My name is Virginia Leach and I’m a graduating high school senior from Maryland. I attend Garrison Forest School which requires all seniors to participate in an Independent Senior Project (ISP). An ISP can only be granted if a student is in good academic standing and turns in all assignments from last term. My journey with NSHSS began in August of junior year when I learned that I was invited to join the organization. My school nominated me for membership based on my academic profile and I was lucky to be one of the students accepted into NSHSS. I went to a few member events before I applied for one of NSHSS’s scholarships. With less than a month to go, I would be attending Nobel Week 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden with other students from around the world. That’s where my relationship with NSHSS began and I have been connected ever since.
All ISPs take the form of a short internship to get work experience before going out into the “real world”. I knew I wanted my ISP to be full of adventure so I chose to find work out of state. I contacted LaShandra Little, the Director of University Relations at NSHSS, in September to see if NSHSS would be a viable place for me to intern. Once she confirmed that it was okay for me to come, I quickly began to gather information on what I would be doing at the NSHSS Headquarters to report back to my school.
Before I came to NSHSS for my ISP, I knew I wanted to accomplish the goal of working in each department before I returned home. I was able to accomplish that goal by working on two projects under University Relations with LaShandra, two projects under Beth Pann (Vice President) and one project under Scholarships with Dr. Susan Thurman. I knew it would be a challenge, but I was ready to acquire any work experience I could get. Attending an all girls school for the past seven years, I did not notice that a majority of the employees in the office are women and didn’t think about it until my internship was coming to a close. NSHSS is powerfully run on the brains of women. It’s incredible to see these women in action and getting their work done in order to provide the best service for its members.
My overall experience was a great one at NSHSS. I had two favorite projects during my internship. One of them was taking over NSHSS’s Snapchat on Monday, May 23rd and interacting with the members (watch the video of the take over below!). Members of the Social Media team helped me with everything. The second one was going through the 2016 NSHSS Annual Millennial Career Survey to see what interests members have. I compared it to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which were similar in description. I can’t believe my internship with NSHSS is over, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and the organization.