Report on My VRG Internship

By Julia Stanitski,
VRG Intern

My internship at The
Vegetarian Resource Group was incredible. I originally reached out to VRG
because I have been so interested in veganism and health promotion. I had heard
of VRG before, but never really knew much about the organization. After talking
with Charles Stahler, who I was in contact with about the experience, I knew I
would love the activities it would entail. I began the internship in early
September, and continued until December, learning a lot along the way.

     I began the internship by assisting with
the restaurant guide on the VRG website. Debra sent me general information on
how to complete summaries/write-ups for new vegan restaurants that popped up
across the USA and Canada. This was so fun for me, as I got to view and learn
about new places opening up. It was great to see what types of vegan food and
cuisine are available nowadays! I also got to review a Delaware vegan
restaurant for the VRG E-mail Newsletter. This was awesome! My friends and I
went to Daily Veg, a 100% vegan restaurant in Newark, Delaware, to try a
variety of their offerings. I had never written a food review before, but it
was fun getting to taste the foods, take photographs, and write about it
afterwards.

     Next, I created a blog post about vegan
snacks for dancers. This was very personal to me as I have danced for my entire
life. Since I have only been vegan for around three years, my eating habits
have definitely changed throughout my life. I really got to think about the
best snacks for athletes and dancers, in particular, which I really enjoyed.
The second blog post I wrote was about vegan food available at my college. I
loved doing this, because there are tons of vegan options at the University of
Delaware! I really got to explain how I was able to find vegan food and I did
not go hungry during the day because of my dietary restrictions.

     The third blog post I wrote was about
favorite vegan foods of various college interns. I was able to connect with the
other interns at VRG and ask them what vegan foods they enjoy at their own
schools. If the interns were in high school, I asked them what foods they would
like to see at the future college they attend. I loved this because I got to
email with people all around the country that are similar in age to me, and learn
about where they went to school and what they like. After this, I finally wrote
a post regarding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding parents, teens,
and veganism. This was my favorite blog post I got to write. It hit home to me
because I started going vegan when I was 17/18-years-old. As my parents are not
vegan or vegetarian, it was difficult changing my way of life and how I ate
when I was at home with them. I had to explain a lot about veganism to them,
and have a ton of confidence in myself regarding my decisions. I think this FAQ
will be very helpful for teens that either are vegan, or are thinking about
going vegan in the near future.

     Next, I got to help another VRG intern
that goes to Loyola University with one of her projects. I really liked this
because I got to see what the types of projects were that she was working on. I
assisted her on a specific project by sharing my opinions on commercials &
advertisements of vegan products. She then put my opinion and the opinions of
other interns into a big blog post for the website. It was great!

     One of the most valuable things I got to
do in this internship was make a list of companies and positions that
interested me for future jobs. For each, I put their requirements, links to
their applications, and the general gist of the employment opportunity. This
really got me thinking about types of jobs I could see myself working in in the
future. Especially since I am unsure of the specific job I want, it was great
to see the options out there and what I would actually like doing after reading
their descriptions. I am now able to keep this and look back on it throughout
my senior year of college while I begin to search for jobs.

     Lastly, I was able to review two vegan
food products. These were GoodPops (organic freezer pops made from juice) and
soy filets. These were fun because I got to taste two different products I had
never purchased before on my own. I enjoyed writing a little blurb about the
positives of each and where to find them at stores.

     Overall, this internship experience was
great for me. I really learned a lot about veganism in the real world, how
companies have been promoting the lifestyle, and how much vegan-related media
and products have grown in the past few years! I loved working with VRG and
want to continue to stay connected with vegan health promotion and media. I
would definitely recommend this internship to any high school or college
student interested in vegetarianism, veganism, or just a healthier lifestyle.

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