Students With Diabetes was founded to help young adults with Type 1 Diabetes transition from youth to adulthood in a safe, socially acceptable, and relevant way. Over the years, the mission of the organization has held true, but the vehicles it uses have grown in scope. One such vehicle is the Students With Diabetes Internship Program.
This program was developed to assist young people with professional skill development and confidence to create a generation of young adults committed to giving back in diabetes. The requirements in the program are simple: applicants must have Type 1 Diabetes, they will be selected through an application process, and once selected, they must be willing to write weekly blogs about their experience for Students With Diabetes during their internship.
In developing this program, the team underestimated the value of the blog requirement and how much growth we would see from our intern classes.
“Interning at JDRF gave me priceless professional skills and experience. I learned a lot about the workplace: what to expect in meetings, what to wear, communication skills, how to give a presentation, and the list goes on and on. I think the most significant thing I learned at JDRF is how much I love being in a professional setting. Everyone is mature, dedicated, and fun to be around. They pushed me to work harder and be successful. This internship made me re-evaluate my career path.. So much for feeling 100% confident about clinical psychology. I'm considering working for an organization like JDRF in the future!” – Jenni Maziel
Over the course of the program, three interns have received employment based on their internship experiences. Amy Ford, a 2014 JDRF Intern, is now blogging nationally with Insulin Nation because the editors noticed the blog Amy developed over the summer of her internship. She learned that she had a love of sharing in the blogosphere and connecting with people through her positive prose.
Robert Deptula, a 2013 Sanofi Intern, stunned his employer with his skills so much that he was invited back for the 2014 summer. (Our first repeat intern with a company!) Robert’s skills in finance and business management are equipping him for incredible things in the diabetes business industry.
Jenni Maziel, a 2014 JDRF Intern, applied for a JDRF position in Washington, D.C. upon completing her internship and blew away the competition with her organizational knowledge, work ethic, and professional skills.
In all of these examples, the blogs of these young people played significant roles in their ability to secure their next positions. Social media, social connectivity, and social marketing is increasingly important in the professional setting and we are proud that our interns are discovering the value of balancing personal and professional views in a public format.
We are two years into this special program with 30 young people trained, and we are looking ahead to summer 2015. There will be 30 positions available for young people in 2015 – that is more than $70,000 in summer employment from diabetes companies. The application process is open now and will close on Dec. 1. 2014.
One thing that will expand in our intern leadership skill training is the use of social media for social good and professional development. We are convinced that the development of this skill is necessary in the professional landscape.
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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