My Internship at the YMCA of Metro North

My name is Jackson Berry. I am a senior here at Wheaton College double majoring in Economics and Hispanic Studies. Over the past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the YMCA of Metro North at their location in Lynn, MA. My time there was spent on-site, working with the limited in-person staff to facilitate the re-opening of the facility after the initial wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Everyday I would work with a different member of their team on a different project. Oftentimes, I would be given my own task or be asked to work with other young members of the team to figure out how to accomplish a task without strict guidance. Lynn is a predominantly spanish-speaking town, and as such I would often use Spanish when speaking to locals. All of this took place with strict COVID guidelines in place, which often made tasks harder and required more critical thinking to complete. Sometimes this became frustrating, but learning to fight through any self doubt you may have and finding a way to complete your objective made it worth the effort. The work itself benefited lower income folks and others struggling from the effects of the pandemic. The idea that the work I was helping to do this summer has helped people during these difficult times means a lot to me! This opportunity also gave me my first experience working in an office environment. I was a part of a team that did not always agree on everything and whose personalities sometimes made the day tougher, but everyone there was able to keep focused on the task at hand and overcome these challenges. This is what teamwork is all about and was one of my biggest takeaways from this experience. I am glad to have spent my summer at the YMCA and can’t wait to see how the lessons I learned will help me over the course of my career!