Internship Site Spotlight 2019: Erykah Cooke
Year 2 scholar Erykah Cooke completed her summer 2019 internship at Fordham Brokers in Lenoir County, NC. Erykah’s supervisor, Michelle Fordham, said, “Throughout her internship, Erykah participated in a professional community outreach with other businesses on behalf of Fordham Brokers. I am sure she will be a Golden LEAF and eastern NC success story!”
What do you enjoy most about your internship? What I enjoy the most about my internship is that it is a self-owned business and my supervisor is her own boss. I learned from last year’s internship experience that working for someone who is their own boss can be cumbersome when I have complaints of the work I am doing, but I gave it another try, and I love it here. I also get insight on what it is like being my own boss and the pros/cons of being able to make my own schedule and being self-employed.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome so far in your internship? What tools did you use to overcome it? The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome so far in my internship is that it is just me and Ms. Michelle, which means that all the work needed to keep the business afloat falls solely on us. There isn’t much room for error either when it comes to our work. How I overcome these obstacles is pacing myself through my work and making a daily schedule of what needs to be completed.
What aspect or element of the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has been particularly helpful during your internship? The self-awareness aspect of the leadership program has been particularly helpful during my internship.
How has your internship enhanced your ability to move forward in your field of study? My ability to move forward in my field of study has been enhanced by my internship because I get to see what Family and Community Services means. I see what it means to be active in the community, how important it is to meet others and to lend a helping hand.
Which professional-level skill(s) listed by your supervisor has/have proved to be the most challenging to develop? Negotiations have been the most challenging skill for me to develop, primarily because I want people to only be able to do what they can afford; however, if I don’t negotiate a high enough price that will generate revenue for the business, I won’t make any money. Selling properties is bittersweet for me.