Inside Scoop on the Internship

Bri Morrison, Fulltime Intern

Can you believe that it’s already March? Because I sure can’t. My time as an intern for TCM is already over halfway finished, and this year has felt like a whirlwind.

Before the internship, I was a part of Lighthouse for all four of my years on campus at UPS. I started coming on the first Tuesday of my freshman year and became a regular attender because of the warm community I found there and the openness to engage in dialogue about the icky sticky parts of faith that so often get pushed under the rug. I made friends and joined a core group and went on every retreat we had. I joined the leadership team my sophomore year and eventually became the Lighthouse president when I was a senior. I found myself wanting to stick around for another year and applied for the TCM internship to help my beloved community navigate the transition of leadership when Christy became our campus minister.

It’s weird when you shift from one of the people being served to being one of the people making everything happen behind the scenes. I thought that I had bridged that gap when I had been a student leader, but this year I have been able to witness the true amount of time and energy that goes into TCM’s operation.

One thing that stands out to me clearly that I love about my job as an intern is the amount of attention that goes into supporting students. Many students may not know this, but every week we meet as a staff team to talk over how to best support the members of our community through our programs and through our personal relationships. I have learned so much about how to be a good listener and supportive mentor to the students I meet with because of the constructive work we do as a staff team. It can take time and practice to learn how to hold space for others when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. This kind of attention helps us to shape our series, events, and retreats to better meet the needs of our students based on what we are hearing.

Week to week, I also spend my time working with our team, creatively designing and planning our regular events. Some of those tasks involve creating graphics for campus posters and social media, and we also spend time brainstorming ways for our students to engage artistically with our scripture and message for the week through art stations. The art stations are a part of our weekly Lighthouse service that were introduced this year, and we have heard from students that the opportunity to physically interact and engage with the week’s topic has been something they have come to look forward to each week. The stations often ask students to reflect on a theme, contribute to an art piece, or participate in a symbolic activity that can help them process the message and take an experience or an object home with them from the event as a reminder of what they heard.

I love that my job as an intern allows me to prioritize relationships and that I get to be so creative in my work. It makes my work feel meaningful and it’s appealing because my work doesn’t look identical from day to day.

I must also mention one more integral part of what has made this job so special, and that is the support that I feel on our staff team. This year has had some ups and downs for me in my personal life, and because my job involves as much emotional and relational work as it does, it is relieving and refreshing to be working alongside people who genuinely care about me and my wellbeing from day to day. I feel immense support from Christy, Annie, and Jan, and I know that the care we have for one another is truly special, and rare to find in a work environment.

Above all, I love that as an intern, I feel that my voice and my actions make a difference in this community. I can contribute to making this community the space for rest and acceptance and worship that our students long for. I can help make this a home for them on campus. I can help dispel their feelings of loneliness and isolation. I can be a listener for those who feel they aren’t heard. I can make a difference here.