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Now that I am halfway through my DukeEngage summer, I have gained an abundance of novel experiences. For one, I have acquired a newfound respect for social media influencers – somewhat unexpected. I completely underestimated how managing social media accounts is a very involved process, and crafting new post ideas that are of professional quality is time-consuming, requiring multiple people. Social media is often seen as a fun, leisurely activity; however, when used in a professional setting, social media is a real job. One must vet which accounts we follow back, which posts we can share, respond to messages quickly and thoughtfully, create graphics that are appropriate, maintain an aesthetic theme, and more. Although the task is more difficult than expected, it is creative and engaging work.

Another task that has surprised me is tax-exempt non-profit filing. I assumed that, like other filing processes, it would be completing mostly simplistic paperwork. In actuality, there are numerous independent processes that must be completed on a state and federal level, and they include compositions that must be written in very specific legal jargon. More importantly, I discovered that all of the necessary filings are fairly expensive for a newly-founded organization with no income. Please enjoy the graphic that I created, depicting the filing process:

"Expectation" image has a pen signing a paper with an arrow leading to a certificate. The "Reality" image has a chart of nonsensical words pointing to many pens signing many papers, pointing to dollar bills, pointing back to the stack of many pens signing many papers, then pointing to a distressed face, which points back to the pens and papers, pointing to a different stack of pens and papers, which points to an hourglass that then points to a certificate.


In general, I am very adaptable to change. I have always valued completing my work quickly and efficiently. Thus, when curveballs arrive, I typically make no delay in changing my course of action. In the same vain, I have to improve my identification of curveballs: sometimes a process actually is as complicated or tedious as it seems, and I need not waste time trying to find a way around it. I’m hoping to work on improving this skill, especially as I move forward with non-profit filing.