19 Nov 2021
I am a senior majoring in Global Studies and will be graduating in Spring 2022. After looking into different degrees, like nursing, I decided on Global Studies because I wanted to graduate with a degree that would equip me with the skills to work collaboratively with others, and in turn, improve quality of life around the world. My desire to improve the lives of others is what led me to Military REACH.
This past summer while researching internships for the fall, I came across Military REACH. It immediately jumped out to me as a way to learn new skills and to better understand families. My hope was that this internship would challenge me in ways that I have yet to explore, but also allow me to bring my current strengths to the team and make a lasting impact. From my first meeting with the team, I immediately felt welcome. However, when I first started working with the team, I felt unqualified because I had never worked in research, but they were encouraging and helpful along the way.
While working with Military REACH, I’ve strengthened my research and writing skills by working on several projects. I’ve assisted with research reports focused on military spouse employment and the Exceptional Family Member Program; I also co-authored a Family Focus article titled “Spouses and Pre-Deployment: Are You Ready?”. Additionally, I’ve aided professionals in their work with military families as part of our current Efficacy Study. I’ve also been able to utilize my strengths in social media marketing to bring new ideas to the team related to their outreach efforts. Specifically, we created an Instagram account, and we began experimenting with new graphics.
Even though it has only been a short time, I feel like I have learned so many valuable skills through my internship. I am thankful for the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and grow in many ways. Working with Military REACH has given me the opportunity to understand families in a more in-depth way, and although we do not typically work with families directly, we can have an impact on their lives. I have learned about family dynamics and functioning, especially related to military families and the number of unique challenges they face (e.g., deployments, frequent relocations). Working with Military REACH has also opened my eyes to how strong and resilient military families are, regardless of how many challenges and roadblocks they may face.