As my 2012 spring semester came to an end, excitement began to arise because I was looking forward to begin my summer internship with the Tom Joyner Foundation. I had no idea what to expect. This internship would be very different than any other internship I have had previously. But I dove right in head first soaking up as much knowledge as possible. My first day walking into my office, I was given a personal computer and even a personal email. I felt that this was a great start to my summer internship.
I acknowledge that waking up three days of the week to go into a corporate office is what most people dream of, but to be African American and go into a corporate office ran by an African American male is even more inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging. I also received a tour of the building, seeing all the ins and outs of the Tom Joyner Foundation.
I learned things about 80s music, the history of radio, art, preparing events, along with learning about Historically Black Colleges and Universities along with their importance to the black community. I had very little knowledge about HBCUs before my internship. As my internship continued, I began to learn history about different schools, their presidents and even met alumni from different HBCUs.
Working with the Tom Joyner Foundation also allowed me to develop certain business skills that most students do not have the opportunity to acquire until after college, which include, the importance of business dealing in social setting, working through emails, understanding protocol during a meeting. I also learned the protocol of non-profit business dealings, budgets, working as a small entity within a bigger entity, social media, engaging and responding to emails from hundreds of supporters of HBCUs, including students, parents and so many others..
I would like to thank the Tom Joyner Foundation for allowing me to have the chance to work with, and be a part of, a well recognized non-profit organization.
Marcus Gilmore is a student at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.