If today, sitting at your computer, you decided to Google the phrase “why I love my internship,” you would get around one hundred and twenty-four million results.

If you were to read some of the most popular articles, you’d find reasoning along the lines of “I love my internship because it gave me real-world experience,” or “it helped me decide what career I want to go into,” or “it looked really good on my resume.” You’d hear such buzz phrases as “taken seriously,” “real work,” and “exciting schedule.”

It’s true when I say that my internship with the Feminist Majority Foundation provided all these things and more. But I’m happy to say that my internship really wasn’t your typical experience.

The first reason has to do with the movement itself. Within women’s rights there are many niches of organizations and smaller movements working towards other things. The term ‘women’s rights’ is simply an umbrella, and under it are so many other issues (reproductive rights, gender based violence, human trafficking, etcetera) that are being worked on. And yet all the organizations and all the people involved in all the issues that qualify as ‘women’s rights issues’ tend to stick together. We hold events together. We have meetings with each other. We attend rallies together. It’s a great way to find solidarity and thus people to create lasting connections with (can you say Sunday brunch?), not to mention the unparalleled organizational advantage it lends us as a movement.

So I say that not only did my internship give me a network, but a family. I’ve met countless women at meetings that have not only reached out to me as coworkers, but mentors. I’ve had coffee with them, I’ve had lunch with them, and I’ve developed valuable friendships with them. Even the feminist politicians and public figures I’ve met have been as warm and welcoming as the staff members, encouraging me to visit when I’m nearby and keep in touch.

That’s not just business.

My internship supervisors have also been more understanding and personable than I could ever ask for. When I was undergoing housing difficulties during my first few months, FMF senior staff sat down with my supervisor and spent hours making phone calls to find me a new place.

That’s not just business.

When I went home to visit and address a family situation, my supervisor sent me e-mails about what I’d missed (“and I wish you could have been there!”) and encouraged me to reach out if I needed any help at all.

That’s not just business.

In the women’s right’s movement, ‘solidarity’ is a word we value, and it’s a word that’s been proven true in my time here. Coming to DC was a big, scary step for me, and I wasn’t sure how it would go. I was able to take a semester off without conflict because I began college early, but that came with the fact that I’m eighteen years old in a city full of older interns, and I didn’t know how that would play out either. I don’t have big city experience, and I was nervous – to say the least. But in this internship and in finding my feminist family, I’ve been able to find myself. Outside of a school setting, I think people grow into themselves, but here, I truly believe I’ve been able to grow into my best self possible.

I cannot express fully in words how happy I am to have chosen Feminist Majority Foundation, and how happy I am that they chose me.

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Jade Reindl

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