How Being an Intern Can Help You Live Intentionally

When you struggle to have a simplified life, being able to live with intention will feel like an impossibility. Living with intention ties directly to your life’s purpose. No pressure, right? If you’re shaky on your life’s purpose, it makes it hard to know where to intentionally head each day, which means your life will be full of obligations and tasks that you’ve added to your schedule to make it seem like you’re headed somewhere.

Building a solid foundation out of which your career can blossom is something we all would like to have but it’s not something all of us are either able to construct or able to maintain. A secure foundation provides a solid springboard for you to launch into each day with intentionality and a to-do list that will bring you life, not drain it from you.

If you weren’t able to start your career with a foundation like that, is there still time to build it? If you’re starting your career, what is a good way to ensure that your foundation is not only solid but fitting for your career dreams? At 4word, we are huge fans of internships to help professionals — brand new to experienced — center their focus on what they are being called to pursue. We are such big fans of internship, in fact, that we have our own Internship Program!

We asked three of our past interns to share with you about how being an intern helped them on their professional journey, and how going through the 4word Internship Program helped show them how they could live with intention.

What made you choose the 4word Internship Program over other internships?

Miriam Morales, 4word Intern – Fall 2016 – Spring 2017: I loved the flexibility and the idea of getting to connect with other women professionals that were believers. Overall, I think the flexibility had the biggest plus as well as the opportunity for mentorship.

Charonda Woods, Mentor Program Intern – Spring 2018 – Summer 2018: I chose the 4word Internship Program because I wanted to intern with a non-church organization that was relevant to a woman’s everyday experiences. I have fifteen years of IT Corporate experience and I know how hard it is to not cross the line to expose who you are in Christ while spreading the gospel to others in the workplace, but we are called to do it as Christians. So I choose to become the 4word Mentor Program intern so I could learn the operations of a mentorship program with Jesus actually being the center of it.

Taylor Bell, Development/Human Resources Intern – Fall 2017 – Spring 2018: As I was looking for an internship, I had certain criteria that I was focusing on. I was looking for an internship that was centered in Human Resources, had the opportunity to work with people, and was with an organization whose values aligned with mine. Upon hearing about the internship opportunity at 4word, I researched the organization and felt a pull towards it. This internship fit all of the above criteria, but it also afforded flexibility, spiritual support, and amazing people which was missing in other organizations. I had the pleasure of interviewing with Debbie MacDonald and Lisa Sack, who are two incredible women. Even during the interview they were encouraging, passionate about 4word, and full of the love of Christ. To sum it up, I chose 4word because of the amazing passionate women who paired my professional HR and legal goals with my spiritual journey and afforded me flexibility as I balanced my school work, social and service opportunities, and my internship duties.

How did you grow, professionally and personally, as a result of your time with 4word?

Miriam: I grew my confidence in public speaking with my mentor but I learned even more in Excel, CRM databases, and WordPress, which was great. I’ve met some of my best friends at 4word, and that has been a tremendous personal blessing.

Charonda: I grew professionally by learning the ropes of how to run a Christian-based mentorship program for professional women. Additionally, I learned how to be mentored and in this upcoming class session, I will actually get to mentor a young woman in Corporate. I’m very excited about that! I also learned how to write email devotionals that cater to this specific audience and the scripture that is relevant to the lives of women in the workplace.

Taylor: When I started 4word, it was unclear to me how I could pair my professional passion of Human Resources and Law with my personal love for people and the Lord. My internship with 4word showed me that not only was this pairing possible, but that pairing the two was the only way to live a fulfilling life. Professionally, I gained experience in managing CRM databases, tracking and analyzing 4word constituent’s information, and aiding the Director of Development with fundraising and administrative projects. My largest project at 4word, which was also my favorite, involved developing the first Human Resource Manual for 4word Women in compliance with state and federal non-profit laws. This project allowed me to integrate feedback from outside sources including corporate HR personnel, legal firms, and nonprofit professionals to create a handbook that not only complied with all relevant laws, but also fit 4word’s culture. 4word also provided me the unique opportunity to network with professional Christian women as an undergraduate at Texas A&M. This opportunity not only allowed me to expand my professional network, but to grow in my personal life. I was able to learn from strong Christian professionals who set the standard for how women of faith should live their lives inside and outside of the workplace. I also grew deeper in my faith with the Lord through the support and encouragement of Lisa and Debbie, as well as the incredible members of 4word who I was blessed enough to come in contact with.

Did your role with 4word help show you how to live your life more intentionally as you went on to pursue other opportunities?

Miriam: Yes, setting goals definitely helped me personally, and helped me to see what I wanted my life to potentially look like in five years, ten years, and more. 

Charonda: Being a 4word Mentor Program Intern showed me that mentorship should be a lifestyle and not just an organized system/agenda. As a follower of Christ, I should be praying on who God can lead me to mentor to in my respective neighborhood so I can share more of who He is. This role opened my eyes to seeing the needs that many women have while balancing various roles such a wife, mother, corporate executive, sister and much more. These women need to be spiritually fed to continue to pour into others.

Taylor: My role at 4word, as well as my interactions with its members, set an example of how to live a Christian life while also pursuing professional goals. This fall, I will be furthering my education at SMU’s Dedman School of Law where I will employ the skills I learned in developing the HR Handbook as I pursue a Juris Doctor.

What is one thing you would say to someone considering the 4word Internship Program?

Miriam: This is a great way to meet other people, have flexibility, and grow in practical professional and personal areas.

Charonda: 4word is the place to be if your mission is to support, encourage, and strengthen other women so that they can be all that God has called them to be.

Taylor: The one thing I would say to someone considering an internship at 4word is to be prayerful during the entire process and be open for every opportunity put in front of you. 4word offers its interns the unique opportunity to fellowship and network with some of the United States’ top Christian women, to enhance their professional skills in their area of expertise, and to develop their relationship with Christ within the context of a professional environment.

Are you interested in being part of our next class of interns? Click here for more information about the 4word Internship Program and how to apply.

Miriam Morales has been teaching for 10 years and truly loves working with students of all levels and encouraging them to develop a deep love for music. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas where she studied classical and jazz piano. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Media with an emphasis in Piano from the University of Texas at Arlington. She also holds a Masters Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in Media Arts and Worship. Miriam has taught for multiple music studios and non-profit organizations in the DFW area including the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas, Big Thought, Junior Players and Arts Net. She has served as the pianist for several churches and performs for weddings, corporate events and private parties. Currently Miriam is the Executive Director for Music with Miriam which has equipped nearly 200 students to play music they truly enjoy.

Charonda Woods is in the Master of Arts – Christian Education Program at Dallas Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Women’s Ministry. She has 15 years of IT Corporate experience and wants to help women spread the love of God about His Son Jesus Christ in the workplace. Being a follower of Jesus Christ is what a Christian’s primary identity should be rooted in and working in Corporate allows us to share the Lord with others in the way we work, evangelize, share, organize, lead and much more. It is Charonda’s honor to study the Bible to learn a Biblical worldview to help educate and encourage others in the body of Christ.

Taylor Bell graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Human Resource Development with a minor in Business. Taylor enjoys being active with water sports, running, and hiking. She also loves traveling the world, an activity that provides a unique perspective to better understand and interact with diverse cultures and world views. She loved being part of the 4word family and furthering its mission of serving professional Christian women.