Professional writing major Tiffany McIntyre has been interning with the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing since May. The Women’s Center is a local nonprofit which is committed to empowering women of all income levels and helping them reach their potential for economic, emotional, and physical well-being. The Center seeks to fulfill this mission by offering a variety of services at little or no cost. They provide resume-building workshops, legal services, support groups, individual therapy, and a donation-based closet of free professional clothing.
As the Social Media and Marketing intern, Tiffany fills a variety of roles. She manages most of the center’s external communications, which includes running social media, updating the website, writing the newsletter and blog, and more. In addition to practicing these forms of communication, she’s also gained experience with graphic and web design. While she says tackling the website was definitely intimidating in the beginning, she’s learned a lot. “I didn’t realize how much I’d be working on the website, so that was a challenge that I had to maneuver around,” she says. “I spent a lot of time testing things, learning what was working and what wasn’t to figure out how to reach people better.”
In addition to managing the Center’s social media and website, Tiffany has also had the opportunity to interact directly with clients. One of her favorite tasks recently has been working with a client who is getting her own business up and running. Drawing on her own experience, Tiffany has been able to meet with the woman to help her create social media accounts and a website for her business. She loves this more personal side of her job, and jokes that if she could do it full-time, she might just drop out of school.
Tiffany says that PW has taught her how to be intentional about her work. The program’s focus on rhetoric has taught her that writing professionally is not just a matter of putting words to paper–or a computer screen. She utilizes her knowledge of rhetoric to intentionally craft each message in a way that represents and serves the Women’s Center. She notes that her PW courses have helped her develop her technical skills as well—this semester, she finds the web design course especially beneficial. “We’ll be learning something in class and I’ll realize how I could use it on the Center’s website. I leave class excited a lot, because I’m ready to apply what I learned in class to my job.”
Tiffany isn’t the first PW student to work at the Women’s Center; in fact, she got connected to the job through a former student. While Tiffany was searching for an internship last spring, her PW advisor connected her with Emily Reyst, a past intern. Her passion for the nonprofit rubbed off on Tiffany, and it’s only grown since being hired.
Tiffany’s face lights up when she talks about the Women’s Center; working there has changed the way she sees Lansing. “Women have so much to offer in our community,” she says. She takes her role as the online voice for the organization seriously, because it means she gets to help empower these women. After all, we’re all looking for support in hard times and “just people making life happen,” as Tiffany puts it. The Women’s Center was founded to be a place of support, and Tiffany knows the value of her work as she helps further that mission.
Written and photo by Katherine Stark