Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

Author Archive

Week 8

Thursday, July 10, 2014 6:02 pm

Week 8: Tell us how the project turned out. What happened? What was the best part? The worst part? The most exciting thing? The biggest learning experience?

Overall, I had a very positive experience working with TSW. I was able to better develop my researching skills, event planning skills, and learn how to work with trauma survivors. The best days of work were when I was able to interact with the residents. It was fulfilling to be able to interact with them in the workplace, researching side by side and developing professional relationships. It was sometimes difficult to maintain the strict boundaries required between residents and employees, but I recognized and valued the rules set in place for us. A day which stands out in my mind vividly is the day one of my favorite residents was granted her US citizenship. She was filled with gratitude and her smile lit up the room. I disliked not being able to spend more time with the residents, but this allowed me to cherish the few times we did spend together. I will forever remember the wonderful people I met during my short time at The Samaritan Women, and use my experiences as a catalyst for future career pursuits.

Week 7

Thursday, July 3, 2014 3:08 pm

Week 7: What have you learned about leadership and entrepreneurial management? What have you learned about yourself as an entrepreneur?

 

If I have learned anything about leadership, it is that without leadership, a business will undoubtedly fail. I hope to one day be able to be as innovative and progressive as I have seen the leaders work at TSW. And interestingly enough, I noticed that you don’t have to have the title of a leadership position to be a leader. There are small ways you can embody a leader which will allow you to be noticed by your coworkers, and even admired. The best way to do this is to simply give your best efforts always and constantly think on your feet. I use that formula to evaluate whether I am being a good worker and, in turn, a good leader. Another important piece for me to remember is that confidence is key. Leadership is synonymous with confidence in many ways and you cannot have a leader who is weak in their confidence. Sometimes it can be hard to stay confident when you feel you are surrounded by brilliant people, but I always find it comforting to know that someone else may feel that same intimidation, and it should not disable you in any way. Rather, it should be used as a stimulus for motivating you to strive for your own personal best. With that being my main goal this summer, I feel that I have been successful.

Week 6

Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:26 pm

Week 6: What are the biggest challenges that face this company or organization, and how are they handling them? Who are the key competitors?

Working to educate people on the true crimes of prostitution is a huge challenge at TSW. It’s difficult to be working with an issue so many people don’t know exist. Many people think of human trafficking as a foreign conflict, one that doesn’t happen in the US but maybe in the Philippines or in Thailand. So many US citizens don’t even realizethatmodern day slavery is happening right now…in their own backyards. Most trafficked girls are forced into having sex 20-30 times a day and aren’t allowed to return to their pimp until they have met quota. Some girls work 7 days a week. The “lucky” ones tend to work 5-6 days a week. If you add up the amount of paid rape these girls are having, you will realize the horrors behind the false accusations. And I keep saying girls because that is what the average age of induction into prostitution is today: 11-13 years old. Nine times out of ten, a runaway will be picked up off the street by a pimp or human trafficker within theirfirst 48 hours away from home. These are just a few of the nightmare statistics regarding human trafficking. A major struggle of TSW is finding the balance between exposing these statistics and offering resourceful ways to help. People shut down if they hear too much bad news at one time. They separate themselves from the issue and put it in a place where dark and depressing things are compartmentalized to not be dealt with directly. This is why TSW advocates hope. As a Christian based NPO, we work towards shedding light on the many ways to combat human trafficking, and expose themany fights that are already blazing of whichyou can become a part.If this is a cause that has caught your attention or pulled at your heart strings like it did mine,please visit our website at http://thesamaritanwomen.org/ andexplore!

Week 5

Friday, June 20, 2014 9:20 pm

Week 5: What is the culture of the company or organization? How do decisions get made? How do they handle failure or celebrate success? Do people work in teams or independently and how does that affect the working environment?

The culture of TSW is much like that of a family. I got the privilege of sitting in on a meeting which they host every Friday, which was used to discuss progress to be made and how to achieve the goals in place for that progress. Everyone was free to admit their input, while still recognizing that our boss was the one who would make the decision she saw best fit. However, the meeting and interactions was much like that of a democracy, where all employees voiced their concerns, while also working together towards finding solutions. Celebrating failure and success, of which I just recently learned, is redefined at TSW. Because we are working with survivors of human trafficking, there is no black and white way to define success. This being said, we cannot say that we failed as a business because one of our girls goes back to the life. Statistics show that survivors of domestic violence go back to their partners seven times before breaking free for good. There are no statistics for how many times a human trafficking survivor falls back, but we can infer the difficulties they struggle with as well. Knowing this, TSW has had to visualize success differently. It may be that we teach one of our girls how to cook a meal. We may see success as helping one of our girls write a resume. The spectrum is constantly varying, but we always try to magnify the small successes which will eventually be the building blocks for long term success. When I asked my supervisor how she deals with the hurt of knowing that an individual chooses to leave the program to return back to the life, she answered: “We plant a seed. That is our only responsibility. She may leave after we love her, but that’s only because she isn’t ready to be watered. Eventually, another program which is better suited for her will be able to water her, then maybe another one will harvest, and so on. But all we strive to do, is plant that seed. And if we have the privilege of watching her grow into a flower, then the day is that much better.”

Week 4

Monday, June 16, 2014 2:49 am

Week 4: You are now about half way through. Report on the progress of your project. What are you most proud of? What has surprised you? What have you learned so far? What do you hope to achieve by the end?

It’s hard to believe that an entire month has already passed. If I’m honest with myself, I would say that I wish I could be doing more. My tasks are limited because of high confidentiality regulations, but I feel that I am not contributing as much as I could. However, when I think of ways to become better involved, it usually cannot be approved, again due to the qualification’s restrictions and high confidentiality. Nonetheless, I am learning more and more every day. Being a part of a NPO with a Christian based background is incredibly inspiring and I have never worked in such a religious environment. It’s new and refreshing to be around people so grounded in their faith, and open enough to talk about their relationships with God so freely. At the beginning, it made me a little uncomfortable and unsure as to whether I would want to work in an environment like that but as time has passed, I’ve noticed that I enjoy the peace it brings and it has motivated me to grow in my faith as well. Even if I feel stifled by my current position in the company, I know that it is all part of God’s plan and I am right where I need to be. I find it exhilarating to think of the road to come and the obstacles I will face, but am finding a peacefulness to the comfort of my current job. I’ll probably think back to these times of low stress and wish it could always be this way. Or maybe I’m just blissfully unaware that I’m in the eye of the storm: surrounded by calm and the storm has yet to come. We’ll see what this next month brings.

Week 3

Friday, June 6, 2014 11:07 pm

Week 3: How did the company or organization get its start? What was the inspiration? What have been some of the growing pains they have experienced and what have they done to handle them?

 

The director of TSW was originally a professor of English, with a passion to help others. She one day decided to explore Maryland, and accidently found a perfect site to build a restoration home for survivors of human trafficking. She drove down the wrong street but coincidentally, it ended up being exactly what she was looking for. At the time, it was an abandoned colonial style home, and in need of quite a few repairs. Founded in 2007, TSW now has two colonial style homes, one for administrative purposes and the other for their residents. Not only were the physical repairs imaginably difficult, but in my time at TSW, I have recognized that as a business, it is still a work in progress. There are always improvements to be made, and in the process of trying to become a national NPO, I feel blessed to help in any way I can to see them realize this goal. Other difficulties I see The Samaritan Women face, especially in the non-profit world, is funding which is always a large part of becoming successful and stable. In addition, publicizing for the cause as well as the business itself seems to be a constant battle – one in which I am trying to distinguish myself because I have recently been working on a piece of their social media project. I hope by the end of my internship, I can say that I helped lessen some of the growing pains they experienced, and added to their accomplishments.

Week 2

Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:04 pm

Week 2: Tell us about the company or organization and the people you work with. How does your project fit in with what the others are doing and the overall mission?

 

There is a definite familial atmosphere to my work environment. Everyone works collaboratively and enthusiastically, most of the time. It is very interesting to me because my perception, prior to working at TSW, was that most business-like atmospheres are competitive and high-stress, and although we are working with a high-stress conflict (fighting against modern day slavery), the atmosphere at TSW is calm. My first day, I was warned that it would be their busiest because they were planning and setting up for a fundraising event. Despite the constant movement and meeting what felt like one hundred new people all at once, I felt at ease and everyone around me radiated a strange sense of calm that has carried through all the days that I have been there. I have found that among my peers, the work environments largely differ, but I recognize the commonality that we are all immersing ourselves in completely new territory, of which I am very proud. I find reading my peers’ blogs exciting, as well as inspiring because it continuously motivates me to strive for my best. It’s a fascinating time and what strikes me as most thrilling is that it is only the beginning.

Week 1

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:42 pm

What is the nature of your internship and the responsibilities you have? What are your expectations for the summer? What do you expect to learn?

As an intern of The Samaritan Women, I am held to a high level of confidentiality. This is to ensure that the individuals residing at their institution remain respected and feel protected during their stay. On their website, it states that “TSW Residence program serves women who have endured trauma, including veterans and victims of human trafficking. Our program emphasizes the restoration of women’s lives in the areas of academics, vocation, spirituality, relationships, and self-care. Our unique vocational program is integrates horticulture, culinary arts and entrepreneurship.” As an intern under supervision of the Deputy Communications Coordinator, my job is to aid her in whatever I can. This may include event planning, volunteer coordination, and event support. I will also be tasked with research projects and help to secure media connections. I am eager and excited to have been able to have this opportunity. My first day surpassed any expectations I held. I was introduced to a warm and welcoming community, not to mention enthusiastic and passionate towards their mission of combatting human trafficking. On my first day, I helped set up a fundraising dinner they were hosting. It really highlighted the family dynamic they have created here. Residents, employees and staff all pitched in a helping hand to get the job done and it turned out beautifully. My next day of work, I went with my supervisor to a high school to see how a presentation on anti-human trafficking is coordinated. I was thrilled to have been working with youth, and hope to one day be able to give a similar presentation like that of my supervisor. The kids were simultaneously fascinated and repelled by the presentation given: my same response when I began learning about the horrors of modern day slavery. I have already learned so much about how a non-profit restoration facility is run and the work they set out to do, and I expect to learn a great deal more in these upcoming 9 weeks. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

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Kenneth Bailey (6)
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