School of Communication & Journalism

Taylor Nappier: Ronald McDonald House

Taylor Nappier Interned at Ronald McDonald House in Oahu, Hawaii

My internship is in Honolulu, Hawaii at Ronald McDonald House Charities. We serve critically ill children and their families. I work alongside the Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Michelle Willard. Every day, I do something completely different at my internship. I can honestly say, I learn at least one new thing a day. Michelle is the ideal boss because she teaches me and asks for opinions. I help Michelle with all four of our social media platforms including: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. While I am at work, I usually post something new each day. For example, it could be a picture of the children living at the house or a news story to feature. Michelle and I work hard to get engagements through social media. It’s important to share the RMHC story in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific region. I also have the privilege of developing relationships with many of the families who live in the house. Surprisingly, many of the parents are open about sharing their story, which makes my job special; I get to see how much the Ronald McDonald House means to them. 

I’ve learned being proactive is key. The Ronald McDonald House in Hawaii did not advertise they were accepting interns, but I knew I wanted to intern at a non-profit. It was a goal of mine to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House. So, I got on their website and emailed their house manager and she set up an interview. I feel extremely blessed to have this internship. I was worried maybe I wouldn’t find one. The advice I would give to other students is to apply everywhere, even if there aren’t any job postings for internships at an organization. Don't be afraid that you will get turned down, you won't know until you try. 

In addition, I’ve also learned how an office setting operates. I’ve had the pleasure of working with four ladies in the development office. All of them genuinely care about their job. It is important to learn everything you can while interning, so when you are in the workforce, you are prepared. I now understand how hard you have to work at a non-profit. People don't see the behind-the-scenes action of making an organization successful. Sometimes working is not just for the money, but instead for helping families and the community. I feel like my internship has matured me in ways I didn't think possible. I feel ready to be out on my own even though I felt unprepared. I’ve grown as a person in this internship. It’s truly been an unforgettable experience. 

My best advice: learn and listen. Go into your internship with an open mind because if you do you will learn something incredible. If you start your internship thinking you are always right, and you are smarter than your boss, you won't excel at your internship. Ask questions because people always want to teach others. Work hard and do a good job! 







Contact Information

Ric Smith

Prof. Ric Smith

School of Communication & Journalism
232 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2757

Last Updated: November 06, 2018