Spending the last two months living and working in New Orleans has been an experience that I will never forget. I knew applying to Duke that I wanted DukeEngage to be a part of my college experience, but I never thought that I would enjoy it as much as I have! From the work I have been doing at Covenant House, to the friendships that I have formed with the other Duke students, this experience has been incredibly rewarding.
My internship at Covenant House has provided me with lots of practical experience working in a finance career that I know I will be able to apply in future job settings. I learned how to be a problem solver, work on a project as a member of a team, and how to apply the skills I have learned in the classroom to real-world settings. Besides these job-related skills, my internship taught me the value of forming relationships with those around me due to the time I spent getting to know my coworkers. One of my favorite parts about working at Covenant House was the close family-like feeling. Every day at 12:30 one of my coworkers would walk around the office and gather everyone when it was lunch time. Together, we all went to the lunch room and ate. It really made me feel happy and welcomed to have this time to put working aside and have real conversations. I enjoyed getting to learn about their families, history of living in New Orleans, and what they do in their free time. Not only did they impart work-related wisdom on me, but they also shared tidbits of life-advice every now and again.
Lastly, I am thankful for the relationships that I have formed along throughout these eight weeks. In the beginning of the program, I would have found it hard to believe that this diverse group of individuals would become as close as we have. Although our big group excursions were memorable, I learned to appreciate the little funny things that our group did and how they helped us mesh and become friends. From watching The Bachelorette every Monday, to talking in weird voices for no reason, to jamming out to High School Musical in a karaoke sushi bar, the memories I have made on this trip will last me a lifetime. I am extremely thankful for DukeEngage, Ashley, and Lindy for this entire summer!