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Interns Bring Energy and Ambition to Help Fight Blood Cancers

Posted by lynnesmith in The LLS Blog, 28 August 2015 · 390 views

This summer, in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) offices across the country, young interns eager for real-world professional experience directed their energy and ambition -- and desire to make a difference -- toward the fight against blood cancers. To illustrate their impact and highlight their unique experiences, we asked a few to share their experience. Here is what they had to say with #nofilter!


Brittany Carloni, Wisconsin Chapter


LLS was a great place to learn and gain some new experiences during the summer! I wanted to work at LLS because for the last 15 years our family has participated in Light The Night Walks in support of my mom, a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor. Experiencing LLS as a participant at an event is very different than being a staff member who is part of the day-to-day office tasks. What I find most impressive and intriguing is the work the organization does to raise funds for the research they support. Outside of the Light The Night Walk, I didn’t know much more about the Wisconsin Chapter's events, like the Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour that I got to be part of. While volunteering at events was exciting, my favorite project was helping develop a Wisconsin Chapter newsletter and designing a blog page for the newsletter articles so more people could access those stories and learn about the great work the chapter is doing. As I start my junior year at Marquette University, I am looking forward to my second year as a resident assistant, news reporting for the Marquette Wire, and using what I learned this summer at LLS at a new internship with the O’Brien Fellowship.


Favorite desk item: My "Friends"-themed central coffee cup
Best joke: Why did the cookie go to the doctor? He felt crummy.
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Megan Burpo, National Capital Area Chapter


There was no better internship in my eyes than one that allowed me to use my passions in the classroom with a cause I believe in. After watching a close friend’s dad lose his battle to leukemia this year, the LLS mission became more than powerful than just words on paper. I was excited to accept the internship and learn how the non-profit world worked. As an avid volunteer, it was an awesome to learn how much the staff appreciates the volunteers and how their time is a contributing factor to the progress the organization is making in curing blood cancers. My favorite thing about working with and observing the PR & Marketing team was the energy that surrounded the job. The staff I worked with truly showed me that the cliché “no two days are the same” truly applies in the PR & Marketing field. From day one, their willingness to teach and explain stood out the most. I was encouraged to ask questions and was offered explanations that gave me a better understanding of the task at hand. I can say because of this I was able to gain more insights, not only about the position, but also about the organization as a whole. I’ll be heading back to my senior year at Virginia Tech with some pretty good Hokie football games and a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, but most importantly I’ll have everything I learned this past summer.


Favorite desk item: It’s not what’s on my desk, but behind my desk! The kitchen, which is usually stocked with treats! On a good day we have a pink box of Georgetown Cupcakes!
Best Joke: Why don’t they play poker in the jungle? Because there are too many cheetahs!
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Gregory Menti, National Office


I always thought working at a non-profit was an admirable idea and a necessary thing to do at some point in my life. I wanted to intern at LLS for several reasons, but mostly because I found the organization’s mission inspiring and knew LLS worked hard to eradicate blood cancers. The research funded is a record of such work and I think a non-profit with a continued track record of proven results is pretty amazing and pretty rare. I assumed I would be working with a team of thorough and passionate people, but I got a whole lot more. One of my most favorite things about working at the organization was writing for the LLS blog. The staff members I worked most closely with were inspiring and intelligent, to say the least. I recently left LLS to accept a permanent job offer with two local newspapers. I believe the reason I landed these two opportunities is entirely because of the LLS internship! My editor loved my writing samples from the projects I contributed to while working at LLS.


Favorite thing on your desk: A Maritime Aquarium, in Norwalk, CT, baseball pennant from the 90's. It had sharks and fishes on it.
Best joke: Do you like jokes about ghosts? (Person answers) That’s the spirit!
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Courtney Hanusch, National Office


Since graduating from college, I intended to pursue a career in the non-profit sector, but I needed internship experience. Just a few months prior to this internship I lost someone from lymphoma who meant the world to me. So when the social media marketing internship opportunity came along I didn’t give it a second thought. It became the new thing that meant the world to me. Assuming my time here would go fast, I walked in after the first week with the athlete mind-set, down with two minutes to go in the last quarter. In other words, time to do my best and show off my skills. While I aim to better myself every day, I know I wouldn’t be able to do so if it wasn’t for the team I work alongside and learn from. Their capabilities and willingness to teach, their passion for this organization and their passion for their work are inspiring, especially since I’m at the beginning of my career path. One project I’m excited to see come full circle is lighting US and Canada landmarks, buildings and bridges red in honor of Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September. Cue that as my shout-out to TURN YOUR LIGHTS RED ON SEPTEMBER 1, share your photos on social using #LLSPROOF! Aside from that what’s next? Well I’m thrilled to share I will be here, at least, until March 2016. That means a lot because, like I’ve said, this opportunity means the world to me. So as of now I plan to focus on my projects and the areas I want to learn about. Though, grad school is on the list.


Favorite thing on your desk: My whale wall mural! Whenever I can’t think creatively I look at it and think “Whale! What would the audience want to read?” Nothing beats a good pun!
Best Joke: [Love this question!] What do you get when you cross a dog with a telephone? A golden receiver
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Internships at local chapters and the national office are posted on our Career Opportunities page as they become available. Anyone interested can also contact hr@lls.org.

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