Say Hey! for Interns: An Intern’s Perspective

July 14, 2022 – Let’s celebrate interns. Let’s recognize the ecstatic feeling of success when achieving something new. Let’s introduce a community of peers to share this with.  

My name is Bethel Sishu, Partners in Diversity’s intern. My primary work this summer is to support the staff on community projects and events. The last five weeks have been filled with meetings, events, and introductions, so I was excited for my first Partners in Diversity event, Say Hey! for Interns. The theme for this year’s event centered on the importance of diversity in the outdoors, a subject dear to my wellness regimen. 

From set up to clean up, I felt welcomed by my team and was encouraged to interact with my peers. What I experienced was community building at work, with other interns practicing networking at a comfortable pace and inclusive place. Events such as these are uncommon outside of educational institutions and led me to meet an intern from the University of Michigan while catching up with classmates from the University of Oregon. Connections like these can support long-term recruitment within Oregon and create a community of mutuals, a group of people connected by similarities. 

In my previous role, I worked in university career services, and my biggest takeaway was how important connections are. By attending Say Hey! for Interns, particularly post-pandemic, I recognized how important this experience was for an intern’s professional development. Learning about the various organizations and roles of other interns was exciting, allowing us to share our interests and career goals. Being able to share what my role entailed, and Partners in Diversity mission, was heartwarming, because other interns appreciated the work being done, even expressing interest in becoming a member. The DJ received many compliments and the special activity on LinkedIn generated huge engagement—both topics acting as conversation starters throughout the evening. Everyone’s openness introduced a community that can share hardships and successes together, and in some cases build new friendships along the way.  

collection of photos of diverse groups of people

A special thanks to Portland Timbers FC, Portland Thorns FC, KEEN Footwear, Pacific Power, and Wieden+Kennedy for sponsoring the event.

Bethel Sishu is a student at the University of Oregon. She is majoring in planning, public policy, and management, with a minor in Black studies.