Internship. A feared word by some undergraduates and recent graduates as well. I myself have felt anxiety and so have my classmates at the idea of countless hours of work that may or may not benefit us in the future. However, my experience as an intern with Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now has been different, it has been helpful not just to my future career but also to me as a person.
So who am I? My name is Margaret Morris, a senior at East Carolina University with a double concentration in Public Relations and Media Studies. Graduating in the fall of 2014, I decided that this spring I would have to take the plunge into the internship world of free labor and nervously anticipate what reward I would receive for my time and effort.
Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now was not my first choice but the opportunity fell into place at the right time during the fall semester of 2013. So with an eager and anxious outlook I set out to complete my internship. I was to be the new Public Relations Assistant at ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now.
ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now is a nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to creating a community that actively works toward abolishing human trafficking locally and globally. Based out of Farmville, NC ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now is relentless in providing education to the general public regarding human trafficking, encouragement to legislators and law enforcement to help fight human trafficking, collaborating with other anti-trafficking and victim-assistance efforts, and expanding the local markets for Fair Trade merchandise.
I can say all of the above with ease now, and explain everything in detail, but at first things were different. Looking back I was uneducated regarding human trafficking and unprepared for the stories and testimonies that exist. Human trafficking is a widespread problem that is happening all around the world and in North Carolina.
On the first day of my internship Pam Strickland, founder of ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now, sat me down in her office, which was piled high with news articles and hand outs, to show me stories about labor and sex trafficking around the world, across the United States, and in North Carolina.
I was emotionally and mentally exhausted during my first couple weeks of internship. The stories of women, men, girls and boys being forced into labor and sex trafficking was something I did not know how to handle but as time went on things changed. I developed a passion and desire to do what I could to educate others about human trafficking, understanding that was a way I could help make a difference.
As a result, through my daily duties at my internship, which include press releases and social media management, I see new opportunities to tell others about what they can do to fight human trafficking. This internship has given me a cause and a reason to work. To know that what I am doing might one day touch a person’s life in a big way is inspiring.
Of course I might be doing that through one blog post, tweet, Facebook status, or press release at a time but I still find it rewarding. Creating awareness is something I can do despite my college life of 19 credit hours and another internship.
Yes, some of you would agree that I’m crazy. Especially knowing that I decided to take on not only one but two internships in the same semester. But I have come to look at the word internship with a whole different meaning. My internship with ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now has given me a cause to fight for and a good feeling when I finish the day. My internship is almost finished now and they are looking for a replacement, so how about you? Are you willing to give your time over to help fight for a good cause? Or does the word internship still make you nervous?
– Margaret Morris, Intern and Federal Work Study Student for Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now