Four Things I Learned While Interning at Team Rubicon

From data entry to deploying 60 volunteers to Nepal in the wake of the earthquake, Amanda Smerdel weighs in on serving as an intern at TR.

I joined Team Rubicon to support those who served our country. After reading Lone Survivor in 2011, I discovered my interest in the military, which led me here. I have been one of the Volunteer Support Interns for six months and have enjoyed every second.

From my experience mobilizing volunteers from the National office to deploying to Texas on my first operation, here are a few things I learned you can expect when joining the team:

Heather Kilgore shovels ceiling insulation into a wheel barrel.

1. You will get shit done. Whether you’re attending a service project to repair a veteran’s home or deploying across the world after an earthquake hits, you can bet your bottom dollar you will get dirty, and you will get shit done. Teamwork makes the dream work here. The energy among TR members is undeniably motivating. Even at 0600, it’s impossible to not be inspired by those around you and the mission to help others.

2. You will acquire new skills. You can sign up for a chainsaw course or become a certified nerd and master Palantir technologies. There are countless opportunities to expand your knowledge and enhance your involvement. When I started my internship, I didn’t know the first thing about disaster relief, but over the course of a few months, I was able to support the mobilization of 60 TR members to Nepal after the earthquake in April.

TR US and TR UK work in unison in Sermanthang, Nepal

3. You will meet new people. You’ll shake hands with folks from all over the country and from different generations and backgrounds. From service projects to hanging at the beer garden after a long day of work, you immediately create these connections and form unique relationships with people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Warning: Be prepared for an insane amount of Facebook friend requests and for your Twitter feed to be overrun by TR Nation.

4. You will want to continue your service through TR. Some sign up to deploy, others to travel the world to help those in need. Many want to be a part of something greater than themselves. Either way, guaranteed you will find a sense of purpose and a dedicated team to help make a difference. Watch this video to see an example of the impact TR made on a Wimberley resident after the Texas floods. How’s that for feeling fulfilled?


It’s called Team Rubicon for a reason. Everyone shares one mindset and spirit, so whether booking flights from an office building or working your ass off in sweltering Texas heat, the command is to give back and serve the community at hand. I am beyond grateful to experience and be included in a group of such extraordinary badasses.

Got what it takes to join the team?
Check out internship and employment opportunities at Team Rubicon.

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