JVN’s Intern Mike says goodbye (almost!)

Mike, JVN (nearly ex-) intern

All good things must come to an end.  And for JVN it’s sadly time to wave off our fantastic Intern Mike. So over to Mike with his reflections of his time at JVN…

If you scroll to the bottom of the Internships page of the JVN website, you’ll see an advert: ‘JVN is looking for an Intern with a passion for words, volunteering and social networking to support and promote JVN’s work’. Which for the past three months has been me!  But the time has come for me to move on, which for me means taking up an internship in the office of Lord Janner.  However, I won’t be disappearing entirely and will be around for the next few months to help out with the Sixth Form Volunteering Fairs, the Yoni Jesner Award Scheme and the work that JVN does to help the JCLG with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mike with Leonie Lewis at the JVN, Lead and Adam Science Foundation Trustee Leadership Drive

I’ve got to be honest – I didn’t know what to expect when starting at JVN.  It was my first full-time job, so to speak, and the transition from lazy ne’er-do-well university student to responsible adult was a bit of a shock to the system!  I wouldn’t have managed it so well without the support of the JVN team and everyone else I worked with from the wide range of charities and schools who were always friendly and patient with me.  I know it’s a cliché, but I never felt that I was “the intern”, I was a valued member of a team that makes a real difference to people’s lives – not just the JVN staff, or even the volunteers, but of the whole Jewish social action community and beyond.  

Working at JVN has been a great experience.  I‘ve developed a set of useful skills: from a professional telephone manner and creating educational booklets to presenting to hundreds of young people.  It’s also given me more of a direction to my life: broadening the answer to a question that has plagued me for a while – “What can you do with an MA in Politics?”* Not only is the charity sector a great environment to work in, but I’ve found the work to be genuinely enjoyable and interesting.  So while I will be spending half the week in politics for the next few months, I can definitely see myself working professionally for a charity in the future – watch this space!

Happy JVN & JFS 6th Form Volunteering Fair!

If I had to pick a stand-out moment from my internship, it would have to be standing in the JFS theatre giving a presentation on 6th Form volunteering, nearly five years after being in the same audience for my graduation.  It felt odd to think I’d been gone for that long and yet also fantastic to present to that number of people.  Now, another new experience beckons from within the walls of Westminster and tackling other new challenges. 

So now JVN are looking for a new intern.  And I can’t recommend the position highly enough, especially to fresh university graduates and gap year students.  You’ll get great experience of handling and being responsible for your own projects, you’ll be a valued part of a very professional, knowledgeable and friendly team, and you’ll also make some great contacts in the charity and voluntary sectors.  If this sounds appealing to you, I urge you to get in touch – you won’t regret it!

*Mike is far too modest to mention his Distinction – Mazel tov!

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Categories: JVN News, Volunteering, Volunteering Perspectives

Author:Mike

Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.

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  1. A degree of uncertainty – how internships changed my life | The Jewish Volunteering Network Blog - April 12, 2012

    […] Interning for JVN has given me first-hand experience of the charity sector, a new direction to my previously vague career plans and, most importantly of all, the experience I need to get started.  I would thoroughly recommend interning almost anywhere to any fresh graduate who is unsure of where they want their professional life to go.  Sure there’s the odd boring day, and, chances are, you won’t get paid a huge amount, if anything bar travel and lunch money.  But you get three invaluable things for free: […]

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