Antra and I are still fondly referred to as “the Interns,” even though we are now part of the permanent team at LDS. Although we have very different backgrounds and had different roles, we’ve come to realize why LDS drew us together. We both applied to LDS because we saw a chance to do work that could benefit others, that our internship could mean something more than a position we’d later put on our resumes.
Last year, as I was nearing the end of my Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Economics, I was also looking for a remote internship. As this would be my one opportunity to learn hands-on skills before I graduated, I knew I wanted to explore different skills.
In an effort to reach a more diverse audience of prospective employees, Sierra, the Communications and Fundraising Manager, had posted the Digital Communications Intern position in a local networking group that supports women in business. That’s where I reached out to Sierra, who asked for writing samples before inviting me to interview.
“Even though Rie didn’t have a lot of experience,” Sierra recalls, “I could see her natural talent in writing shine through in her portfolio. When I interviewed her, I also found Rie to be enthusiastic and driven. I knew right away that I wanted her on my team.”
Contrastingly, Antra, being the proactive person she is, had started looking for a co-op position through her university in her second year. As a Computer Science major looking for a non-traditional work placement, Antra hoped to find an employer that valued her work beyond traditional data entry roles.
“During the interview,” Antra says, LDS’ Executive Director “Rachel mentioned they had all these projects they were working on and wanted my help with them. I couldn’t believe it; you want me, an intern, to do valuable, meaningful work? That doesn’t happen often!” Antra was hired as a Graphics and Web-design Co-op Student and moved across the globe to work in person in the East Vancouver Learning Centre.
LDS values continuous learning from everyone on the team. We were thrown right in, treated as equals, and became immersed in the world of the LDS Communications Team. LDS has opened our eyes to what it means to work collectively towards tangible change in the lives of others. We’ve redesigned the website, written two blog series, and participated in the Spring “Make a Difference” campaign to spread awareness of learning differences and the work LDS does for children and youth across British Columbia.
As interns and now as staff, LDS brought us together and provided a space for us to learn, grow, and do meaningful work. We have learned that the LDS team not only believes in every student that comes through our doors, we also believe in and support each other as a team. Each and every one of us is provided with opportunities to explore and expand our skills.
LDS fostered both of our talents and interests and let us become integral parts of the LDS Communications Team. With Sierra’s guidance, I was able to explore writing and learn about the various avenues it could take me, from those I’d already known, like writing social media posts, to entirely new adventures into grant writing.
The whole staff also watched Antra grow her confidence and personality in leaps and bounds, becoming a vibrant team player. Working closely with Sarah, the Community Manager, Antra was immersed in graphics and design projects and became the LDS resident expert in WordPress and the Divi theme, Google Analytics, and Canva. Antra says, “I ended up doing a lot of things at LDS that I never thought I’d be doing, like in-person fundraising and redesigning the website, and it’s all been a great experience.”
We want to thank our supervisors, Sarah and Sierra, for always believing in us and pushing us to do more than we ever could’ve imagined. We’d also like to thank the LDS team for becoming our work family and making us feel at home.
—Antra & Rie
Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. She recently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Communications and Economics and she hopes to use her position at LDS as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. Rie is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people.