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An Intern’s Guide to Starting at DOROT

Over the course of the summer, DOROT College Interns are contributing content to our website and social media to share their experiences. 

While my first day at DOROT was only a few weeks ago, I have been welcomed with open arms to DOROT and what they have to offer. As a college student, it is overwhelming to begin a job for the summer with new coworkers in a new environment, especially after the pandemic where social interaction was very minimal. However, from the first five minutes on Zoom with Sharon Stahl and Miranda Perez (from DOROT’s Volunteer Services Department), I immediately knew that my place at DOROT would be appreciated, valued, and somewhere where I enjoy working every day.

One of the first things you should know about interning at DOROT is that you matter! In some organizations, working as an intern means doing the busy work that other people don’t want to do. However, at DOROT you are a valued employee with your own tasks and responsibilities. Other employees value your opinion so bring your ideas to the table without hesitation because you will be heard. One of the first things I was told is to be yourself because everyone has unique qualities and aspects that will only add to the organization.

Throughout orientation, my worry was that I was going to enter something into a database incorrectly, email the wrong person, or file the wrong information. While this worry does persist to this day, I am learning that as interns we are learning something new every day and that it is okay to make mistakes and ask for help.

Even though I have only been here a few weeks, I feel more comfortable in my position each day. I am aware that what I have to say has value and will be listened to regardless of the context. While some of my coworkers are older than me, they don’t perceive me to be someone who is less than them. As interns, we are told that we are an important part of the organization and are encouraged to share our ideas with everyone. DOROT is such an amazing community to be a part of as everyone has such appreciation for everyone involved whether that’s their employees, volunteers, or older adults. Working at DOROT has been an incredible opportunity where I continue to learn more about not only other generations, but I continue to learn more about myself. I am looking forward to the rest of the summer as an intern here.

- Emily Tillinger

Emily is a Junior at the University of Michigan majoring in sociology: law, justice and social change and minoring in education. Emily is interning in the Impact and Evaluation and Westchester Departments this summer.