Emory Report
June 22, 2009
Volume 61, Number 33


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June 22, 2009
Internship lights a way toward the ‘real world’

Erin Crews ‘09C–’09G is an intern with the Emory Alumni Association.

A few weeks ago, I was cupping a candle flame and peeling melted wax off my hands when I first stepped foot on the grounds of the Miller-Ward Alumni House. The annual Candlelight Crossover — during which each member of the graduating class carries a lighted candle across the Houston Mill Bridge, arriving on the other side for a reception at Miller-Ward — is bittersweet by design, what with its symbolic nature and the dazzling visuals of a slow migration illuminated by hundreds of tiny flecks of light.

As for myself, mild panic was setting in as I stepped off the bridge. I knew that graduation was just around the corner, but suddenly that “real world” I’d been keeping at bay was staring me down. The glowing faces of Emory alumni; congratulations from administrators and staff; hellos and farewells to fellow classmates; cocktails and light refreshments?

I wasn’t ready for this.

Little did I know that I would return to Miller-Ward for the rest of the summer. I’m interning for the Emory Alumni Association, along with Kristin Chick and Ben Weinstein, from Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia, respectively.

The internship has been a fantastic opportunity to get some additional professional experience under my belt while savoring my time at Emory for just a bit longer. Summertime is planning time at the EAA, and the communications office has been surprisingly busy. I have only been here a couple of weeks, but I’ve spent time doing everything from designing graphics, creating slideshows for our blog, interviewing fellow alumni, and writing articles like this one.

Conducting research for some of these projects has led me to discover many aspects of the University and layers of its history that I was entirely unaware of as a student. Did you know that as recently as 1970, Emory still held a quota in place limiting the number of women undergraduates to one-third of the student population? Or that there was once a movie theater, an apothecary, and a barbershop in Emory Village? Trivia aside, the work that EAA does to foster lifelong relationships with the University has exposed me to a whole other side of Emory, one that extends far beyond the boundaries of undergraduate life on
the main campus.

As an Emory alumna, I find that writing materials that promote alumni events and initiatives can feel eerily like talking to myself. But it’s also a great feeling to be able to count myself among the impressive group of Emory alumni with whom I engage here. In just the past week, I have written about a law school alumnus who has dedicated countless hours of service to Atlanta-based nonprofits and cultural organizations, an Emory College graduate who coordinated an independent film festival in New York, and an alumnus of the Candler School of Theology and humanitarian who heads one of the world’s largest non-governmental organizations.
Spending my days researching, planning, and writing for and about alumni who are involved in such extraordinary and meaningful work, as well as all of the exciting things that are going on around a place that I love — could it get any better?