Learn about one of our 2019 VC Summer Interns, Rachel Chang, the Oxy InternLA Development & Communications Intern.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Rachel Chang, and I will be a senior at Occidental College (Oxy) this coming fall! I am double majoring in Religious Studies and Economics, an unusual combination, but doing both allows me to explore my vastly different interests. At the moment, I have no clear plan for life after college. I would love to travel for a while, and I could see myself working at a number of different places, trying new things. I may end up in grad school later on, after I get a quick break from writing essays. In my free time I like to hike, go to the beach, lay in the sun, eat good food, and recently I have been trying to get back into reading (for fun!).
How did you hear about VC and what drew you to apply?
Saya Maeda, an intern from last summer, actually told me about VC. She is a friend from Oxy, and she could not have spoken more highly of her time here. After hearing about her experience, I looked into VC a little further and was drawn to the idea of working at a non-profit that strives to support voices of Asian Americans. Growing up in Tennessee, I was not surrounded by an Asian American community to say the least, so the thought of being a part of a motivated, supportive AAPI organization excited me. I have also always been curious about the world of film and media. I have no prior experience with media arts and was also intrigued by the opportunity to engage with something new!
What do you do at VC? Which part do you find most interesting?
I am the Development Intern, so I work closely with the Strategic Partnerships Director Rachelle on writing grant proposals, putting together reports, and researching organizations for future funding. I have enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the grant writing process, and I find it rewarding to request funds for projects that I truly care about. Francis, VC’s Executive Director, is always saying that development is essentially just connecting dots; it is finding pieces of information and identifying how the histories, interests, and needs of different organizations align. I have enjoyed learning how to connect the dots :)
What is your favorite thing about working here? Any memorable moments?
I love seeing the other interns engage with media art. They are so talented and they all have their own areas of expertise. It is inspiring to be surrounded by such creative people!
What’s your go-to karaoke song and why?
I have actually never done karaoke before, and I think that needs to change! I’d have to choose an ABBA song, probably Dancing Queen, S.O.S., or Fernando, depending on the mood. ABBA always makes me want to dance!
My Experience at the Oxy InternLA Luncheon
By Rachel Chang
On July 26th the InternLA interns and their supervisors met on Oxy’s campus to network and eat lunch together. It was a great way to meet new people, learn about organizations, and close out the summer.
InternLA is a program that connects Oxy students to organizations in LA looking for summer interns. The InternLA interns work Monday-Thursday at their sites, and then on Fridays we all come together for IMPACT sessions that usually consist of listening to a speaker or participating in a workshop. The luncheon event was the final gathering of the program.
On the day of the event, an open space was set up in Hameetman Career Center for us to talk and connect. As people trickled in we sipped on iced tea and began to mingle. I met several representatives from different organizations and learned a little bit about their experiences in the non-profit sector. It was interesting to hear about their places of work and the paths they have taken to get there, especially because I am currently trying to figure out what I want to do with my life :)
Rachelle, the Strategics Partnerships Director at Visual Communications and my lovely supervisor, accompanied me to the event. We had a fun time chatting together, and I was able to introduce her to several of my friends in the internship program.
After about an hour or so of networking, we made our way to Oxy’s McKinnon Global Center for lunch. We helped ourselves to chicken piccata, vegetables, bread, and dessert. We ate while listening to an Oxy alum speak. She shared the many success stories and obstacles that have made up her career. I appreciated how honest she was about the challenges she faced rather than trying to sugarcoat anything. She concluded by offering us encouragement and wishing us well as we make our way out of Oxy’s bubble.
It was a lovely event and I was very happy to have Rachelle by my side. To any Oxy students interested in the InternLA program, I recommend it, and to any students in general interested in interning at VC, go for it! It has been a wonderful summer here.