Getting Hands-On

A typical college internship may consist of coffee runs, note-taking, and a made-up project designed to teach you something—but nothing long lasting.  This is NOT the case at HandsOn Central Ohio (HOCO).  Unlike the current internships my friends have, my first two weeks at HOCO have been exciting and invigorating!  No coffee runs, no busy work.  Contributing to the Resource Management Department, my task is to update the training and procedural manual, and spend face-to-face time with some of the agencies we serve.

The first week of my fellowship was spent discovering all the different programs that make up HOCO. Listening in on the 2-1-1 and Foodline calls, I heard first-hand the innumerable ways that HOCO is helping the community.  Meeting with the leads of programs such as Dental Options and the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, I also began to see how HOCO gets out and into the community directly.  After getting my bearings, it was time to jump in!

No dilly-dallying and no made-up projects for the intern. As a fellow, I have come to understand that my job here holds a considerable amount of responsibility.  The training and procedural manual will be used for years to come and during a period of re-accreditation.  At first, this was intimidating; could I handle the challenge?  But as I complete the first section of the manual, I am already feeling confident.  The staff here is more than welcoming and helps answer all of my questions.   I am proud to be producing something I know will make their lives easier.

As of now, the office is bustling with anticipation as the week arrives when a new database will be put to use. The call specialists will now have a more user-friendly system at their fingertips, giving them additional opportunities to help callers. Being at HOCO during these times of change is showing me all that goes into the operations of a non-profit.

Already I have met with the various departments at HOCO, attended a presentation at Children’s Hospital, volunteered to represent HOCO at a housing event, completed a section of the manual, helped prepare for the database switch, and enjoyed a delicious board luncheon!  Needless to say, I am doing a lot and loving every new experience.  I already feel passionate about advancing the mission of HandsOn Central Ohio and what they offer to the Central Ohio community.  I can only imagine what I will encounter in the weeks to come…

Laine – HandsOn Central Ohio

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