Cooper's story


Cooper is an Intern at Emmaus Greenwich, found through an exchange programme the community has with the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, U.S. He flew all the way over from the United States of America to intern at Emmaus Greenwich, while continuing his studies in London.

When I applied for the internship with Emmaus Greenwich, I didn’t know much about them. I applied because it was the only London-based internship I was interested in.  All of the other internships were for big organisations, like banks and well known, corporate companies. I knew I didn’t want that, so I applied on a whim and here I am.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first came here. I knew Emmaus was a charity organisation, so I knew I would be doing something a little more beneficial. I was excited to help people.

Since becoming an intern, I have worked on a little bit of everything. Keith, the Business and Support Manager, asked me what I was good at doing and we went from there.  My first project was helping on our new leaflets, which mainly included adding maps to the leaflet. This was a lot trickier than it sounds, because I’m not from a graphic design background. Then I created an instruction manual for the team at Emmaus Greenwich. That way, when I’m gone, they have some good instructions for when they need to renew their leaflets.

My second project was researching and implementing new cloud back up storage. What we were using before was old, out of date and costing the charity a lot of money. I put together a report, recommended a certain software and then I implemented it.

One of the best parts of the internship is the fact that I was treated like a part of the team, and I was able to get involved in work which would make a real contribution. My other friends tell me they sit at a desk, read surveys all day and have no interaction. It’s nice for me knowing my work will do something to help.

As a whole, the community was really beneficial for me. It was my first time travelling outside of the U.S, and I was on my own. It’s big and different to back home, but the community helped me transition to life in London and now I love it. Just the small things helped, like giving me huge bags of foods or advice on what to do on the weekends; they were my support group outside of school.

I learnt a lot while being here. I learnt new things, like computer work, but I also learnt a lot about myself and what I want from the future. While I’m still not sure what the future has in store, interning here has really helped me look at things differently. I came to Emmaus having written off working for businesses, but I think I would like to go into teaching and education. I still have a year of school left, so I will see how it goes, but I can definitely see myself helping to educate people with less opportunities than I have.

It’s hard to sum up my experience with Emmaus Greenwich, but I can definitely say it is my favourite part of London.