~Truly Blessed~

Hello everyone. Please be prepared for a lengthy post as this will be my final entry as the T1D in NYC.

Wow! What a week…my supervisors kept me busy right to the very end! This week was filled with presentations, final meetings, more goodbyes, and much more. Let me start with the normal recap of my final week here at JDRF.

I spent all of Monday putting the finishing touches on my final presentations to be given the following day. I got so caught up on making things as close to perfect as possible that I ended up taking my projects home to continue working on, and did not call it complete until about 10pm Monday evening. I slept quite well Monday night, for I knew Tuesday was going to be a fulfilling day.

I awoke bright-eyed and bushy tailed Tuesday morning, ready to knock things out of the park. After my morning shower, I unpacked my fancy suit that I had been saving all summer just for this very day. As I headed for the subway, I had a few butterflies in my stomach, but surprisingly I was (for the most part) at ease with what all would be taking place that day.

First up was my presentation over my Hispanic outreach business case. This lasted around 45 minutes to an hour for presenting (the longest presentation I have ever given, by far) and it went SPLENDIDLY! I presented to about 20 people from different departments and they all loved it. Lots of intriguing questions were asked, very deep discussion broke out, and people gave me very positive feedback. Heck, I even ended up getting further suggestions as to things I could continue to add to my business case and spent a majority of the following days, working on adding new things to it. I was nothing but smiles as I exited the conference room in which I had presented, for I knew it had been a major success in my books.

Later that afternoon, I had my second final presentation over my social media analysis. I, along with another intern (Brittany), presented this to my supervisor and the manager of JDRF social media! Again, things went perfectly and they both loved it. In fact, they asked us to present our PowerPoint AGAIN on Thursday in front of the entire MarCom department. We willingly accepted and were both overly excited as we returned to our desks. All in all, Tuesday was amazing and things could not have gone any better.

The remainder of this week was spent completing other side projects that I have been a part of with other MarCom members. The realization that my time here was soon to be up was slowly starting to creep up on me…

On Thursday, we gave our social media presentation once again and the entire department was thrilled with all the research we had conducted to obtain our information. Again, it could not have gone any better. What better way to finish out the week than to rock my presentations and get such wonderful feedback from my department.

Now to today….today has been bittersweet from the get go. Even as I woke up and headed for the subway this morning, I could not deny the fact that after today, I do not know when I will return to NYC nor to JDRF International, but I tried to push it to the back of my mind and focus on the things I needed to get done. This morning went by super fast and I was able to officially complete all projects I have been working on except for one that, actually, I am planning on continuing to help with even after I leave NYC. This afternoon, however, was SUPER slow and I found myself thinking about nothing but the fact that come 5pm, I would be leaving for good…

My supervisor, as well as several people from around the office, gave me some going-away gifts to take home with me and serve as a memorabilia of my time here at JDRF. Seriously, the amount of compassion and kindness I have been treated with here is unbelievable and I will miss it deeply.

I just want to (for the umpteenth time) say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has made this opportunity and experience possible; from my diabetes nurse and professors back home, to my family and friends, to my AMAZING supervisors and colleagues here in the office, to Nicole Johnson (former Miss America and the one who started Students With Diabetes), up to Mr. Derek Rapp (CEO of JDRF). NONE of the things I have had the opportunity to do on this journey would have been possible without your help and support all the way.

Like my featured image states: “Pray Often. Work Hard. Trust God.” This could not be more fitting for my time here in NYC. From the time I first sent in my application for this internship, I prayed and prayed that SOMETHING would come from this, and low and behold, I end up receiving the opportunity of a life time. This whole summer I have been committed to this organization whole-heartedly and have worked harder than I ever have before. I was truly pushed outside of my comfort zones and the amount of strenuous work I have ever endured has made me far more mature as a person and as a third-year college student. In the end, it all paid off and I know that good things still await me with JDRF. I am already planning to become heavily involved with the JDRF chapters based in Iowa, and continue supporting this amazing organization.

To the people I worked with here at JDRF, I am not the same person I was when I first began here, and that is all thanks to you. Each of you helped me become far more stronger in my abilities and gain much larger confidence when it comes to working in a city such as New York. It has truly been a blessing getting to work with each and every one of you. I will never forget how you all took me under your wing at the beginning and gave me the encouragement to accomplish all of the things that I did. I cannot put into words how much I am dreading the fact that come next Monday, I will not be waking up in New York, I won’t be taking the subway, and I won’t be returning to 26 Broadway. I hope to keep in touch with as many of you as possible and also sincerely hope that our paths will cross again sometime down the road. So for now, it is a “See you later” rather than a goodbye.

To my supervisors. You both helped me to achieve things I never would have thought possible. You pushed me to my limits with the amount of work I was given at times, but you also taught me to properly time manage and be thorough in my work in order to get the desired outcome. I cannot put into words how much I am going to miss checking in with each of you every day, popping up to your office to chat, or anything else we’ve gotten to do over the past 3 months.

To Derek, like I’ve expressed and stated before, your passion for defeating this disease is uncanny and I hope that I can be even half as passionate as you are. Your willingness to interact with everyone inside and outside of the office is indescribable and it has truly been an honor getting to meet with you, getting to know you, and also working for you. My eyes are now more clearly focused on the type of career I want to pursue and it is all thanks to you, and everyone else here at JDRF.

To Nicole Johnson, I cannot thank you enough for blessing me with such an amazing summer. Students With Diabetes will forever hold a place in my heart and I cannot wait to remain involved even once I return home. I am already looking forward to next year’s conference. You have a heart unlike anyone I have ever met and I have loved getting to know you and interact with you here and there over the past several months. I cannot express my gratitude enough to you and SWD. Like I said before, I cannot wait for next year’s conference and I hope to keep in touch and hope that future opportunities will arise.

JDRF has one goal: to turn Type One into Type NONE and I could not have asked to become a part of a better organization than this one. To be able to do the types of work that I did, meet so many wonderful people, and do some pretty incredible things has been the opportunity of a lifetime. It overwhelms me how much I accomplished while here, and I was only working here for a few months. I can definitely see myself working for this organization down the road and my desire to kick this disease in the butt has become a wildfire spreading nonstop.

It is crazy to think that I will be leaving this amazing city and state for good (or at least an extended period of time…..fingers crossed) but comforting to know that I will finally be returning home to Iowa and although I do not have much time at HOME due to having to move back to college so suddenly, I can find comfort in the fact that I will still be “home” for a good amount of time. I have been away from home for basically the past 7 months. I was abroad in Mexico for a little under 4 months, and was only able to spend a few weeks at home before departing for the summer to come here to NYC. While it has been difficult being away for so long, I would not trade it for the world. I have made memories that will stick with me forever, made some pretty great friendships, and seen some pretty unforgettable sights. Along with JDRF, NYC as a whole will also hold a special place in my heart. I cannot believe that I am now officially done at JDRF International and will be back in Iowa in less than 24 hours.

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It is almost time to have to begin the final goodbyes, actually the “See you later’s”, and I don’t know how prepared I am for this. Wish me luck, and prayers for safe travels home tomorrow and that I have no issues with the airport, flying, etc.

Again, thank you to everyone who has made this possible and I remain optimistic to what the future holds for me!

Iowa….I’m coming for you!

For the final time, thanks for following along with me.

Peace out New York, it’s been one heck of a ride!

Sincerely,

  • The T1D in NYC
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