What I will remember most about my summer at the Fulfillment Fund was the organization’s willingness to welcome and integrate me fully in its day-to-day. From the moment I got there, I was shown to my own office, with a personal login, email, and set of files that was going to help my summer work. Additionally, throughout the summer, I was brought into meetings at all levels of the organization, including those that weren’t in my summer job “function.” Because of this inclusion, I took a lot of ownership of not only the projects I was working on, but also those that my summer team was completing.
What strikes me about this is how different this felt from most of my experiences at LAUSD. As a public school teacher, I had to fight for my classroom (annually) and didn’t receive an email/login until the third week that school started, and always felt periphery to important events the school was experiencing. Maybe these differences are inconsequential when it really came down to the work I did, but, regardless, it felt different. I felt welcomed, necessary, and included at the Fulfillment Fund. And, although LAUSD and a small education non-profit serve extremely different purposes in the education space, they are not opposites. This summer proved a basic business concept for me: no matter how “good” the work that your organization is doing, if your employees don’t feel taken care of their contribution will ultimately be limited.