As an intern or employee in the somewhat-traditional professional world, I often get the question: “What do you, like, do each day?” So, in this blog post, I’ll try my best to outline what a normal day looks like for me.
First, I wake up to my 7:00 a.m. alarm, get into my business casual clothes as fast as possible, and grab my pre-packed breakfast and lunch (I like to eliminate as many tasks as possible from the morning to get some extra sleep). While stuffing my face, I speedwalk to Union Station in gym shoes (girls, this is key, do not commute in heels), and hop on the metro for about thirty-forty minutes, where I either read or practice Spanish. Thankfully, Hope provides each student with the unlimited metro pass.
The next part of the morning is up to me. International Justice Mission (IJM) starts the day off with thirty minutes of “stillness,” allowing employees to be paid to meditate, pray, read, and focus up for the day. I either try to get to work early to grab coffee or tea before stillness starts or, if I’m running low on time, I head to a nearby coffee shop to do my devotional, as IJM is lenient on when you come in as long as you don’t interrupt others’ stillness. For the next hour and a half after stillness, I check emails, review my calendar, and send emails to the IJM Latin American team. On Mondays, I send an email updating everyone on the most important news from the last week of the countries we’re focused on. I also email different executive assistants in each of the Latin American countries, asking for updates and prayer requests. Truly, my Spanish has magnificently improved from emailing alone.
The next part of my day is super cool. The entire IJM headquarters meet for “corporate prayer,” which is really a mixture of a meeting, celebration, supporting of each others’ hardships, and, of course, prayer. We hear one of the leaders speak while sharing good and bad news: people rescued, criminals arrested, sickness, visas declined. Afterward, we typically move towards lunch. Your lunch hour can mean a number of things–sometimes people in the organization visit and give us life advice in a weekly event called “Brown Bags,” sometimes the interns and I go to Whole Foods and eat in fellowship, and sometimes I’ll go to the free gym for my lunch hour and eat at my desk later. The lunch hour represents one of my favorite parts of working for something like IJM: a social environment topped with exciting freedom.
The rest of the day, if I’m not called to help another department with phones or moving things around, is left to projects. As an intern, I am blessed with a fantastic amount of opportunity and responsibility. Currently, I am working on researching each Latin American country’s basic information and the prevalence of violence against women and children, so IJM has a spreadsheet to refer to when considering new countries to work in. I’m also writing a summary of a U.S. State Department grant report from a project in Guatemala, and writing an assessment of IJM’s ability to work in Colombia. While the work is much more intimidating than college homework, it’s hard not to stay motivated when it holds such significance in an organization that fights such important problems.
Finally, I hop back on the metro and head home. I finish the day up with some cooking, class if it’s a Tuesday or Wednesday, and some tea and Netflix to wind down. Each day can be exhausting, but when you’re working for something you’re passionate about, it’s worth it.