This past summer for my intern project with the non-profit organization CASA, I assumed the role of point of contact with the client. The other four interns and I had weekly meetings with the client. One of my fellow interns would email the client the agenda for the meeting prior to the Zoom and I would run through our accomplishments for the week, goals for the upcoming week, as well as answer any questions the client had. Our first two meetings with the client did not go very smoothly and we quickly learned the importance of an agenda, as well as one spokesperson. This allowed me to develop a trusting and open relationship with the client which was critical for our project. My insights about leadership allowed me to feel confident in this role and not be intimidated to ,at times, push the client in order to gain resources to further help our final deliverables for them.
Additionally, I was in charge of the interviews for our intern project. I conducted four interviews over the course of the summer with former CASA volunteers, a foster/resource and adoptive mom, and current CASA volunteers. During these interviews, we all had our cameras off and the other four interns were on mute the entire time. I was in charge of contacting the people we interviewed to schedule a time for the interview, coming up with questions before the interview and asking the questions during the interview. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and is a non-profit organization that provides support to children who are in the foster care system. The topic is very emotional and at times can be difficult to talk about. The advocates and foster/resource mom have been through, and seen so much, with the youths they have advocated for. It was important that I made them feel comfortable and supported during the interviews so they were able to share as much as they felt comfortable. After the interviews, I would go through and listen to the audio and then pull out quotes that would be useful for our project. Some common themes I looked for quotes for were their biggest challenges as a CASA, what motivated them to become CASAs, and how are CASAs respected in the court room. The interviews, in addition to our research, served as our main source of content for our final deliverables. After each interview we were able to come together, look at the quotes I had pulled out and start creative brainstorming. I really enjoyed getting to know each of the four individuals we interviewed and was grateful for how open they were with me about their experience with CASA and the foster care system. I loved being the one to speak to and engage with them and think my interview skills improved tremendously as the summer went on.