DoSomething: Do What Exactly?

This week, I got a sneak peek of what my summer might have been.

This past April, as I was applying for internships with a do-good focus but with an emphasis on practical skills and projects, I stumbled across “DoSomething,” an organization that utilizes social media in an effort to get kids and teens involved in social issues.

I considered applying for the job, since it looked like a fun environment with the potential to meet a lot of other interns. But once I found out I’d gotten the job at Endeavor, I stopped filling out applications.

This week, the Endeavor interns trooped the 5 blocks to the DoSomething office for a presentation our CEO was giving to their interns. I walked in to find an open office filled with inspiration boards and yoga balls instead of chairs. The office vibe was young and excited, but I also got the sense that it was a bit disorganized.

Our Endeavor CEO, Linda, provided the DoSomething interns with a brief explanation of what Endeavor does and how she came to create the organization. Our interns received the same presentation a week before.

The DoSomething interns proceeded to ask Linda about her personal life rather than the business. Although her personal life is certainly relevant to understanding the organization, knowing how she met her husband isn’t exactly necessary or appropriate to ask.

The Endeavor interns, meanwhile, had asked nearly an hour’s worth of questions about the Endeavor operation. We wanted to know everything about financing, hiring, selection, and then a little bit about Linda’s life that related to the organization. To be fair, we work at Endeavor and therefore have more insight into the organization, but still, I want to be surrounded by people who are curious about how this unique operation functions rather than how our CEO met her husband.

The entire encounter made me realize how much I appreciated the Endeavor office. The environment is young, certainly, and shares the same enthusiasm that the DoSomething office has, but the people working here are much more thoughtful and pragmatic in their approach to our “do-gooder” work.

A number of interns made jokes about the “DoSomething” office “doing what exactly?” Social media campaigns are absolutely necessary and are perhaps the best way to reach today’s young people, but it is my personal opinion that social organizations need to partner awareness with actual solutions to problems.

Endeavor is such a great organization because it seeks to approach a social issue in a way that seeks to be most effective. Our CEO, Linda, even mentioned that she recruits employees from the top business schools, because talent is an absolute must in running a successful organization.

I also love the environment of the office in general. Everyone works hard, but also is extremely independent. Nobody is constantly watching over me, and people often leave early if they finish their work. The environment places responsibility in the individual; the assumption is that you are doing your work and know when you need to stay late or when you can leave early.

The expected dress is also fairly casual but pulled-together. Again, people have a lot of freedom because everyone knows how to dress nicely but in a casual manner. I think this work environment is ideal for me. I like the freedom because I am already very self-motivated, and knowing that everyone else is working hard but not necessarily being competitive is, for me, far more motivating than being constantly watched over or competing with my fellow employees.

As a whole, I think Endeavor is exactly the type of organization that I want to work at someday. The employees are all very driven, smart people who want to make a positive change in the world.

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