Elijah Henderson

Intern name: Elijah Henderson

Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science major and Communication minor 

Title/place of internship/fellowship, etc.: Summer Leadership Intern at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.? I found my internship after reaching out to Angie Whitney about the possibility I would be unable to find myself an internship for the summer. Once explaining to her my situation she told me about a list that was sent out a few days prior. That list had a number of sites who were in need of interns and I reached out and got the opportunity!

What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.? My responsibilities mainly focused on imagining Civic Commons. This was a project that focused mainly on the access North Minneapolis had to the Mississippi River and how we can re-engage the community and allow for that space to be more accessible to those people.

What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience? I believe the most beneficial aspect was my ability to learn to think more critically and apply those skills to a professional workplace. I have a lot more confidence in myself as an employee now that I have been apart of this internship.

What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.? I learned a lot more about the city of Minneapolis and the park system it offered. Before this internship I did not really understand the importance of parks or the effort that goes into designing them but as I worked my team the importance and relevance grew tremendously.

How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future? I believe I will be able to apply my critical thinking skills in many different areas of interest for me. This internship experience allowed me to recognize the importance I can bring to a team and I can use this new mindset in any area I choose.

What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience? I would say step out of your comfort zone. Choose something that wasn't on your radar. Explore. There are so many directions your career can go, don't be afraid to explore.