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From Intern To Insider: Building Connections

Meet Lauren Ly, a student at the University of Redlands. Lauren is currently pursuing a dual degree in computer science and business with a goal of becoming an aspiring UX/UI designer. Follow Lauren’s journey over the next 10 weeks as she shares new experiences, moments of growth and development, and insights during her internship with LeadersUp.


Welcome back to week two of my internship! My week at LeadersUp started with a quick Google Meets call at 9am to kick off the week. These check-ins are helpful for pinpointing areas of support that I may need while working on projects. I'm excited about my one-on-one meeting with MaryKim this week because I always learn something new about UX/UI during our sessions.


The highlight of my Monday was a call with Ben Chida, the Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary at the Office of the Governor. Mr. Chida is one of the two panelists at the LeadersUp Equity Unleashed event hosted by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. During the event, the panelists will answer questions about their experience working in their field.


As we debriefed the agenda for the event, Mr. Chida shared valuable insights into policy-making and leadership, which I found incredibly inspiring. I admired how he managed to remain personable despite being in the public eye. Later in the day, I was involved in the Equity Unleashed logistical meeting with the in-person LA team.


Tuesday began with the usual check-in to discuss the day's tasks. In the afternoon, I attended a meeting with Michelle Quirante, the Community Affairs Manager at Clark Construction Group and also the second panelist for the Equity Unleashed event. Michelle’s insights into community engagement and corporate responsibility were enlightening. Her experience in bridging corporate goals with community needs provided a fresh perspective on collaborative efforts. 

As an intern, witnessing the transformation of the event from initial meetings to a fully functioning occasion deepened my appreciation for the meticulous work behind the scenes.

Wednesday was packed with learning and collaboration. The day kicked off with an onboarding session with the Insights, Research, and Evaluation team, which accelerates LeadersUp portfolios and impact areas by managing data collection, analysis, and dissemination, emphasizing BIPOC young adult voices, and fostering internal and external collaborations for impactful reports and policy advocacy. This session was pivotal in understanding the data-driven approach LeadersUp employs to measure impact and success. 


Following this, I had a one-on-one meeting with MaryKim, who is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to promote the organization's business portfolios for the Marketing and Creatives team. This was a fantastic opportunity to share updates on my work supporting the launch of a campaign supporting the Creative Economy in June. 


In the afternoon, I participated in a joint-team meeting that included members from both Stakeholder Engagement and the Marketing & Creative Services departments. This meeting underscored the importance of cross-functional collaboration in driving the mission of LeadersUp forward.

This internship is not just about gaining work experience, it’s about being part of a movement that strives to make a positive impact in the community.

This week has been a whirlwind of activity, filled with opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute meaningfully to LeadersUp’s mission. Interacting with professionals like Secretary Ben Chida and Michelle Quirante was particularly enriching, providing a broader perspective on leadership and community engagement. This internship is not just about gaining work experience, it’s about being part of a movement that strives to make a positive impact in the community.


Excited to see what next week brings, stay tuned.

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