The Summer Intern Team; THANK YOU!

Sep 12, 2011

RESOLVE’s senior mediator, Martha Beanwho works remotely from her professional home in Seattle, WA had the opportunity to speak to RESOLVE’s four fabulous summer 2011 interns- Ana, Eric, Maheen and Maya- as they are getting close to the end of their time with RESOLVE and will be heading back to their undergraduate and graduate studies. Through this casual phone lunch with Martha they had the opportunity to ask her questions beyond the typical discussions around their projects. In her own words she describes her conversation and her experience with the interns at the EPA Community Involvement Training Conference in Washington, DC and remotely on a variety of projects throughout the summer.

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I had the honor of talking with our interns Ana, Eric, Maheen and Maya at a virtual lunch on Friday August 12, 2011. They asked me questions about my perspectives, profession and work life. And I held forth for much of the hour – they were generous with their time. Here are key things I would like to pass; things I learned in our lunchtime discussions:

RESOLVE’s work environment is one where people clearly *like* and respect each other. RESOLVE’s interns saw up close and personal how important this is, and will seek to work in places that exhibit similar camaraderie. RESOLVE clearly values its interns.

Each of RESOLVE’s interns had the opportunity to work on and learn about a variety of programs, people and issues. It has been interesting for them to watch real collaboration happen through the work of RESOLVE facilitators, mediators and program staff.

RESOLVE interns valued working on challenging, meaningful projects.  They were generally not given busy or clerical work. They noted this isn’t true for every internship out there, and they appreciated that RESOLVE took the time and trusted them enough to have them work on important, impactful projects.

The role of technology is changing how we do collaborative work. Our interns see that they can add value, be creative, and be entrepreneurial by being on the front end of this change.

While collaborative processes are the nuts and bolts of RESOLVE’s work, our interns see that effective collaborative practice has applications across a wide variety of professions and issues.

Might there be a position or another internship in Seattle? Not at this time, I answered. Someday, perhaps – they should stay in touch to be sure!

These folks are great. I heard their praises being sung again at a meeting I attended at EPA Region 10 last week. The lead community outreach person for the Port of Seattle http://www.southparkbusiness.org/contributors/view/34attended the conference session in DC and was particularly complementary of Maya, Maheen, Eric and Ana. I hope and trust that RESOLVE’s interns will take advantage of the good will and networks they have generated while with RESOLVE to find their future academic and professional ‘homes’.

With gratitude to RESOLVE for the experience of working with these fine folk,

- Martha Bean

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