In March and part of April of this year, we were pleased to have a small group of Georgia Tech interns come into our organization for six weeks to study our weekly operations and help devise a plan to increase the efficiency and productivity of the non-profit. They worked as a group on their presentations but each intern chose a branch of the organization based on personal interest and their majors. The goal was to put together an action plan based on their observations throughout the semester and present it to their professor as well as provide hardcopies to discuss in our last meeting. When the interns first came to Homes of Light, we were thriving but we were less than organized. Nicole, CJ, and Cole were all eager to express their opinions and where they felt we needed improvement. It was obvious they were dedicated, sincere, and ready to bring a fresh, young prospective to the organization.
Nicole (an Aerospace Engineer Major) was drawn towards the VetCar branch of Homes of Light. She recognized the lack of recognition for the program as well as lack of resources for funding and donations and quickly comprised an action plan. The main focuses of the plan emphasized procuring regular funding and ways increase public awareness. Adding success stories and having veteran volunteers and employs on the forefront has helped with recognition dramatically. We were able to put a few of the suggestions into action almost immediately and it didn’t take long to see a change. After all, it wasn’t rocket science.
Cole is the Marketing major and his interests were focused on the social media platforms and most importantly, the branding of the organization. He emphasized that consistency and business relationships that the organizations already has would be the best way to increase our reach on the platforms we had established. He also explained that certain demographics gravitate towards different social media outlets and helped determine what information should be displayed where and why it was the most efficient way to reach the public. The organization’s reach has grown and is made obvious by the increase in shares, likes, retweets, and website traffic.
CJ’s Engineering background as well as experience with 3D printers made him a natural choice for an upcoming project. The idea was to have a prototype produced by a 3D printer in hopes of creating jobs for veterans in the technology and distribution industries. We had been brainstorming on the idea for a product for weeks with little progress. With the help of Gil, our Executive Director they were able to come up with a product and CJ designed the model using CAD software. The prototype was recently made a reality and has a patent pending.
Each intern showed genuine interest in their specific area of consulting and took advantage of an opportunity for them to take the reins and show their leadership potential. In only six weeks, they were able to give Homes of Light some valuable tools that will continue to be utilized and improved upon. All of the interns are now graduated and are preparing for their roles in the real world. The staff at Homes of Light has full faith in their abilities based on the tact and sense of responsibility they demonstrated.