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A Day in the Life: Three DonorsChoose.org Operations Interns- Kyle, Lauren, and Jamie

Jamie (9:45 AM) This summer, I’m living at Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan which is at the northern part of the lower east side. I can take the subway to work if I want (there’s a stop only 3 blocks from my building), but the weather is always nice in the morning so I prefer to walk. It takes about 45 minutes, but it’s good exercise and much more visually stimulating than the subway. When I get to the office, I throw my lunch in the fridge, then starting sorting through my email in-box. This can take awhile but it gives me an insightful look into the daily goings on at DonorsChoose.org.
Kyle (9:50 AM) I take a seat at my desk and begin to devour my colossal coffee. I first check my computer and a column of emails flows down the screen. A bolded one catches my eye, “Cupcakes in the Batcave!” My swivel chair glides into my desk as I scramble into the other room for my morning treat.
Lauren (10:15 AM) I was running a little late to DonorsChoose.org today due to a train delay on the LIRR and my obsession with Starbucks. It turns out I wasn’t the only one with the need for a caramel macchiato because the line was out the door snaking down 8th avenue. After finally getting my morning boost of energy, I was off to start my day.
Kyle (10:30 AM) My laugh breaks the silence of the office as Lauren and I ‘Skype’ each other from across the room.
Kyle (11:05 AM) I am just about finished creating a spreadsheet for the FAQs I edited for the website. DonorsChoose.org is currently in the process of revising and enhancing the website, and by updating the FAQs I got a better sense of what the new features might look like for both teachers and donors alike. I learned an incredible amount of information about the process and policies of the organization by immersing myself directly into the site. I’m also a total nerd about editing, so I had a lot of fun helping out.
Lauren (11:45 AM) I just had a meeting with my manager about my progress thus far with a project I have been working on, which involves building out and further developing out Internship Program. We went over advertising/publicity spreadsheets, an exit survey I created for when the interns leave, and the questionnaire feedback I created after having read and analyzed the historical data. I’ve gotten great feedback and constructive criticism that enables me to expand my ideas and enhance my work. Oh! Time to head to lunch with Kyle at Amici’s Café around the corner!
Jamie (12:30 PM) Today my managers met with me to go over one of my upcoming projects. I’ve been assigned the task of getting our vendors to update their online catalogs so that when teachers are picking materials for their proposals, they can browse through the latest products. We discuss which vendors require the update and strategized a few methods I will use to complete the update. After the meeting, it’s time for my favorite part of the day–lunch! Mine usually consists of one turkey sandwich, a bag of chips, one bowl of 99 cent Thai style soup from Trader Joes, and a bottle of water. Lunch time in “Batcave,” also known as our welcome center, is the interns daily meeting spot and a welcome break from our various assignments.
Kyle (12:30 PM) The best time of the day has arrived! I ‘Skype’ Lauren that it’s time for lunch, and we simultaneously get our wallets out and head for the elevator. After creating unique combinations from the salad bar at Amici’s, we head back to the Batcave to catch up with the other interns.
Kyle (2:00 PM) I decide to spend the rest of my afternoon screening teacher proposals. I always enjoy doing this (besides the editing part!) because it gives me a glimpse into the wide range of diversity there is in each public school classroom. I’ve seen projects from a simple request for pencils with erasers to wild science projects, like owl pellets to dissect.
Lauren (2:30 PM) I just finished writing my 5th journal for a class I am taking that is going along with my internship. I write one every week explaining to my professor the work I have completed, any problems I have run into, exciting news etc.
Jamie (2:30 PM) After talking with our office manager, I head back to my desk to work on one of my ongoing projects: creating an updated version of our “Master Vendor List.” The list is a collection of information about all of our vendors and it is my job to create a new version with updated information, which incorporates a user-friendly interface that the whole office can use. This requires gathering information from a variety of people, but everyone in the office is always more then happy to help me out.
Lauren (4:30 PM) I am just about ready to leave the office for the day. Kyle and I are leaving together so we can go shopping on West 36th St. before heading home. A few stores seem to be calling our names!
Kyle (4:30 PM) I leave early with Lauren to squeeze in a little NY shopping “therapy” before heading back to Hastings-on-Hudson, NY where I’m staying this summer. As we say goodbye, I am happily reminded how friendly and warm everyone in the office is.
Jamie (4:45 PM) I just received a text from one of my best friends from college demanding I meet him and our former roommate for dinner and drinks. I oblige and we decide to meet in Hells Kitchen after work. I lucked out this summer; both of my roommates from college have jobs in Manhattan so I get to see them at least a couple times every week. Around five o’clock, I finish up what I’m working on, say goodnight to my fellow colleagues, and head out to meet up with my friends after another successful day.

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