Shiara Pyrrhus ’23

Health Equity International, Newton, MA

I enjoyed working as a grant writer and communications intern at Health Equity International this summer. I loved my job because it kept me on my toes. I never knew what to expect from day to day. Although I was an intern, I felt I had meaningful responsibilities and that my supervisors trusted me to do important work. I wrote proposals and reports, proofread content for our new website and did prospect research. I even found two potential new donors and wrote proposals for them.

Health Equity International is a small organization, with around 15 people in the office. I enjoyed that because it allowed me to feel a part of the team and know everyone by name. Everyone was kind and encouraging of my work. I worked in a flexible, encouraging, and gratitude-centered environment. For any task I completed, I felt appreciated. And as someone who embraces words of affirmation, that’s exactly the kind of culture I thrive in.

Another aspect of my work culture that I appreciated was that when someone was overwhelmed, they were able to advocate for themselves and seek help. For example, my supervisor was hiring 12 people for a new project. A staff member was charged with organizing the applicants and sending our supervisors a compiled list with all of the pertinent documents to review. However, this was an overwhelming task because there were so many applicants. I was able to help my co-worker, and I found I enjoyed doing this type of HR work. It was also amazing to peek at people’s résumés. A lot of the applicants were from France, and it helped me to improve my French reading comprehension. The most challenging part of my internship was the commute. It was about an hour and a half train ride from my house, and if the train was delayed, I arrived at the office late. Thankfully, my supervisor was understanding, however, it is something I need to seriously consider when accepting a job after graduation.

Overall, I am honored to have had the opportunity to work at Health Equity International. I left work every day feeling like I made a difference. My supervisors were incredibly kind, supportive and talented. I learned so much by sitting in various meetings, and when I made a mistake, they corrected me with kindness. My future career will definitely involve grant writing in some way, and now I’m confident that I have enough skills to do it well.

Thank you to the Kraft Family and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration who made this experience possible.