My Summer with The Rose

July 28, 2023

My Summer with The Rose

By: Bridget Klenke

Internships are full of learning about a new professional field, your likes and dislikes, and how your future could look. Walking into an internship is always a mixture of excitement and nervousness, but walking into The Rose was something special.

During my very first communication with The Rose, my interview with the Development team, I heard the phrase: You don’t choose The Rose, The Rose chooses you. Of course, I took this quote as sign that the team loves their company. Little did I know, day in and day out, The Rose would continue to prove that she chose me – not the other way around.

In the short amount of time I have spent at the Rose, I have grown personally and professionally. From the Shrimp Boil to collecting patient stories, I have learned and felt the importance of family, gratitude, and passion.

You can’t speak about The Rose without thinking about family, which was especially evident at the Shrimp Boil. During the first three weeks of my internship, I heard all of the tales of the epic Shrimp Boil, but stories can only do so much justice. Being at the Shrimp Boil felt like I was joining a family reunion. Everyone was so lively and happy to be reunited with one another and with the event. This family gathering was a beautiful time to gain a deeper understanding of how the family started. The loyalty, love, and commitment that fill the organization started with Dorothy and Dixie, who built The Rose based on compassion for the women in their community and the needs of those women. These qualities are shared by every single staff member, board member, and donor. I was brought into this family with open arms. With The Rose, I know how it feels to work with colleagues who value each other and their mission. As I look forward to my last year of achieving my degree and launching my career, I will strive to bring these qualities of loyalty, compassion, love, and commitment into my mission. 

Following the Shrimp Boil, I started my largest task of the summer: talking with patients who are breast cancer survivors for potential interviews. Hearing the struggles and victories of each survivor is a very surreal experience. As much as that gave me an unsettling feeling, every call ended with a smile on my face as the survivors gave an immense amount of thanks and appreciation towards The Rose. Each and every survivor said they felt cared for by each team member they came in contact with. Alongside the overwhelming appreciation for The Rose, many patients said they had gained gratitude for every aspect of their life and the world in which we live. To no surprise, these encounters filled my heart with gratitude for the lessons from the incredible patients at The Rose. Even more, I felt so blessed to be a part of The Rose’s mission. These lessons will be lasting.

Finally, I saw and learned about passion. Every single coworker I met at The Rose clearly has a passion for serving their community. They have a passion for working for the mission of The Rose. Being surrounded by passionate people truly serves as an inspiration to find my own passion. I loved talking with the patients, hearing their stories, and telling them how important it is for other women to hear their stories as well. I found myself thinking about our patients and what more we could do to help with their struggles. With each task I was assigned, I felt motivated to come to work and finish each task to the best of my ability. While reflecting on my entire experience at The Rose, I realized I am leaving this internship knowing that what fulfills me most is doing good for others and making a change in so many lives. 

Looking at all that I have learned and experienced this summer, The Rose has truly developed my sense of self. I feel more confident in what I can do and will be able to achieve in the future. I will take on my future with a fearlessness and passion! I know The Rose chose me so that I could learn what matters most and to appreciate the new foundation this internship has built for me.

The ExxonMobil Foundation Community Summer Jobs Program (CSJP) offers eligible college undergraduates paid summer internships by providing financial grants to nonprofit agencies that allow them to hire college students. These students receive valuable work experience and an opportunity to make a significant impact in the community. Thank you CSJP for your support.