Out of the Gates

And they’re off!

Having been through a rigorous application process, nine new “Moxies” met together with us three times during the spring semester. We discussed their internship options, talked about their hopes and fears for the summer, addressed their questions about living in New York City, and engaged in various activities to get to know each other.

Each student sent letters to two internship sites, and based on their own preferences and those of the internship directors, we assigned each one to one of the sites. They have since communicated with their supervisors, finding out more about their assignments, asking about work schedules, office culture, and dress codes.

In the final session of the semester, students practiced their oral interviewing skills on each other, recording their conversations about what they learned about gender–what it meant to be a boy or a girl–growing up. They reported loving the experience, and wanted to do more of it. They will each get the chance to interview at least one member of their host organization in depth this summer about their personal and work histories. And of course we hope that they will continue to talk with each other about these issues, even when the recorders aren’t running!

This week we all spent two entire days in the DukeEngage Academy, attending a variety of workshops on including cross-cultural communication, relating service learning to professional development, power and privilege, social entrepreneurship, and travelling as a woman. At breakfast and lunch each day we met and “checked in” about what they were learning and continued talking about our own expectations and goals for the summer. At our last meeting we took out a big map of New York city and found the airport, their NYU dorm, their internship sites, and our apartments. We all exchanged cell phone numbers, and made arrangements for meeting at the airport. Finally, they each wrote a letter to themself about their own hopes and expectations, goals and aspirations for the summer. We collected them, and will hand them back when they return to campus in the fall.

We said goodbye, and are looking forward to seeing them all in New York City!

–Rachel Seidman

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