How To Excel Both On and Off Campus
Tanvi Varma '19
This past summer, I had an internship that involved managing the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sector for the company I worked for. This entailed single-handedly putting together a low-cost social event to get a head start on fundraising for the annual Light the Night Walk in October. Though it was difficult asking organizations to donate, and a challenge overseeing and executing every aspect of the event flawlessly, the overall experience taught me qualities that are useful in my daily life as a student at Occidental.
Time-management is useful in both academics and in extracurricular activities like internships. Sophomore year started in full-swing, which meant there was no transition period. Professors assign numerous pages of reading on a daily basis and maintain high overall expectations. It can seem daunting if time is ineffectively managed. Time-management stems from organization, which aids in planning. Organization and time-management are like a checklist of when things get done, which is really important when you have multiple things due for multiple classes.
Through the internship, I also learned how to reach a wider audience, which is often utilized in the promotion of events on Oxy’s campus. It means using every form of social media to get an individual’s voice heard and the message across. In addition, it can be useful in raising awareness on important issues.
One club that touches my heart is the Colleges Against Cancer club, which partners with the American Cancer Society. Last year, I was initially on the committee for raising awareness, but ended up leaving because I did not know how to engage individuals in the topic of cancer. The summer internship helped me realize that reaching a wider audience goes beyond the generic information and involves adding a personal element to why an issue or cause is important to you. It instilled me with the confidence to share my personal battle with cancer, instead of being ashamed and hiding it. I now also feel more comfortable discussing cancer with others, which is the essence of my Topics in Cancer Biology class, instead of completely changing the topic. Revealing my success story helped in raising awareness as well as in fundraising. This year, I hope to continue the spread of awareness through the Colleges Against Cancer club, and look forward to utilizing the fundraising strategies from this summer to raise money for the upcoming Relay for Life Walk.
While my internship was only four weeks, the instilled qualities such as time-management, organization, reaching a wider audience, and confidence are ones that can be implemented in all aspects of daily life in my years here at Oxy.