Catholic Charities Santa Clara Fall 2015

11/2/15 – About Me

My name is Jennifer Woo and I am now a Junior, double majoring in Finance and Marketing here at USF. My goal is to really pursue towards my passions. I have realized that I feel my best when my work shares my values and interests. With this mindset, I believe that I will be able to make more of a positive impact on the world.

I am glad to be working another semester with the Public Service Internship Program. This semester, I was paired up with Catholic Charities in Santa Clara County to focus on marketing. Catholic Charities in Santa Clara County really strives to change lives for good in every aspect. They want to help speak for those in need. Specifically, they try to address the poverty issue in Santa Clara through various programs like job training, education, older adult services, immigration support, and many more. With this internship, I really hope to help them re-brand, become organized, and promote their events in the community.

Originally, I am from San Jose which led to more personal opportunities. On Monday and Wednesdays I work virtually from San Francisco and I come into the office on Fridays. Ever since I began working on September 28th they have kept me up and running with several projects. The first three weeks I was assigned to create a speakers directory for their major event, Pathways of Hope and Opportunity Out of Poverty Action Summit, to celebrate their 60th anniversary. I also, was fortunate enough to work their event on September 14th at the San Jose Tech Museum.

Main conference room (Taken by my iPhone)

This was an amazing experience to see all the work that everyone put in come to life. Six in the morning, I began organizing name tags and checking in people at the door. Later in the day I was able to sit in on some panels and take notes on the ideas that people came up with. I found that I really enjoy working behind the scenes, pulling things together in order to make everything work. What I love about Public Service Internship Program is that not only do I get work experience, I also gain so much important  knowledge about issues within my community.

Taking notes on the right during one of the panels I participated in (Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities)



11/30/15 – Mid-Semester Update

Right after the Poverty Summit, I immediately was assigned to another project. I moved under the supervision of Tatiana Colon, the Division Director of Older Adult Services. Additionally, I relocated to their other head quarters in downtown San Jose and moved into a temporary cubicle. I was given an short in-depth introduction about one of the many programs Catholic Charities have. Tatiana would provide me with a work plan of various little projects to keep me busy.

My main task was to help them prepare for monthly events and help them rebrand. First, I was assigned to make indistinguishable templates to use for each event. Doing this would help improve professionalism for the program as well as improve efficiency for making flyers.  One of the more challenging tasks I was faced with was making actual changes to the Day Break Cares website. Essentially, I took information about the program and tried to summarize and add text to certain pages on the website. I had to work with one of the Web Producers over email as well as Google Sheets to communicate the edits and additions. This experience taught me how to work with others over email and how to efficiently map out a website.

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This is the website map I created to communicate with our Web Producer


My writing skills were also tested. I wrote radio PSA’s, summarized written notes, and wrote articles. Another main portion of my internship was to find newspapers or radio stations that would accept articles written by my supervisor in order to attract traffic to their events. This required intensive research on what kind of audiences I need to attract and where the best place is to reach them. I got one response from a local newspaper saying that they would try to fit the article in an upcoming paper. Reaching out to people definitely pushed me to be more assertive and confident.

I have definitely learned a lot about marketing during my time here. One main insight is that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Making mistakes is definitely a great way to prevent future ones from happening and installs caution. Also, I was exposed to new modes of marketing. Mad Mimi is a site that engineers professional and creative emails to send to large amounts of people. I definitely had to sit down and learn how the program worked. It is interesting to see what tools organizations use in order to market.



12/28/15 – Final Thoughts

My time here at Catholic Charities has been extremely educational. My last day of the internship was on December 4th. I really enjoyed coming into the office every Friday because it allowed me to interact with my Supervisors one-on-one. They were able to directly tell me what I projects to work on or what to fix and I feel that I was able to accomplish more for them during my internship. Professionalism was very key. I wrote many emails, reaching out to future panelists or other organizations regarding our events. I learned new ways to look professional as a company by using marketing tools like Mad Mimi. My abilities to adapt and learn made it easy for my supervisors to teach me in such a short amount of time.

Overall, I feel that I got a very dynamic experience. Starting with helping the entire organization with the Action Summit, to ending with helping a specific program that the organization has. I learned about the many struggles a non-profit faces. They really showed me how to work with what you are given for the budget, which can fluctuate each time. Also, how important it is to stay connected with others. My supervisors were very diligent on making sure I was always busy with projects and that I was gaining great experience. I appreciate all the time they took aside to talk with me. They all gave me guiding points and shared stories that helped me think about my own future.

Luckily enough, they asked me to stay part-time over the break. So I gladly will be helping them until the next school semester. I want to take the time to say thank you to PSIP for giving me another unique opportunity that expanded my experience in business.