Home office visit/ current happenings

So it has been a looooong time since I’ve updated you on anything, so sorry about that. The good news here, I suppose, is that I’m enjoying everything as much as ever. I got back to DC from Alaska last Wednesday around 11:00. Sadly, while I was gone I missed our intern service challenge benefitting JDRF. Michael and I had scheduled the whole event in advance, so I did get to run the project more or less I suppose, but it was a bummer that I didn’t get to see it in action. We had to have the event while I was gone because my manager wanted the event to take place during a whole team staff meeting so the folks coming in from out of town could participate. In case I haven’t told you about the project in an earlier post- we were assembling t-shirts, thank you notes, and ribbons from JDRF for their walk. As the world leader in T1D research funding, sending over 80% of their proceeds towards these efforts, it is crucial that JDRF gets help with projects such as the one we did, so that their relatively limited personnel can devote time to more important matters. But anyway, because I was in Alaska and unable to actually package t-shirts, I did my best to stay engaged by sending numerous encouraging emails in the days leading up to the competition and in the beginning of the competition. I also had Astro Donut deliver donuts for my team the second morning of the competition, which I think was a nice treat.

More currently in the office we’ve been working to schedule meetings with house staffers to discuss the Treat and Prevent Obesity Act. To do this, a lobbyist has given me a list of people to contact and their email addresses, and I have written them all emails asking to meet. I have around 15 scheduled currently, and I suspect more will roll in. It’s been interesting for me to learn more about obesity at a biological level, and the many struggles and prejudices that obese individuals must face, since that was something that I honestly knew very little about. As someone with T1D who often has to deal with others’ incorrect assumptions about my condition, I’m certainly sympathetic to obese individuals’ struggle with that.

On Friday, because Michael and I have been for the most part unable to participate fully in the intern series programs, Jill had arranged for us to head up to the corporate office for the day. In the morning, we got to meet with a corporate counsel who specializes in the hemophilia side of the business, as well as GA, so that was particularly neat for me as a T1D considering a legal career. This guy was for years a research scientist, and later in his career decided to attend law school and began down his current path. Since I understand and enjoy the scientific side of the disease, and since I’m passionate about the issues, it seems like a great fit for me.

Our next meeting was with a woman who manages the company’s corporate giving and social impact. In corporate giving, her big challenge seems to be to execute cost-effective programs that promote giving from employees in the company, and yet also seem to be aligned with corporate needs/ interests. It was also interesting hearing how she ended up in this position from an extremely diverse professional background that included mutual fund accounting, human rights organizations, and an MBA.

Michael and I got to have lunch with all of our fellow undergrad interns, which was a real treat considering we’ve (done our best) interacting with them so much over the phone, but have never actually been able to talk in a less formal setting. Obviously they are all an interesting, motivated bunch.

After meeting with Jill, our primary intern coordinator, our last event of the day was our social media seminar with the whole intern group. The focus of the session was linkedin, but a broader takeaway is that in general there are really a lot of things we can all be doing as 21st century individuals to demonstrate our professional skills and to grow our networks.

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