Meet CrusaderIntern Vanessa Costa ’18

Meet Vanessa Costa ’18 Special Events Intern at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

This summer, I interned at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to the fight to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting 30,000 children and young adults in the United States. I had the privilege of working at the MA/RI chapter of the foundation with an amazing group of dedicated individuals. Throughout my internship, I collaborated with my team and aided in the preparation and production of about six or seven different major fundraising events, some of which I saw through to the end, and others of which are still to come. The majority of my time at my internship was spent on two events, in particular; a weekend-long hiking event in the Berkshires, and a three-course cycling event coming up in October.

My internship projects included recruiting participants and sponsors, attaining donated auction items and local services, preparing mailings, maintaining itemized inventory and organization pre- and post-events, as well as many other tasks. All of the money raised at each of these fundraising events goes toward supporting medical efforts to find a cure for CF, while also allowing the foundation to provide support and resources to CF patients and their families.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

As a Sociology major, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the diversity of the world and its peoples. I have become more open-minded and understanding as a person, which I have found to be extremely beneficial when interacting with different types of individuals. This proved particularly beneficial during my internship when I had to interact with such individuals as corporate leaders, small business owners, and CF patients and their families.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

It surprised me how willing my coworkers and supervisors were to accept me into their space. I immediately felt like part of the family, like I belonged there. I think that’s why it felt so strange to leave at the end of my internship; I didn’t want it to end.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

This internship definitely strengthened my desire to make a difference in the world, and it reaffirmed that I had made the right decision by choosing Sociology as my major. I want to help people in the future; help make their lives a little easier and fairer. For that reason, I would really love to pursue a career in social justice or social welfare.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Put yourself out there. Give everything your best shot and don’t shy away from new experiences. You never know who you are going to meet and how much of an impact something or someone might have on your life and your passions.