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Life as an Intern

I started my internship with Smile Train by learning about the team's various fundraising areas. I worked in Community and Events to start with by putting together some research for what is now the Smile Impact Society – an initiative aimed at university students to fundraise for Smile Train whilst learning professional skills along the way. I helped with one of our largest events, the Smile Train Christmas Carol Concert, by sourcing numerous raffle prize donations from various companies. I also sourced and negotiated Smile Train’s new UK teddy bear – a reminder to new (and existing) donors of the smile we can put on a child’s face with their support. It was also great to cheer on our supporters during events like Ride London and the Royal Parks Half Marathon.

After learning about what each area of fundraising entailed, I worked most closely within Corporate Fundraising. Learning about contacting donors, building and maintaining relationships, to even sitting in on meetings with corporate partners. Working in this area of fundraising made me realise it can be tough to keep going when not everyone has heard of Smile Train or is able to donate, but it is so worth it for when someone can! I was told in my first week that charity work is 90% rejection and that you have to be resilient to keep going for the ones who can say yes. I certainly learned a lot during my three-months and by the time it was October I absolutely hated the idea of leaving. Luckily this was something I didn’t have to contemplate for long…


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