Due to my athletic schedule, study-abroad program, and my student visa, I landed up having to take Sophomore Summer off (that is, I'm not taking classes this term unlike most of my peers). Sophomore Summer is a Dartmouth tradition and I was very upset about having to be "off" and not in Hanover when the rest of my class was, but I began to talk to some people on my team and in my sorority and they recommended doing a "Hanover FSP". "FSP" is Dartmouth lingo for foreign study program and "Hanover FSP" is the term that Dartmouth students use when you stay in Hanover for a term but don't take classes. I began to apply for internships that were located in Hanover and was accepted into the Council of Advancement and Support of Education Internship Program!
Better known as CASE, this company focuses on advancement and developement in higher education. I get to work in Dartmouth's Alumni Relation's department which is located right on campus! In my role, I am exploring two seperate projects. The first project is centered around student engagement with alumni. I get to create a program of events and activities that will hopefully be implemented to help students meet and connect with alumni during their four years in Hanover! My second project is about young alumni engagement. While I obviously haven't graduated college yet, I am working on developing strategies that help recent graduates feel as engaged with Dartmouth and Hanover as they were when they were on campus. To do this I am actually interviewing a lot of recent graduates and analyzing their opinion on what it is like to be a Dartmouth alum.
This past week, CASE flew all of the participants of the internship program, 100 students across the country, to Washington, DC. During the three day conference, we learned more about advancement and fundraising at higher education institutions. We also had workshops on networking and resume building -- two things that are extremely important as I enter my last two years of college. My most favourite activity of the weekend was our visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We had a program there, and the opportunity to explore the museum on our own, an incredibly humbling experience. I was also to meet some incredible students from across the country, who I will no doubt stay in touch with!
I am four weeks into my internship and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Every season in Hanover is beautiful but Dartmouth in the summer is an amazing place to be. Not only is the landscape green and in full bloom, the College offers some incredible programming and events for the students on campus. Because there are fewer students on campus, many of these events, from corporate recruiting to hiking groups, are much smaller and more personal.
In addition, working in alumni relations has taught me about a side of Dartmouth I never had thought about. As a high school student exploring colleges, it is hard to see past the next four years. Dartmouth's alumni network is a loyal, connected body that is dedicated to the school and to each other. Knowing that when you graduate that your Dartmouth community will always be there to support you in any aspect of your life, makes me excited for life after Hanover. And as our alma mater so eloquently puts it: Though around the girdled earth they roam, her spell on them remains. They have the still North in their hearts, the hill winds in their veins, and the granite of New Hampshire in their muscles and their brains.