People may have their own assumptions of what an intern in today’s society should be doing. What kind of work should they be required to do? How many hours? Should they be getting paid? Decaf or two sugars with your coffee?
My name is Jawann McBeth, Communication & Media Arts major and rising senior at Montclair State University. I’ve lived in Mercer County, New Jersey my entire life and all those years I never knew The Electrochemical Society was just a few miles up the road. Being the newest member of ECS as a Development and Membership Intern, the last few weeks have been a transformative experience like none I have had in the past. I mean that both literally and figuratively.
I am actually transforming membership information from hard copy, sometimes ancient documents that date back to 1902, into a digital database that will allow files to be maintained permanently without the fear of missing or damaged documents. This project encompasses the scanning and organization of all of their membership information, such as application forms, resumes, change of address notifications and any other miscellaneous paperwork relevant to each member.
As I work on one of the biggest projects of my internship, I wonder to myself how could such a substantial organization with members such as Thomas Edison and H. H. Dow have been so far under my radar? Yet, what is most surprising about the organization is not how little people may know about the Society, but how much the work of the members is an integral part of most people’s daily lives.
ECS is a non-profit organization with a mission “to advance theory and practice at the forefront of electrochemical and solid state science and technology, and allied subjects. To encourage research, discussion, critical assessment, and dissemination of knowledge in these fields, the Society holds meetings, publishes scientific papers, fosters training and education of scientists and engineers, and cooperates with other organizations to promote science and technology in the public interest.” If you find that difficult to digest, worry not, in simpler terms their goal is to improve what already exists and innovate through the science of electricity and chemistry. Still having trouble? Look down – see that? It’s most likely your phone, or your laptop, or some sort of battery powered device. Essentially that has the science of “The Electrochemical Society” written all over and inside it.
Stay tuned as ECS continues to help create advances in solid state and electrochemical technology and science that will continue to improve the world’s standard of living. As an intern, I am sometimes stuck doing tasks that might be considered monotonous, trivial or grunt work, but here at ECS, my work matters because I am helping a non-profit organization with efficient documentation and organization of its members.
Upcoming Internship Opportunity for Fall 2015
Interested in non-profit association management, marketing, communications or development? Live near Pennington, NJ? If you are looking for an internship or graduate assistantship, contact Beth Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.