When Covid-19 forced all of us into isolation and threw us online, I began panicking as my summer plans disappeared. Fortunately, Jezuba’s internship program with Wellesley allowed me to put my summer sitting at home to good use. My role at Jezuba was the Artist and Makers Program Manager, a position that put me in charge of publicizing our artists and reaching out to new artists who may be interested in partnering with us. I knew very little about artist outreach and I had no idea how much time I would spend working out the logistics of onboarding new artists. Over the course of my internship, I gained valuable experience solving real world problems and I was able to connect with inspiring women across the globe—women who create businesses that are not only profitable, but also beneficial to others. Whether it’s donating their time, money, or talent, these artists have dedicated themselves to helping those in need.
Working at Jezuba has helped me see how I could use social entrepreneurship to benefit underserved and disadvantaged communities. It has also given me an introduction to the world of nonprofit work, in which I hope to stay involved. Coming into this internship, I didn’t expect to learn such a wide variety of skills that are necessary for the day-to-day running of a nonprofit. Among other things, I learned how to edit a contract, how to create a cost-benefit analysis for various shipping plans, how to draft emails to potential clients, how to communicate online and across time zones, how to plan and set up meetings, and how to write blog posts about the artists we partner with. None of these tasks were listed in my job description, but they were all necessary aspects of my work.
My most difficult job was reaching out to new artists. Given the economic shutdown, we wanted to provide artists with another platform to sell their work free of charge. I decided early on that I wanted to reach out specifically to black and brown artists who are disproportionately harmed by the pandemic and the economic crisis. However, I drastically underestimated the number of people I needed to contact in order to get responses. I began by contacting seven artists, then eight more artists, then seven more artists and four organizations, until I finally got two responses. By the end of my internship, I only brought one company—Rach∞Becca—fully on board with Jezuba. As disappointing as that was, I realized that I had still managed to create a system that Jezuba can use to contact artists in the future, got Rach∞Becca their own webpage and put their products on our webstore, wrote blog posts for Paper Sweetly and Rach∞Becca, and worked with them to make videos for Jezuba’s global giving campaign. My internship has been challenging, but rewarding, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Artists & Makers Program Manager