey and Max Timko from Ohio.
On all accounts, the Summer Internship Program was a success. National Headquarters staff gained valuable assistance during its busiest administrative season, while interns were able to interact with staff at all levels, including the SPO Executive Team, gleaning valuable professional insights as they begin planning for their own careers.
More than Work
Emily, a senior at Seton Hall University, noted that the experience provided her with a big-picture understanding of what it takes to operate a growing national organization:
"I quickly gained a higher sense of appreciation for those working behind the screens," Emily reflected. "I found myself sorting through and documenting the development archives, along with the impressive influx of new gifts generated by this year’s Missionaries. Not to mention the added bonus of helping out with Household finance activities for Households around the country! This was enough to fill my days, and only a fraction of the ongoing operations in the office."
Before being accepted into the Summer Internship Program, Max, a senior at The Ohio State University, had been working a job that provided lots of money, but little time for prayer. He was especially grateful for the opportunity to reorder his routine:
"The rhythm of my days were beautiful," Max recalled. "I woke up for a run at 5:00 (which combined my two worst fears from home), had breakfast and a shower by 6:30, Morning Prayer, Mass, and work Morning Prayer by 9:00. The whole work day I was sustained by the knowledge that my role, though trivial at times, helped to further campus outreach and ultimately the Kingdom."
Apart from their work, both Max and Emily were most impacted by the community into which they were enveloped during their two-month stay.
"Aside from the work I was doing," said Emily, "the most memorable aspect of the internship was the office environment and the sense of community they have built with one another. Everyone welcomed Max and me with open arms, exciting games and conversation over lunch, and various staff outings: a Saints game, a lake day, and much more! In addition to this, Max and I were also invited into events associated with the local covenant community, the Community of Christ the Redeemer. From prayer meetings to young adult Lord’s Days, it was great to witness community life and the support staff members are able to receive outside of the office."
"I have played frisbee golf, basketball, volleyball, Beans, up and down the river, Carbles, and dominoes," listed Max. "I sang, played bongos, guitar, drum set, and piano. I attended a small brass quintet concert, rode on a pontoon boat, spent all day reading in a hammock, ate jelly Bismarks, met foreign exchange students, practiced Spanish, conversed on Ignatian Spirituality, made spaghetti and meatballs, developed an affection for ramen, and swing-danced the night away. And all of these I had come across through Jesus in other people."
While SPO would have loved to keep both interns for a longer period of time (there is still so much work to be done!), both had to depart for the School of the New Evangelization and then return to their campuses to complete their schooling. SPO extends its heartfelt thanks to these pioneering interns, and anticipates expanding the Summer Internship Program in 2018.