Kathy’s Farewell

In my ten weeks at Grounded Strategies, I have learned several important things and gone through many valuable experiences. Even my perception of what a job entails has changed. Interning at a non-profit has shown me how passionate a group of people can be in the office. This not only influenced the office atmosphere but also increased my motivation. My time at Grounded has made me a lot less afraid of what’s to come after college and incredibly excited to make meaningful change in my future career.

Kathy and Masoud hanging out at the 2019 Geared Up and Grounded event.

This organization has taught me a lot of basic communication and teamwork skills while providing an environment where I felt good about the work I was doing. I’ve gained a lot of insight on the behind-the-scenes process of a non-profit. Beyond the foundation this internship has laid out for me, it has also given me a deeper connection to the city of Pittsburgh. I’ve learned so much about Pittsburgh’s communities and their needs and concerns in relation to the city’s vacant lots and beyond.

Interning at Grounded has been a great continuation of what I have been studying at CMU. It has given me hands-on experience of community-based work, a topic I’ve read a good deal about but hadn’t actually encountered directly before this internship. The design tasks I helped out with at Grounded have also challenged me creatively, as the art I usually create doesn’t have many design elements. The limitations of designing for a community space was something I never had to consider when creating art before, which taught me a lot about creating spaces useful for the community rather than purely for artistic or aesthetic reasons.

My internship at Grounded has been extremely rewarding. This opportunity has allowed me to gain many valuable skills while working with an amazing team doing impactful work. Though my work was mostly support for existing programs, I hope my presence has contributed towards a smoother-running, less stressful office environment. I will greatly miss the weekly staff meeting questions, the fun workdays, and most of all the people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.

-Kathy Zhang


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