After five full weeks of interning and almost three full weeks without a Membership Coordinator, I believe that the other intern and I have made quite the contribution. On top of the daily tasks we were already completing independently, we have managed to keep the membership mailings, communications, and finances running relatively smoothly. The things we were trained in, but would “probably never have to do” have become our weekly projects. With the end of the fiscal year this past weekend, Carter and I have been working diligently to ensure that all of our records, donations, and department finances are in order. Our former boss’ work was effectively split between the two of us, excluding only that which temporary employees are not cleared to handle (credit card payments, major donor meetings, etc.) I’ve personally handled all of the membership mailings from the past two weeks, including about 230 membership packages. I have also spent the past week editing the new mailing templates and letters for board members or major donors.
Carter and I are frankly shocked and honored by how much trust the Director of Development has in us. A month ago, our work was consistently reviewed, or we acted as a third or fourth set of eyes when it came to editing or financial practices. Now, most of our work is self-directed, especially as we head into the holiday weekend and the office is relatively empty. Currently, we’re tasked with preparing most of the materials for the upcoming board meeting, something we probably would have helped to edit, but not done in its entirety. While the statistics have not yet been confirmed, this past year has been incredible for the museum, and our work with memberships has kept things on track, even while the Membership Coordinator’s position remains vacant until our new candidate works out a start date.
Frankly, I believe my work ethic and attention to detail has ensured that things have run smoothly when it comes to memberships. I was trained well, including those things I “probably wouldn’t have to do,” and I’m sure my and Carter’s experiences will be instrumental as we transition a new Membership Coordinator. We have also assisted the new Grant Writer in the department with his research and transition, acting as a second and third set of eyes to edit communications and understand the museum’s past, present, and future relationships. In such a transitional time, it’s very easy to learn new skills and apply whatever talents we interns have to what the department needs. For example, I have a much better eye for editing than finances, so I usually handle communications, while Carter handles the donations. My experience with the museum also allows me to pull from what I picked up on from the past four months, before we had such little supervision, whereas Carter only had about three weeks with a direct supervisor. I have a better handle on some of the “unwritten” aspects of the job, so it’s been a bit easier for me to handle issues as they arise in our day-to-day work. Carter and I are both working hard, given the circumstances, but we’ve found a good balance for our talents and the demands of our supervisor’s vacant position.