Alexandra Wheaton: Where Is She Now?
We love catching up with our former volunteers and interns because it gives us office-bound folk a chance to live vicariously through them. They all go off on life-changing adventures, overcoming challenges, and celebrating accomplishments. This time, we are catching up with Alexandra Wheaton. She was a 2018 summer intern at our NYC office.
The questions and answers below are a part of a series – Where Are They Now?.
Her CMMB Experience
“My experience working for CMMB allowed me to grow immensely.”
Where did you volunteer and what was your role?
I volunteered as an intern for the marketing and communications team. I primarily worked on different aspects of the website, asset management, and helped with the bi-annual volunteer orientation.
Share one story about your time at CMMB that stands out most for you?
There are a lot of things that stand out to me looking back at my time with CMMB. I loved being able to work in such a diverse place with people from all different work experiences and backgrounds. I think the thing that had the biggest impact on me, other than the people, was working with the international volunteers during the summer orientation.
Getting to know people that were willing to drop their whole lives and go live in a new country to help others was amazing. I think it’s one thing to work in an office and know that you are helping people halfway across the world, but it was really cool to meet people that were going to help in a more hands-on way.
Every person had a different reason for going to volunteer, whether it was their first time or their third, and I really enjoyed learning more about what inspired them to serve. I also still follow several of the volunteers on social media, and have had the chance to see pictures of their work.
What is your biggest learning from your experience and how has it impacted your professional career?
Prior to interning with CMMB, I had little to no experience working for a truly international non-profit organization. I had previously worked with refugees that had already arrived in the United States, but that often felt like reactive work rather than proactively helping people within their countries and communities.
CMMB allowed me to see projects, like the Angel Investor Program, that directly help families and communities live better, healthier lives. I think seeing photos and videos of the people you are helping is essential to remembering that although international work might seem overwhelming at times, helping one person truly does make a difference.
How has your experience changed you personally? How does it reveal itself in the way you live your life?
My experience working for CMMB allowed me to grow immensely. I have lived in the same town my entire life. I went to undergrad at Michigan State University, which is less than five miles from my house. So, it is suffice to say that although I have traveled abroad briefly, I lacked the exposure I wanted to a bigger and more diverse environment.
Living in New York City and working on Wall Street was exactly what I needed. I was able to see a new part of the city every day, and meet new people from all over the world. It was the confirmation I needed to know that I was headed in the right direction in terms of career goals and it helped me grow more confident going into new environments.
Where Is She Now?
Where are you now and what are you doing?
As many people from CMMB know, I spent all of last summer and fall studying for the LSAT, which I finally took in December! I graduated from Michigan State University in the beginning of May, with a degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics and two minors – Latin American and Caribbean studies and the second in global studies.
This fall I am starting at Suffolk Law School in Boston and will hopefully focus on International Human Rights Law. Until then, I am working in my hometown to save up for the big move to Boston in August.
What do you hope to do in your future?
In the future I hope to work in the international human rights field. I want to continue helping people as directly as possible, and continue working for places like CMMB that consist of amazing people trying to do as much good as possible in the world.