Economics major Colleen Richards ’12 was looking for a sports marketing internship this summer and International relations major Alicia Haynes ’10 was looking for an internship at a non-profit foundation. With the help of the HWS career services office and Rick Geswell P’10, P’12, both of them found what they were looking for at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in New York City. Geswell, the president of CCFA reached out to the HWS community, expressing his interest in hosting interns from the Colleges. These two William Smith students didn’t let the opportunity pass them by.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Through the generosity of corporate sponsors, CCFA is able to support cutting-edge research and education programs. Each year the foundation plans multiple events to benefit research for its cause.
Team Challenge is one of the newest events that CCFA plans. It is an endurance training program that teaches participants to run or walk a half marathon while raising money to support continued research. Richards works with Team Challenge as a marketing intern. Her responsibilities allow her to fulfill her interest in sports marketing and apply skills that she has learned as an HWS student. As a member of the William Smith soccer team she has learned how to manage her time and work well with others on a daily basis. “Working for CCFA is really like being on a sports team. You have to work with everyone around you in order to have success.”
As a marketing intern, Richard’s role is to help promote events. She uses the Internet to encourage more people to participate and displays information in local stores to increase awareness about the foundation. Another fun part of her internship is making encouraging signs for the Team Challenge participants, coaches and staff. “I’m getting a great taste of the industry and it is helping me figure out if this is the career path I want to take.”
Though Haynes is not working directly with Team Challenge, she is also an intern in the public relations and marketing department at CCFA. While planning, organizing and promoting upcoming fundraising events, she has been putting her writing skills to use. She credits her liberal arts education at HWS with her ability to write well and excel in multiple areas.
Her participation in community service at HWS has also helped her considerably. During the school year Haynes is a volunteer for Jumpstart, America Reads, Geneva Headstart and Project Eye to Eye.
“CCFA’s mission is a philanthropic one,” she says “and my desire to make a difference and do the best I can for a cause comes from my service experiences at HWS.” Haynes also enjoys the working environment of the non-profit foundation. “There is truly a sense of team spirit that I don’t think you would find in most business-oriented offices. I am learning more than I expected and feel that I am making a difference with what I do here.”