By Whitney Blomquist
Interning at The Vegetarian Resource Group this fall semester has been inspirational. When I found out that I had to complete a 120-hour internship in order to graduate in January 2013, I knew I wanted to do something I was passionate about and interested in. When Charles replied back to my inquiry I was beyond excited!
Throughout my internship I was tasked with different duties, some large, some small, but all were important. My favorite task was gathering past Vegetarian Journals for the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive at NC State University. The Vegetarian Journal dates back to 1982, so there were a lot of them! I enjoyed this project so much because I was able to see a complete time capsule of VRG from beginning to present. I got to read about animal rights causes that were successful and cruelties that still exist today. I searched through the VRG scrapbooks to find some of the missing issues and got to see pictures of past VRG camping trips, protests, potlucks, and tons of letters VRG has received over the years, from huge organizations to individuals just saying thank you. This project may have taken a little longer than expected but I could not help myself from getting caught up in how different yet the same life still is 30 years later.
During my internship I also worked VRG booths at the Hampden Fest in Maryand, Natural Products Expo, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference in Pennsylvania. I did writes ups for the blog and journal, taste tested vegan products to write Veggie Bits on, wrote restaurant blurbs for the restaurant guide, conducted professional interviews, promoted VRG’s Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck, made some new friends and learned a lot more then I ever thought I would about veganism, animal rights, and running a business. My internship at VRG improved my networking and writing skills, built my resume and has encouraged me to set goals for myself and realize that with some hard work, anything is achievable.
I began my internship in August. It is now November and as the semester draws to a close and I plan to move to another city I am happy to know that VRG will always be a part of me. I plan on continuing outreach by working VRG booths at festivals and conferences wherever I end up and helping in any way that I can.