On October 16, we talked with senior English and Biology double major Kaliyn Pater about her internship with the diabetes advocacy organization JDRF, her experiences producing the organization’s social media, and the appeal of a career in the nonprofit sector.

SU English: What are your main duties?

Kailyn: My main duties working as an intern for JDRF include running all social media pages and working with the Youth Ambassadors program. I also am responsible for a large number of stewardship calls where I directly engage with members and donors of the T1D community.

SU English: What is your favorite aspect of the internship or the part you find most valuable?

Kailyn: My favorite part thus far has been working with the Youth Ambassadors. I love hearing their stories because all of them are trying to turn their diagnosis into something positive that will benefit other people with T1D.

SU English: What did you learn about creating effective social media stories and representing JDRF on social media?

Kailyn: Social media has a lot of different elements to it, more than I realized. Sometimes, posts came straight from headquarters and I used their specific language and photos. Other times, I got to be really creative. Some of the things I decided to do included featuring my own diabetic friends as well as the JDRF Youth Ambassadors. I had to reach out to them, hear their stories, and convey that on social media. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole internship, honestly, and those posts I created generated three times the normal engagement, sometimes more. I learned that to represent a nonprofit, such as JDRF, the language needs to be very precise and compelling because we rely on donors and community support, so what is posted on social media not only represents the foundation but encourages new members as well.

SU English: Have there been any takeaways from your internship about your career interests? About what you do and don’t want to do?

Kailyn: Working with other people with diabetes has definitely justified my desire to work in the endocrine field. I also think that I would enjoy working in non-profit because I have already seen so many positive outcomes from it.

I have also been able to share the stories of my close diabetic friends, which I absolutely adore. So many type 1 diabetics are using their chronic illnesses as inspiration and a reason to persevere and working so closely with these people is inspiring.