This is the first in a series by our Summer Interns. Liza Abrams is one of three Conference Coordinator Interns who has been working at Hillel International this summer to plan Hillel Institute at Washington University in St. Louis.
I couldn’t tell you exactly when it happened, but what I can say is that when a specific realization revealed itself to me about half way through my internship, I immediately grabbed my iPhone to phone a friend. “Mom, mom! I don’t know how it happened, but today I realized that I am going to be working…THE REST OF LIFE!” And as the words trotted off the tip of my tongue, I could feel my mother smirking across the line.
This “Ah-Ha” moment so early on in my Jewish professional career has brought an awareness of just how important it is for me to love the work that I do. That said, not a day has gone by that I have not looked forward to going into work at the SIC. As a Summer Conference Coordinator Intern, my time is spent working on a myriad of fulfilling projects, most of which that relate to Hillel Institute. Whether it’s organizing the master meal plan for each cohort in attendance or finalizing a schedule of sessions, no day is monotonous or identical to the one before. In addition to my work, each week I have Torah study sessions with Hillel's Rabbinic Fellow, Leadership Sessions that focus on becoming an Excellent Young Professional, and highly encouraged coffee dates with the SIC faculty.
Words cannot describe how motivating it is to be involved with an organization that invests a mountain of its time and wisdom into its interns. Not only does Hillel devote itself to the betterment of its employees, but it also embraces appreciation and celebration. From someone being congratulated for a major life event, to the fiscal year ending, to our weekly Friday L’chaim’s, not a week goes by where Hillel as an organization and as a family does not celebrate something! In the short but fulfilling time period that I have worked with Hillel, I have been made to feel appreciated, respected, cared for, challenged, and that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Liza Naomi Abrams is a senior at the University of Nevada-Reno and a Summer Conference Coordinator intern this summer at the Schusterman International Center.