As I complete my internship with The Grid, I can say with confidence that the past year has been the most dynamic and exciting time of my life. One year ago today, I had just begun two unpaid internships with two different San Francisco non-profits and was applying to be a blogger for The Grid. During this time, I was working part-time at a boxing gym in Oakland while living in Berkeley, where I had just completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology at UC Berkeley.
For three months, I commuted between Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco with the hopes of finding a full-time job in a field of interest. Fortunately, things worked out. At the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), I worked my way up from being a Front Desk Ambassador to their Volunteer Coordinator. At the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC), I went from being an unpaid intern to a part-time employee to their full-time Project Manager. During this process, I left the gym and contributed biweekly blogs to The Grid that allowed me to explore topics outside the realm of my other occupations.
The changes did not stop. I moved to Oakland for five months in the up-and-coming Temescal neighborhood and left my Volunteer Coordinator position at SPUR to focus on my job at SFHAC, where we have since hired a Deputy Director and are now a rapidly growing organization working on creative ways to get more housing of all income levels built in San Francisco. For those of you with any familiarity of the City, you understand the complexities of this issue. By the way, I am now subleasing in San Francisco, where I am close to work but cannot find an affordable apartment I can rent. It's actually a bit ironic.
As these changes took place, my enthusiasm for The Grid grew. In addition to my biweekly blogs, I have written four Top 20 lists and coordinated four Twitter Chats; I can thank Renee van Staveren for giving me these additional opportunities. Through the blogging, I have learned how to cater my writing to my audience while being concise and engaging. These characteristics are show in my blogs about Plan Bay Area and pop-up retail, the latter of which covers a personal experience. My internship with The Grid has convinced me that writing must be part of my life and I'm excited to pursue new opportunities as 2014 approaches.
Thank you to my editors who have provided so much constructive feedback throughout my internship: Meg Ryan, Adam Kabir Dickinson and Debra Hawryzki. I am looking forward to what comes next!
Credits: Images by Robert Poole. Data linked to sources.