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Lesson from an Internship: Trust your own skills

Daniela Rosales felt under qualified for any internship, primarily, she says, “. . . due to my inability to identify the skills in my repertoire that were well-suited for the positions I sought.” That notion changed with her experience as a D’Arcy fellow. “I was painfully unaware of my abilities, and therefore unable to adequately market myself.”

When a professor told her about the YWCA Mission Impact internship, the opportunity fit her passions so closely that she couldn’t pass it up. The selection process itself helped her develop professionally — writing cover letters and tailoring her résumé for the position helped her see herself as a valuable addition to the YWCA team.

“Interviewing with the committee of professors helped me to confront my interview anxiety as well as practice my professional interviewing skills. When I was offered the internship, I was pleasantly surprised, but I had already grown enough to overcome my feelings of inadequacy.”

Rosales interned for the YWCA’s Mana Tahaie, whom she described as a phenomenal supervisor. “I worked on highly diverse projects, ranging from finding and exploring relevant census data to create profiles of neighborhoods to target for YWCA’s services, to coordinating a book event for a visiting author when I did everything from booking the venue to writing the press release.”

When Rosales was not needed directly in Tahaie’s department or when Tahaie was away for conferences, Rosales would serve in other YWCA locations. She worked as a translator/interpreter for the Immigrant & Refugees department at the YWCA’s East location. “I translated documents as well as conducted in-person interviews, and personally called several clients to communicate with them about the status of their cases.” While at YWCA’s Bailey House location, Rosales got special pricing and donations for prizes for the Y’s Close the Gap 5K, and eventually became the event’s volunteer coordinator. By serving at various locations, she developed professional relationships with other YWCA directors at as well as with Vanessa Finley, the CEO.

During her internship, Rosales accompanied Tahaie to meetings with other organizations as well as conferences and symposiums, affording her the chance to meet people throughout Tulsa’s nonprofit organizations. “By the third or fourth meeting,” she recalls, “I was finding familiar names and faces, and I noticed that I was becoming a familiar face myself.”
Rosales encourages others to apply for a D’Arcy Fellowship. “I am very grateful to the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences for allowing me the chance to build my confidence, explore a field of work that interests me and prepare myself for the professional world.”

Daniela Rosales, Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies major
2016 D’Arcy Fellow
Internship at YWCA, Mission Impact Program