By Morgan Christie, Ohio Wesleyan
After my chapter’s PR Chairman announced my summer internship news, I was bombarded with the “what will you be doing?” question above all others. My answer: “Well, I actually don’t really know.” Whoops! In the whirlwind process of interviewing and accepting my position, I might have forgotten to ask about my specific duties. Thus, it goes without saying that I came into the Education Department a blank slate, clueless about how my full-time summer job was going to play out.
Despite my uncertainty about my intern duties, transitioning into my role as Education Intern was smooth and easy. During my first day, I was given a list of projects that spanned all areas of Kappa’s educational programming—Leadership Academy, GIRLS Academy, leadTODAY, training workshops, online courses, and website content.
When it comes to educational programming, I was surprised by the breadth of our programs but also by their depth. I quickly learned that Kappa’s educational programs were numerous and needed countless hours of preparation in order to be successful; it seems like the planning never stops.
Leadership Academy chapter participants are chosen in March, over six months before LA even takes place. From there, the Education Department works on finding facilitators, planning travel, updating the event schedule, organizing groups, packing materials, finding alumnae participants– the list goes on and on. GIRLS Academy takes just as much work, including pouring through post-event evaluations, updating the curriculum, working with the chapters, and packing supply bins to be shipped across the country.
In addition to planning, my internship was a lesson in collaboration. Due to the volunteer-driven nature of Kappa and the Foundation-funded structure of our educational programs, so much of what the Education Department does is in collaboration with other individuals. The most obvious way in which this happens manifests itself in the partnership between the education staff and Kappa volunteers. Facilitators for Leadership Academy, Kappa Trainers, GIRLS Academy, and leadTODAY are all trained alumnae who give up their time to give back to Kappa. Without these volunteers, our educational programs would not be possible. The relationships built between the staff and the volunteers runs deep, as most volunteers have been members of the Kappa family for years.
Collaboration also occurs between the Fraternity and the Foundation. The Education Department lives within the Fraternity, but every single one of our educational programs are funded by the Foundation. The Foundation makes it possible for the Fraternity to develop leadership skills within its active and alumnae members, provide middle school girls with a program focused around a values-based curriculum, and bring alumnae and actives together to foster new growth within our chapters. In thinking about how to provide members with lifelong learning, the relationship between the Fraternity and the Foundation becomes so much more important.
Overall, my internship experience has been phenomenal. I was able to connect with a number of ambitious and inspiring women, learn so much more about the daily operations of our organization, and see the ways in which Kappas interact with the Fraternity long after their collegiate days. My time at headquarters has reminded me what our organization can do for its members and has proven to me just how lucky I am to be a Kappa Kappa Gamma.