Hi, my name’s Alex. I joined Team Rubicon UK as an intern in the Development and Fundraising team at the beginning of June. I’m a 2nd-year undergraduate studying Geography at the University of Plymouth. I’ve had the chance to work within a variety of areas since joining TR – I’d be lying if I said that I’d regretted spending my summer here, so for anyone questioning about signing up, don’t hesitate – just get involved.
Before I started working with TR I was nervous as to what the internship would entail. I had never worked within the disaster relief sector and wasn’t a military veteran so was unsure where I would fit with the organisation. I arrived on the June Open Day; this was incredibly beneficial as I met a load of our Greyshirt Volunteers, staff and interns. Over the weekend, I then got a chance to learn more about the service principles and ethos of the organisation I was becoming involved with.
The Development Team’s role in Team Rubicon is a vital one which I didn’t fully appreciate or acknowledge until I started working in the charity sector. I’ve been tasked with such a wide variety of jobs and learnt a lot both inside and outside the office. My first job on the Monday I started was counting pennies from collection pots – I’m not sure if this was through chance and it just needed doing or because I was new and no one wants to do a crappy job on a Monday morning. Either way, I got the job done and discovered that counting change can be fairly therapeutic.
A week later and my roles and responsibilities had stepped up a tad – one task I remember vividly due to its painstakingly repetitive nature involved adding the locations of hospitals along the 250-kilometre route of the Rome to Rubicon fundraising cycle ride across Italy. It involved manually inputting the details of the journey and each hospital’s address into Google Earth while plotting the route. The first quarter of the project took me hours. However, through perseverance and trial and error I found a way which made the whole process a hundred times easier and managed to smash the remainder of the task within a few hours. I remember how happy I felt upon finally finding a way of making that task easier and more efficient. That’s generally how the rest of my experience with TR has gone. The opportunity to learn at your own pace, ask questions (which personally, I do a lot) and learn from mistakes without judgement has been both comforting and a boost to my confidence.
Outside of the office and after hours there’s also a heap of opportunities to get involved with and learn from. Since I’ve been here, we’ve conducted numerous training weekends, inductions, courses and exercises. As well as that there have been opportunities to sign up to deployments and service projects both internationally and across the UK. These can be massively beneficial, not just because you get the chance to use some of the skills you’ve picked up along the way but also because they give you a chance to interact with the wider Greyshirt community and learn from them too.
Team Rubicon has been a great experience all in all. Every day you’ll learn something new about yourself, the job you’re doing, or the people around you. I started off here with the aim of learning a couple of things and gaining some experience but will be leaving as a Greyshirt willing to come back at every opportunity. It doesn’t matter whether you’re still a student, a retired veteran, a serving member of the Armed Forces or a blue light responder; there’s a place for you at TR and whatever you can bring to the table will always be appreciated.