A Reflection from Brooke

By Brooke Andrews

Coming out of my junior year of college in 2023, I had few expectations starting my summer internship at WATER. It was my first time having an office job, so all I had to go on was what I had seen on TV or heard from my parents. I was concerned about long hours, monotonous tasks, and a stale atmosphere. I’m glad to report that the WATER office failed to deliver any of those things!

Instead, this office welcomed me warmly and quickly made me a valued colleague. I got to make a deep impact through my tasks, which ranged from program planning to website editing to archival work. I met many diverse and extraordinary people in Zoom meetings and trips to the Capitol. My internship was supposed to be over with WATER’s annual break in August, but when the time came, no one, including myself, was ready for me to leave.

Since September, I have continued my work, now as a part-time staff. Twice a week I take the Metro from College Park to Silver Spring to do whatever is needed. Each week presents a new project, so even after nearly a year, I have never felt bored. On top of that, what’s even better than doing the work is seeing the impact. Small tasks, like writing something for our newsletter or drafting an email, feel monumental when I see the list of thousands of names of people who will be reading my words.

I have been told that my experience at WATER has spoiled me for future office jobs, and I could not agree more. Now I will only feel satisfied when I know that my work positively affects others. I am blessed to have this job and community to shape my perception of what role a career should take in a person’s life. After I graduate from college and look to the future, I’ll take the lessons I have learned at WATER with me.