So, tell us about yourselves – Where are you from? What internship title do you have?
Caitlin: Hello! I’m from the Northeast area of Philadelphia. I started my internship with AFTH in August of 2019 and ever since I have been working closely with the marketing/public relations team.
Jessica: My name is Jessica McQuiggan and I am from Northeast Philadelphia. I’m proud to say that this is my second semester as AFTH’s Marketing and Events intern.
Where are you attending college? What’s your major? Are you a recent graduate? If so, where did you receive your education from? What degree did you graduate with?
Caitlin: Currently, I’m a senior at La Salle University pursuing my Bachelor of Arts and Sciences Degree. I major in Public Relations Communication and minor in Psychology. I can’t wait to graduate and pursue a career in this field!
Jessica: I’m a full-time student at Chestnut Hill College studying marketing. I am on track to graduate from Chestnut Hill in the Spring of 2021. Prior to attending Chestnut Hill, I attended the Community College of Philadelphia wherein 2019 I graduated with my Associate Degree in Liberal Arts.
What interested you in pursuing an internship with AFTH?
Caitlin: To be honest, I didn’t know much about AFTH in particular. I was more looking for an opportunity to work in PR and marketing. However, after joining the team, I can say that I resonate with AFTH’s values and mission. Everyone here is doing selfless work.
Jessica: What made me interested in pursuing my internship with AFTH is their mission. From the moment I walked in the door for my interview, I felt at home. What many people overlook is just how much this agency does for people in need. Not only do we help to create beautiful families, but we help to get people back on their feet. We establish a sense of community within their lives and give them a support system that is there when they need it most.
What did you know about adoption before working here?
Caitlin: I knew barely anything about adoption. Most of my knowledge came from TV shows and movies that had an adoption storyline. Therefore, I never had any personal connection or experience with adoption.
Jessica: Before working here I thought I knew everything I needed to know about adoption, but boy was I wrong. From my first day in the office, it’s been nonstop learning. The adoption process and all that entails is something that I don’t think I will ever stop learning about. Even after my internship concludes adoption will always be something I hold close to my heart due to my time spent at AFTH.
So far during your internship what are some new facts you learned about adoption?
Caitlin: I learned a whole new language about adoption! I never knew that there is a significant difference between saying “gave up” vs “placed.” It makes me happy to now understand the correct way to speak on this sensitive topic that is accepted by the adoption community. It’s important to always speak to everyone with respect, so I’m happy I had the opportunity to learn the adoption language.
Jessica: One of the first things I learned was proper adoption terminology. Birth parents place their children through an adoption agency they don’t “give them up.” Something I didn’t realize was that these birth parents do not place their children because they don’t want to parent. Many wish they could, but their life circumstances don’t allow it. Another thing that is misconceived is that these birth parents are first time mothers and fathers. This is not always the case. People place for many different reasons; no situation is the same. The last thing I learned is that an adoption agency does much more than what m0ost would think. At AFTH their goal is to help people regardless of whether or not they place and that’s what makes us a charity.
Internships are all about gaining firsthand learning experiences in your chosen field. What are some PR and Event planning tasks you’ve completed that you never had experience doing before this internship?
Caitlin: Prior to this internship, I had never used Hootsuite, Meltwater, or WordPress. Hootsuite has helped with managing and scheduling our social media posts, which has been a helpful tool to keep us on top of things. Meltwater has been a great software to learn as well. It allowed me to create media lists for our PR pitches and overall it helped to be more organized. Lastly, working with WordPress has been crucial. It has improved my writing skills all the way from press releases, to feature stories, to blog posts. It keeps us sharp!
Jessica: Asking for donations, finding sponsors for events, creating social media posts for a company, sitting in on a radio show, and helping to plan a professional event.
What is one thing you want others to know about adoption?
Caitlin: Something that I will forever pass on to others about adoption, is that it’s a complex process that is different in each case. Adoption is love.
Jessica: I want others to know that adoption is difficult, but it’s beautiful. If you remember anything remember that the journey is different for everyone and that is what helps to make adoption special.