Being a Scottish Third Sector Intern

ACOSVO's American summer intern Gretchen Rude shares her experience...

Over the past 11 weeks I have worked with ACOSVO as an intern. Through the course of the internship I’ve learned loads of new things about the Scottish third sector and Scottish culture. I have gained knowdlege of leadership and experience in growing membership and running events as well as being advised by my peers. I have been able to learn practical office skills such as creating mail merges and mail filing.

I was able to attend one of the organisation’s big events, our 15 year celebration.  Another event I am excited to see come together is our Hack for Charity, which I have been helping prepare and will be working there over the weekend.  We have an amazing lineup of charities with technical problems to be solved, and tech experts coming together to create solutions. I think it will be incredibly inspiring to see what kinds of results are created over the weekend. I had never heard of a hack before I came to Scotland and I plan to introduce the idea back home!

The most valuable part of my time here has been meeting my co-workers and learning about Scottish culture. I have learned all about Scottish slang and culture just from talking to the people around me and talking to others in our office building. This is a very exciting time to be in Scotland and the UK with recent debates around governance and more recent influxes of refugees. I am grateful that I have been able to be here during such an important time in European history and discuss these issues with people living here involved in civic society.

If I were to impart any wisdom onto incoming interns I would tell them to learn as much as they can. I learned the most this summer by talking to my co-workers and hearing their different perspectives and backgrounds. They have a unique insight into not only work in the third sector and in leadership, but government agencies, finance, culture, career advice and countless other subjects. The most important thing I will take away from this summer will be my conversations with them.