The Admin Intern Program: a Unique Student Leadership Experience at UC Irvine

CSA-Interns

In this blog post, I discuss my unique experience in a leadership role that led to amazing friendships with people who I make an effort to visit regardless of the distance. The Administrative Intern Program is a student leadership program at UC Irvine, which consists of an internship at a campus resource center and a seminar series for student leaders to interact with influential members of the community. The program continues to be a success, as evidenced in the website below:

http://studentlife.uci.edu/leadership/admin_intern/

The application process involved an interview process to be selected for the program and additional interviews with the heads of various campus organizations. Ultimately, I was chosen to be the admin intern for the Center for Service in Action (CSA), which is the campus resource center for students in community service organizations like Circle K and Rotaract (aka Key Club and Leo Club in high school).

The Internship

I assisted with my fellow interns with community service projects, especially Day of Service during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. For me, my main project was running the CSFB (community service funding board). Other projects that I worked on included the Game Night for student community service organizations and the end of the year banquet. CSFB was a series of meetings for clubs to give their pitch on how their event benefits the community and why they should receive financial support through the funding board. The key point for clubs was outlining their fundraising plans and the opportunity for CSFB members to offer suggestions on more effective approaches to meet the financial goals to run a successful event. One example was the SHOUT sleepout, which raised awareness for homelessness. However, running the event meant reserving the flagpole area on campus along with amplified sound equipment. My role was simply facilitating the interview and meeting the the CSFB members to go through the application line-by-line and ensure that all the details are known and suggestions are offered.

In the beginning of my internship, the most nerve-wracking process was recruiting members through an application process and marketing to publicize the opportunity. In addition to the convenience of email lists, I pushed to find the meeting times of different student clubs and speak about my role. What I discovered after receiving applications was how students mainly decided to join based on seeing me in person. Throwing this point in here, which I will debate about in a later blog post about marketing for businesses. What I did worked in the short-term but required heavy personal investment due to the constantly changing landscape and demographics of a university campus.

The Seminar

Two Admin Intern alumni (from the previous cohort) co-host the course with the Dean of Students, Rameen Talesh. The seminars focused on a topic and a reflection assignment related to leadership. Special guests included the Chancellor of UCI, the mayor of Irvine, and a representative from Disney. Each guest had interesting pearls of wisdom from different backgrounds. It was an honor and privilege to hear the personal stories from people who have impact in the community. Most of all, it was an enlightening experience to be in a truly diverse room (ethnicity, majors, career goals, religious beliefs, cultural values, gender) full of student leaders passionate about the future.

The Experience

Experiences included off site trips to different local organizations, such as a resource center for sheltering children and supporting victims of domestic abuse. Learning more information about a sensitive subject was eye-opening and helped me develop a greater sense of maturity.

Lastly, one of the coolest activities that we participated in was a series of team building exercises at the ARC (Anteater Recreation Center). We played a “hot lava” game using one plank per person and racing to a goal before the other team. The high ropes course involves immense amounts of trust building and teamwork, finishing in style with a hydraulic zipline. To cap it off, here is the video that showcases the fun.

https://www.facebook.com/200785339980133/videos/1029514287107230/

But to really bring it home, here is the video group project that I worked on in the end of the year to showcase the overall experience:

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