Virtual Internship Experience at The Vegetarian Resource Group

By
Katelynn Budzich, VRG Intern

As
an Environmental & Sustainability Studies minor at Loyola University Maryland,
a requirement is to complete a capstone project. I was excited about this
course because it would be an opportunity to use what I have learned in my
classes, as well as, participate in something related to my interests in
environmental causes. I first came across an internship position at The
Vegetarian Resource Group from a list of places my professor (who runs the
minor) sent out. The list included some environmental focused work
opportunities. However, the one that stood out to me was The Vegetarian Resource
Group. My two passions in life are food and writing. Thus, The VRG was a
perfect amalgamation of the two.

     All of the experiences I read online that
other interns had, sounded amazing, so I was excited to potentially find myself
doing similar work. However, as an intern during the Fall 2020 semester of my
senior year, COVID-19 became a reality and changed what my internship
experience at The Vegetarian Resource Group would look like. There were certain
projects that I could no longer complete, seeing that everything was now
virtual and had to be catered to online work. At first, I was worried I would
miss out on some great opportunities, yet, after filling out my project
schedule, I knew I was going to enjoy my time at The Vegetarian Resource Group
because despite restrictions, all of the projects were right up my alley and
seemed like great learning experiences.

     I worked on many projects related to my
love of food and major in marketing. One article included reviewing a local
restaurant in Maryland
that serves vegan food. I chose a restaurant located in a food hall that my
friends and I always go to. Every time I am there, I always pass over the vegan
restaurant, but I am glad I finally had an excuse to try the food at that stall
because it was delicious. After seeing what I ordered, some of my friends who
are not vegan or vegetarian even ordered food from there when we went to the
food hall again. This article was a great moment for myself as well as the
people around me to better understand the possibilities of vegan food and how
great the quality can be.

     I was also tasked with completing a book
review that combined business lessons, veganism, and social responsibility.
This project was a breath of fresh air because it was the one time in my day
where I didn’t have to look at a screen and I could enjoy a good book. The book
gave a lot of great tips on how to start and run a business that will stay with
me beyond my time at The Vegetarian Resource Group.

     Some other fun projects I worked on were
product reviews, an article on differing opinions on vegan commercials, and
designing an advertisement for The Vegetarian Resource Group. The product
reviews were such a fun experience because I got all of my friends involved and
we tried the items together. They all tasted great and afterword, I did a short
write-up on what we sampled. Next, when I was working on creating an article
that shared vegans’, vegetarians’, and non-vegetarians’ opinions on vegan ads,
I researched vegan commercials and contacted other interns and volunteers to
participate, which was a great experience gathering and working with other
volunteers from The VRG. I then asked all of the volunteers to watch the
commercials and send back to me what they thought about them from the
perspective of people with different eating habits, which I composed into an
article. One more really fun project I completed was designing an advertisement
to join The Vegetarian Resource Group. This was an opportunity where I could
use some of my marketing skills and be creative, which I really enjoyed.

     My internship at The Vegetarian Resource
Group was an amazing opportunity, especially during such a turbulent time. I
have recently found an interest in going into the editorial or publishing industry
after I graduate college, so my time at The Vegetarian Resource Group was a
perfect introduction into that world. I learned so much about healthy eating,
improved my writing abilities, and had the chance to put my marketing knowledge
to use. Thank you to everyone I have worked with. The work I did and my time at
The VRG made a disrupted senior year into a very memorable one.

For information on VRG internships, see: https://www.vrg.org/student/index.php

To donate to The Vegetarian Resource Group, visit: vrg.org/donate