Friday, August 28, 2009

Two and a half weeks out...

It's been a slow, yet busy last two weeks since I finished my internship at Starlight Children's Foundation in Chicago!! I had a surprising ending to my stay there. For one, I received a call early on Wed Aug 12 (my last day) from the principal at a school I was applying at. She wanted me to come in for an interview for the Literacy Aide position. The interesting thing was that the only time slot she had available was the following day, Thursday, at 1:15pm. YIKES! I agreed, called my mom and got arrangements made for my dad to pick me up by 7:30am the next day to head for MI! Going into my last day at Starlight, I announced that I was in a bit of a rush and would have to leave by 12:30 or 1:00pm so I could mentally prepare for my interview. The morning flew by and I made last minute notes and arrangements for the intern who would take my place in responsibilities. My boyfriend, James, was waiting for me down stairs at that point, coming off of an Amtrak train and I was glad to see him! We were able to walk the streets of Chicago for a few hours one last time, including taking pictures by Lake Michigan. (see the pics on my facebook)

We had a surprise 4th birthday party for the little girl I lived with and it was great fun!! After finishing some packing and mentally preparing myself for my interview the following day, James, Brenna, Naomi and I went to Navy Pier to watch the weekly fireworks display. It was quick and loud but worth my three month stay in Chicago. :)

The following day went fast... Got up early, put all my stuff upstairs by the door and ate a little bit to settle my churning stomach. My dad arrived shortly after 7 and we packed up, said our goodbyes, and drove four hours to MI!!! On the way, we got permission for me to get cleaned up at a friend's house before heading over to my interview. I confidently went in, interviewed for the job and left smiling with pride. By the end of the day, I was told I would know whether I had the job....

Back at my parent's house, I unpacked and breathed a sigh of relief that I was done. Sitting on the porch swing outdoors with James, I received the dreaded call. I did not receive the position :'( Fortunately, I had kept telling myself that even if I didn't get the postion, it was a great opportunity and I would learn from the experience. I sure did, though it was hard.

The next week or so was filled with job searching, resting, cleaning four years of stuff from my room, and trying to make it through one day at a time without a job. Currently, I have put in one more application at a school for two positions, so hopefully I can get an interview and just maybe, a job. :-D

Lots of waiting... yet still searching for jobs. Keep praying.. and I will keep you informed on the next phase of my life...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two days to go!

Time is flying by here in Chicago! I have just two days left at Starlight and I can hardly believe how much I've learned and grown in just three months. Big cities do that to a small-town girl, that is for sure! ;)

In just the past week, I've helped take reservations for events, send out confirmation letters and then see one event in action. The event was actually my internship project and I met 20 Starlight kids and their families at the Kane County Cougars baseball stadium for a game against the Clinton Lumberjacks. It was a good day for a game, including nice weather but unfortunately the Cougars lost 9-1 ouch! The evening ended well with fireworks though. :)

My job was to meet the families and hand out their tickets and food vouchers. The neat thing about Starlight is that, within their budget, they provide free events for the Starlight kids and their families. We often can get donated tickets to events or at least reduced priced tickets, which is what I did. There are quite a few minor league baseball teams in the area-- it's pretty cool. You should check one out sometime if you are ever in the Chicago area.

So for my last few days, I just have to tie up loose ends and make sure I transition out smoothly. There are three other inters still there so I can leave feeling that there is someone to continue what I've been working on (taking reservations and helping to plan events) and confidently walk away, having learned alot!! If you ever get the chance to work or intern in a big city, especially at a non-profit, I suggest doing so! There is so much to learn, not only about the organization, but also about city life and yourself... How YOU fit in to places, how you cope when you are lonely and what it means to have no money for three months.

My blog won't end here though... my goal is to continue to update it as I move into a real job (hopefully soon!) Thank you for your support thus far... your attentiveness is appreciated!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Last two weeks!!

Wow! It has been while, and I failed to realize how time is flying by!!
Since my last post, I've been doing a lot of work in the office, and only one other event has happened. I was suppose to go to Eli's Cheesecake on July 26th but it turns out there was not any need for my help, so Amy, the Program Services Coordinator went herself.
Last week, Wed around 12:30pm we got a call from a french woman (not kidding) who wanted to offer us 100 tickets to a horse show called Cavalia for THAT evening! Quickly, my day changed gears and I was instructed to send out an email to all the families with email addresses to invite them to the event. For the next three and a half hours, I received emails and phone calls from excited parents who wanted to attend. We filled up the 100 spots easily and the other three interns attended that night. The next day, the same thing happened, except we filled 44 spots and I got to go with the Executive Director. If you don't know about Cavalia you can check it out: It consists of horses trained to follow instructions from talented acrobats. It's slightly hard to explain but it is quite awe-inspiring and I really enjoyed going with the Starlight kids and their families.

That is the day in a life of a Starlight staff-- one day you expect to do one thing but within a few hours (or minutes, depending on the day) you are asked to do something completely out of the ordinary or unexpected. I like to be on my toes, so this experience has been good for me.

Let's see... office work still is part of the internship and I do that daily. Outside the office, I've been to a few more places. Kendra, my sister, visited a few weekends ago and we went to the Shedd Aquarium (pictures on facebook), ate at the famous Giordano's pizza, walked through Millenium and Grant park, and went to Navy Pier. All before hopping on a train to Michigan. The cool thing about the certain Amtrak train was that two of my friends, Emily and Tyler, were also on that exact train from Montana so I got to sit with Emily and catch up on our lives. :-D More adventures are bound to happen soon enough. This Saturday night I am taking 25 or so Starlight kids and their families to a Kane County Cougars minor league baseball game! I am excited to do it because I organized it all and it's been a great learning experience!

Next week I finish up my internship on Wednesday, I can hardly believe it! From there, I will be heading back to MI and hoping for the best in the job market. I have a few resumes out there, I just have to keep praying and let God do the rest. As you think of it, if you could include me in your prayers, I would appreciate it!

Even though, I haven't been to all these places yet, here are some suggested places to check out: -Shedd Aquarium, -Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), -John Hancock Center, -Lincoln Park Zoo (It's FREE!!), -Millenium Park (especially in the summer), -Grant Park (where Buckingham Fountain is located), -Any museum!, -Sporting events (Bears-football, Cubs-baseball, White Sox- baseball, Red Stars-soccer, Fire-soccer, Sky-baseketball...) -Chicago Symphony Orchestra, -Navy Pier, -SHOPPING :-D

I plan to continue my updates, even as I move away from Chicago and start other adventures in my life. I hope you are still interested in keeping up with my life... Let me know what's going on in your life too! I am interested to hear!!

Until the next time I remember to write...