The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Notes from Two VRG Summer Interns

Posted on August 21, 2009 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Somehow the summer is already coming to a close, and our office certainly feels emptier without two of our wonderful summer interns, Kristen Lambert and Rachael Prokop.

Below, Kristen and Rachael share their VRG summer internship experiences.

**If you would like to apply for a VRG internship in Baltimore or to do a long distance internship, please send a resume, writing sample, and cover letter detailing your interests, skills, goals, and vegetarian knowledge to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, or e-mail to vrg@vrg.org. Most internships are not paid. If you are looking for a paid internship, please indicate your financial need.**

VRG also offers two $5,000 college scholarships

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Kristen Lambert, recipient of the Eleanor Wolff Scholarship

When I first boarded the plane traveling from Salt Lake City to Baltimore my stomach was upset with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Earlier that year I was offered an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group, which I happily accepted, and I was now beginning my multi-month journey.

Previously in my life I had never traveled further East from Utah than Colorado, especially not alone, so this was a big step in the direction of personal independence.

The plane ride, compared to a Greyhound bus ride, was over in no time, and before I knew it I was at the Baltimore airport being greeted by Jeannie McStay and Charles Stahler of the VRG. The car ride to what would be deemed ‘home’ for the next two and a half months was filled with fun and interesting facts about Baltimore’s history. Since starting my internship, one thing has remained constant the entire time; People I have met since being here always seem to go out of their way to make me feel comfortable and accepted. If it were not for my colleagues at the VRG, who I now consider friends, I would have slipped into a self-pitying black hole of loneliness.

My first week working entitled a tour of the office (I did not expect the extensive library), an introduction to a few of the people responsible for a smooth running organization, and a crash course on what happens behind the scenes of the VRG which includes what I would then be responsible for.

Major projects for my internship:

  • Write a FAQ for the upcoming teen section of the VRG website. I had some trouble with this. The question I originally chose to answer was very broad and did not apply to personal experience I had. After consulting with Reed Mangels and Charles, I decided to go a different direction. Here is the question I answered:

    “There is a small local restaurant that offers vegetarian options that no one knows about. What can I do to let people know?”

  • Write a Vegetarian Action piece that will be featured in an issue of the Vegetarian Journal. I chose someone close to home to write about; Kelly Green is the founder of the vegan bakery ‘Cakewalk’ in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was extremely helpful to me during our interview, and even provided some samples (vegan cupcakes, and vegan twinkies called ‘dillos’) that my family was more than happy to devour. It is hard to describe the way I felt when Debra showed me the format my article would have and how it would look in the Journal. Proud? Yes.
  • 2009 survey on Vegetarianism.
  • “Nothing is ever easy as it seems,” would be my choice phrase for describing this project. What I learned from this task is that organization can be my best friend, and math can be my worst. I was required to learn how to use a mail-merge program and make numerous phone calls regarding surveys. The importance of team work and keeping others informed also prevailed, although maybe not so much at first. I would not have not accomplished anything without the guidance of the computer master, a.k.a., John Cunningham.

  • BEA
  • Attending The Book Expo America was a great way to experience New York for the first time. The first day I helped to carry supplies and set up our booth in preparation for the event the next day. Debra suggested that we see the city while we still had energy and were up for the walk, which meant before the expo began. So that night I toured New York with my native guide (Debra), and the tour even included a restaurant stop in Chinatown for, you guessed it, Chinese food! The next few days would be filled with manning our booth, networking, and collecting books. I was introduced to an array of people that were in some way affiliated with the VRG, and I handed out issues of The Vegetarian Journal to passers by. Occasionally I would talk to someone interested in the VRG and refer them back to Charles or Debra. It seemed like

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