In the summer of 2007, Jordi Friese was an unpaid intern at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (PMHF) in Toronto. She worked in the special events section of the foundation and had the opportunity to plan and attend some of the foundation’s fundraising events.
Why did you want to become an intern at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and how did you get the position?
Since I was about 14 years old, the majority of my fundraising has been for the PMHF because I know that cancer touches everyone’s lives at some point. After my third year of university, and after having a paying job throughout the school year, I wanted to try and get the opportunity to work at the foundation. I cold called the Director of Special Events and arranged to meet with her. As soon as I stepped into the PMHF offices, the warm feeling was evident. Everyone in that office wants to make cancer history and I wanted to join that battle.
What were the key things you took away from your experience at the foundation?
One of my fondest memories while interning at the PMHF was going to a golf tournament as a representative of the foundation. This older woman came up to me, gave me a hug and told me how thankful she was for everything that the hospital and foundation has done for her and her family. That memory will always be ingrained in my mind and is just one of the reasons that my internship at the PMHF was so valuable.
Also, the people I met and worked with at the foundation have continued to help me even 2 years after my internship. Just recently, one of my co-workers helped me get a volunteer position at a camp for children with cancer. I could not have gotten that position without her help! Having a network from the foundation available to help me has been an asset.
What kind of valuable work experience did you take away from your internship?
I learned how to use new computer programs, how to lead a group of volunteers, how to work by myself as well as with others – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Did you build a network of people you feel you could go to for job help in future?
Yes! I still keep in touch with a few of the people I worked with and they have already been great in helping me get other jobs. The people I worked with were also a wealth of knowledge because they went through the same experiences I was going through. My co-workers were, and still are, very helpful in regards to job hunting. The contacts I made at the PMHF have been an asset when applying to jobs as they have offered to write me reference letters and have offered valuable knowledge about who to contact for future jobs.