My name is Faith Lam, and I am a Sophomore from Chicago, Illinois. I am currently majoring in marketing at UF. I love getting involved! On-campus, I am a PR/Events Member for Her Campus UFL and work as a Marketing Assistant at UF RecSports. This summer, I received the wonderful opportunity to intern at Young, Black & Lit (YBL), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois. Their initiative is to increase access to children’s books that reflect and affirm the experiences of Black children through the representation of Black main characters. They are funded through their online bookstore, which sells the same type of books. Now, I serve on the Board of Young, Black & Lit, as a Digital Community Specialist.
Tell us about your experience with retail/the Retail Center
I first got involved with the Retail Center since I was on the email list, where I learned about many different opportunities for internships and events. Last year, I was eager to find opportunities for experience in retail, so I started applying to many of the opportunities listed in the Miller Retail Center newsletter. YBL initially caught my attention when I saw “Chicago” in the subject line, so I was excited to apply for an internship in my hometown.
What is your best accomplishment/tell us about your internship! What stands out about it?
My favorite and most meaningful experience was when I was tasked with reaching out to the local author and activist Zetta Elliott about featuring her on our social media. I got to conduct an interview with her via zoom, which was posted on Instagram. I was initially nervous for my first time conducting an interview before a large audience, but I had a great time and learned a lot from it! I would say my most meaningful achievement at YBL was when my internship ended and they asked me to stay and serve on their board, which I have been doing since then.
How did your internship shape you throughout it?
Since Young, Black & Lit is a small startup, I was given many opportunities for leadership and growth. Though my internship was remote, I was still able to attend events hosted by Young, Black & Lit in the area. I attended a book giveaway, where I met my supervisors in person! It was so inspiring to witness how happy the children were to receive free books that represented them. This entire experience truly helped me gain confidence in myself, plus a larger understanding and appreciation of retailing. I love working for an organization that upholds values that I strongly resonate with, such as the importance of representation in media. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and I cannot wait to see how this organization will continue to grow and expand.
Any advice to young professionals looking for enriching opportunities such as yours?
For other young professionals searching for enriching opportunities, I would tell them that someone is always watching. If you are still working and going the extra mile even when you think no one is watching, people will notice that. I genuinely enjoyed working hard towards a great cause during my internship. I think that if you really care about the work you do and put your full effort into it, it can be very rewarding.