Student Profile: Thu Trang Tran, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, Jackson Fellow

Thu Trang Tran

Through the College of Saint Benedict Jackson Fellows Program, I am interning with Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines. Our organization works to provide girls with meaningful leadership experiences that help them reach their top potentials. I mainly assist in the Fund Development and Communication Department and also take part in programming for out-reach Girl Scouts.  Being part of the program is tremendously rewarding. This is a great opportunity for me to get some hands-on work and to gain a big picture of what it means to work for a non-profit organization. Every day I witness real people working ten hours a day, five days a week to provide girls with great resources and encouragement they need in order to succeed. Learning not only the burn-outs that these people face, but also the difference they make in the community, I am inspired to be one of them. Had it not been for the Jackson Fellows Program, I would not have had this perspective and motivation to contribute even more to the common good.

This fellowship serves as a great preparation for my future career. Since I am an accounting major, it was hard to imagine myself working in the non-profit sector, but the fellowship has opened my eyes to many possibilities. I learned that the skills set that I obtained from my major is handy when it comes to financial planning and operation budgeting in a non-profit organization. The internship I have at Girl Scouts also compliments my accounting background and makes me more diverse.

It was also a great chance to attend our bi-monthly workshops. Being able to network with the guest speakers, listening to their stories and sharing good conversations with the other fellows were extremely helpful. I appreciate the diversity in topics that we have had at these workshops as well as the practical skills we have learned.

For me, civic engagement used to be a fairly vague term. I thought it meant something very political, big-scaled and by no means concrete. Throughout the time working at Girl Scouts, I realized that civic engagement itself can come in so many shapes and colors. It can be something other Jackson Fellows have been working with such as human rights advocacy, mental courts, legal services, etc, but it can be something very personable yet equally meaningful such as Girl Scouts, the Children’s Museum or Lyric Arts Theater. Interning at different sites, we all have an intentional purpose: to educate ourselves about the community and to serve the society we live in. That is civic engagement!

Click here to learn more about the Jackson Fellows.

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