My Internship at End of Life Choices New York

My name is Satrianna Sawasdikosol and I’m a part of the Wheaton class of 2021. I am a Psychology major with an intended Public Health minor. This summer I interned for a non-profit organization called End of Life Choices New York (EOLCNY). I did an array of things throughout my time interning at EOLCNY. I made myself available to my supervisor Ayana and made sure to be there any time she needed help with a task. Whether it was to do some research on a specific topic or start contacting people from other organizations to try to collaborate with them, I was ready to do the task.

Throughout my time at EOLCNY I have learned to become more resilient and learned to utilize trial and error skillset more confidently. During the summer there were several projects I was working on that didn’t necessarily go as planned. When this happened we needed to brainstorm and come up with something else we could try. I have learned that even in real work world settings a lot of things go wrong. I have learned to become more adaptive to plans changing. Figuring out how to best help our community virtually during the pandemic was a challenge for our nonprofit, as a lot of our events and programs met in-person. A new skill I learned was how to deeply search the internet when looking for a list of contacts and then trying to get in contact with other nonprofits that possibly would want to collaborate with us. I helped EOLCNY with several new projects that launched during my time there. Some of these include holding a virtual book club, a video viewing party, and a virtual comedy show.

One thing I found most exciting about my experience overall was that there was always something new to work on and it was exciting to see what is next. One thing that surprised me was the amount of behind the scene work that goes into running an operating non-profit. There are a lot more components than I had originally realized. For instance, one of my projects was to help improve our organization’s website. To do so I conducted several zoom meetings with family members and friends to do “Website Usability Testing.” The goal of this task was to assess how user-friendly our website is and how easy/hard it is for the participants to find the answer to the given question about our website. They were being recorded and timed to see how long it took them to search for the content available on our website. The data that I gathered was analyzed to determine how we could improve the layout of our website. I shared the findings and recommendations with my supervisor Ayana.  It is gratifying to see that your suggestions are actually making a difference in improving the usability of our website. This project also gave me an insight that people of different ages use different approaches to search for information. It is fascinating to see how people use different approaches to get to the same endpoint.

It has been a valuable experience working with a group of dedicated volunteers that form the backbone of this small organization. This experience has shown me that if one is determined, ambitious goals could be reached by harnessing the time and energy of volunteers who are willing to donate their time and energy to better the world that we live in.