My dad, a former U.S. Navy officer, found out about Team Rubicon when he heard Jake Wood, the CEO and cofounder of TR, speak at a Cornerstone OnDemand event last year. He came home from his trip to Los Angeles so excited about what the organization was doing and he signed up as a volunteer immediately. From his description, I assumed it was something you could only do as a veteran, and since I’m not a veteran, I thought it wasn’t for me.
A few weeks went by and I kept thinking about TR’s mission so I decided to do some research and found out that I could, in fact, sign up as a “kick ass civilian.” I also discovered the organization was looking for interns and knew I had to apply. Somehow, I ended up getting the position despite showing up to my interview overdressed in a dress and blazer, and after four months, I was given the opportunity to extend my internship. I have been on the team for seven months and throughout my time working at TR, I’ve learned a few things:
TR interns don’t get coffee and make copies – we get shit done.
Before my internship started, I assumed I would be proofreading documents, going on coffee runs, and making copies. I was wrong. Not once have I been given a “typical intern task” like the ones all of my friends complain about. Instead, I am spending my days with TR and dispatching members and supporting operations, helping to plan events like Run As One, assisting with setting up external training opportunities like Wildland Firefighter Red Card Certification through the Bureau of Land Management, and helping members with any questions they may have relating to Roll Call. I was also given the opportunity to travel to Chicago for the Team Rubicon Leadership Conference where I was able to meet hundreds of volunteer leaders. This is where I really fell in love with TR. Working at the National Office has given me the experience that an internship should offer, and it will help me so much in the future.
Oh wait! I have been assigned one “intern” task – to go on a beer run when the keg was empty, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider that typical.
If you didn’t curse much before you joined the team, you’ll definitely start.
My second week in the office, someone came up to me and said, “You’re doing a great job, but you don’t curse enough to work here.” At the time, I didn’t really understand what they meant, but after seven months of going into the office three days a week, I get it. I went from rarely cursing at all to “cursing like a sailor,” according to my mom. I went home to San Diego a few weeks ago and was told that if I dropped the F bomb one more time, I would “no longer be allowed to work at TR” (my mom’s words).
Working at Team Rubicon is the most rewarding experience I have ever had.
Not only do I have the privilege of helping veterans and communities in need alike, but I get to do all of that with the amazing staff and volunteers I have the pleasure of working with every day. I wake up three days a week looking forward to going into the office, and that is something I never experienced in any other job or internship. Before Team Rubicon, I was terrified of graduating and becoming a “real adult,” but since I started working here, I can’t wait to join the professional work force. I just hope I’ll have the opportunity to continue to work in an environment like Team Rubicon’s.