As a Temple University student approaching graduation, I’m beginning to search for full-time job opportunities. Of the many factors that will influence where I start my career, I hadn’t really considered corporate culture. That changed this summer with my digital communications internship with Independence Blue Cross (IBX).
Through my internship at IBX, I learned what it means to be a part of a company that gives back, and a corporate culture that promotes volunteerism.
My internship started on June 5 with orientation — learning the ins and outs of what it is like to work at IBX. We went through the company’s mission, vision, and values. But then we discussed the Blue Crew, the company’s corporate volunteer program. We learned quickly that a large part of the company culture was committed to giving back to the community.
On just the second day on the job, I left the office along with 39 other college interns and boarded a trolley to volunteer at a quaint bookshop called Tree House Books.
No Ordinary Book Store
Tree House Books is no ordinary book store, but one that allows customers to pay what they wish. Their mission is to provide reading fundamentals and materials to underprivileged families. Not only do they operate the Tree House Books store, but they also offer a Words on Wheels book-delivery program and a Literacy Programming Continuum for children of all ages.
In order to sustain such a generous operation they require donated books, and lots of them. Once these books are received, that’s where the volunteers come in. Step by step, we helped move the boxes of books from the basement to the main level, counted and stamped them, separated them by reading age level, and then repackaged. In one day, our group coordinated the addition of 5,000 books, one of Tree House Books’ largest donations.
No Ordinary Company
A tremendous effort, we really had to band together, almost in assembly-line fashion, to pull this off. Not only did this opportunity stand as the world’s most exhausting ice breaker, it really showed what a difference a couple of helping hands and a little passion for community can make.
It is not difficult to see why Independence puts so much emphasis on giving back. I learned that day what it means to be a part of an organization that does not just say they are committed to the community, but practices it.