My Vegetarian Resource Group Internship

By Amy Burger

I feel lucky to have been able to work as an intern for The
Vegetarian Resource Group during the Spring 2021 semester. I hoped to do an
internship as part of my Master of Arts in English, but due to the pandemic, my
school’s listed opportunities were much more limited than usual, and often
required hours that wouldn’t work for my schedule, since I have a full-time
job. As a result of these factors, finding an internship placement seemed like
a challenge, but as it turns out, the answer was closer than I’d imagined. Over
the previous several months, I’ve been receiving copies of Vegetarian
Journal
as a perk of my membership with The VRG. Many of the issues
featured interns writing about their work with the group, and recent such
columns indicated that a remote internship might be possible.

     Fortunately, it
was. I was able to work remotely from my home office, writing articles,
learning about layout and copyediting, and getting a better understanding of
the nonprofit world. Not only did the internship represent an opportunity to
work with an organization whose mission I care about, and to learn hands-on, it
also allowed me to further develop skills I’d learned in my classes, through
taking a grant-writing workshop and writing several pieces, from restaurant
guide listings to articles for the VRG.org blog and for Vegetarian Journal.
The tastiest parts of this experience were when I got to write a review of a
local restaurant, try fishless tuna for a Veggie Bits review, and sample
recipes from Vegan Boards, a new cookbook I had the chance to review.

     The internship
lasted for fourteen weeks, and for the last few of these, I focused on two more
in-depth projects related to The VRG’s upcoming 40th anniversary in
2022: an article about former scholarship winners, and one about former
volunteers and employees. These projects required a lot of legwork, in terms of
tracking down current contact information and getting in touch with people to
get answers to my questions for the articles, and then putting everything
together. While writing them was somewhat challenging, it was ultimately very
rewarding.

     In communicating
with individuals who’d worked at some point with The VRG in some capacity, I
was impressed by the universal esteem for the organization. People told me how
much they loved The VRG, respected its work, and thought fondly of it. One
frequent comment was of appreciation for The VRG’s grounding in science. The
evidence-based ethos of the organization has been part of its identity from the
beginning and has contributed to its reputation as a trustworthy resource
today.

     As an intern, I
can also say that The VRG is an incredibly supportive organization to work for.
I, and other previous interns, appreciate that the coordinators allow each
individual to pursue their own interests through their work, and connect them
to opportunities related to these interests.

     While my
internship is ending and graduation is finally in sight, my involvement with
The VRG is just beginning. I plan to continue volunteering by writing articles
and helping with projects, and maybe someday soon I will be able to visit Baltimore and thank them
in person.

For more information about interning with The Vegetarian
Resource Group, see vrg.org/student/index.php

To support The Vegetarian Resource Group internships, donate
at vrg.org/donate 

Or join at vrg.org/member/cabdacae.php

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