Career Connections


Carson Sparkman

Major: Kinesiology and Health


Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Community and Public Health

Company/Organization: Children's Miracle Network
Company/Organization website: https://www.cmnhershey.org/
Destination: Hershey, Pennsylvania
Timeframe: Summer

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities as an intern with Children's Miracle Network included assisting with fundraising through event planning, stewarding local and National corporate partners and community groups, assisting with marketing-both print and digital, assisting with social media, assisting with special projects related to our Advisory Board and Miracle Families, kick-off's and presentations, and digital fundraising efforts.

I accomplished...
My greatest accomplishment came from my opportunity to visit two local summer camps that CMN provides funding for. I was able to visit PA Vent camp, a camp for children who are ventilator dependent, and Camp Journey, which is a camp for children with special needs. From these visits we were able to gather amazing photos and video footage, which can be used to show our donors their dollars at work. I was absolutely blown away by both of these camps and the incredible staff that we had the opportunity to meet at both locations. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work with a foundation that is able to provide kids with the opportunities that these summer camps are able to offer. I was given the opportunity to create marketing material, specific to these camps, highlighting how our dollars are spent, as well as assist in gathering the content for the video created by our communication manager. Being able to witness kids on ventilators go rock climbing, swimming, and zip-lining will always be a favorite memory from my internship experience.

I learned...
My greatest lesson learned would have to be to take advantage of every opportunity offered, no matter how big or small. You never know what your experiences will lead to, so don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. This internship taught me so many valuable lessons, and I am happy I got the most out of my time spent in Hershey.

Advice for others...
I advise students to consider what they are passionate about when searching for an internship opportunity. I had sought after an internship with Children's Miracle Network because I knew I wanted my internship to be completed with a non-profit, and I had previous involvement with CMN through a couple of campus organizations. I feel that my passion really showed through in my work, and it made my experience better than anything I could have imagined.

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