Q&A with Emily England
Today, we are sharing an interview we did with our office intern extraordinaire, Emily England. Below, she shares what the past 5 months have been like for her, some favorite moments and gives you a glimpse into what it is like to be part of the HPH team. Enjoy!
Q: Why did you decide to apply to work with Hands Producing Hope?
A: I decided to apply to work with Hands Producing Hope because I was tired of just talking about wanting to help people. I actually wanted to help people. I think sometimes we get caught up in talking about doing something, and making plans to do something, but then we never get around to actually doing it. There are lot of people in the world that talk about wanting to make a difference in the world and then they never do anything to try. But, on the flipside of that statement, there are a lot of people in the world that talk about making a difference and then they do. I wanted to be with the latter, so, I did what I knew. I knew I wanted to learn more about how a non-profit worked, and I wanted to do something that helped empower women (because women are amazing, and need to be told so on a daily basis). I had just heard about HPH, and I thought, “Well, Emily..let’s put two and two together. You want to make a difference, and they want to make a difference, so let’s have at it.”
Q: What has been your favorite moment of interning?
A: I would probably have to say that my favorite moment of interning was when I had this idea for an Instagram post for a one day sale we were having. I had been thinking about it, and I looked at Becca and I asked if she would mind if I used some jewelry for this Insta picture. She said sure, and then next thing you know, we literally have almost every different kind of product that we had somewhere either on or around my body. I was covered in necklaces and headbands with bracelets thrown around on me and around my hair while holding a sign that said “thirty percent off.” It was just fun! When I posted it, my caption was something ridiculous like “when bae says there’s a one day sale,” a few of my friends asked me if I did stuff like that at my internship on a regular basis. While the answer was no, I said that it wasn’t uncommon for us to do things outside of the box, because we’re out of the box thinkers here at HPH. We care a lot about what we do, and we care to see other care about it, too, and so even if that means that I’m covered in hand crafted Costa Rican jewelry from head to toe holding a sale sign, so be it. I love our cause, I love our products, and I love being a goofball.
Q: What is something you learned that you weren’t expecting to learn?
A: I’m laughing while writing this one because Rebecca and I talk about this a lot, I feel like. Something that I learned but didn’t expect to? Making an impact doesn’t have to be drastic, and in order to keep a positive attitude in the world of slow change, you have to be able to change your perspective on what helping people looks like. Real talk, I’m not one hundred percent sure what I was expecting when I first started interning for HPH, but I for sure had romanticized or idealized what helping people make a difference looked like. I guess I thought that I would just be doing things that were more direct to help the women we work with. I’m not talking about parachuting from a plane while holding materials and “how to” packets to assist the Guaymi women we work with, but I am talking about the more “glamorous” aspects of making a difference. But that’s just it: making a difference doesn’t have tons of a glamorous moments where you feel on top of the world. When they happen, they are absolutely amazing, but do you know how much thought and preparation has to go into that one moment for it to happen? A lot. There are so many people behind that moment from filling out papers, or working to find people to host trunk shows, or putting on events, or sorting out the product inventory. Ultimately, there will be more days than you are willing to admit that you want to give up and walk away because you don’t always see results. I’ve had them. They are real and they are scary. But, if I’ve learned anything from this internship that I wasn’t expecting, it’s exactly that. Expect the unexpected, be prepared to not be prepared, and be willing to change your perspective because perspective is the only thing you have in a measurement where progress is relative to your attitude.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone thinking about applying for an HPH internship?
A: C’mon, guys! Just do it. You definitely won’t regret it. I’ve loved having the opportunity to work with HPH. There will always be something to do. We do really awesome things and sometimes spice things up and work in really amazing hipster coffee shops, haha. But seriously, don’t be afraid to apply. I promise they don’t bite. There’s a quote out there somewhere in the world by someone whose name escapes me, but it was on our kitchen fridge for a while, and it sticks with me all the time, “Our hearts ignite other hearts with our passion.” Well, these are some of the most passionate people that I’ve met and heard about, and just to be around the passion of people who care so much about their cause is something that deepens my passion for wanting to see this world become a better place. So, if you’re thinking about applying, just know that it can be dangerous because you’ll care about eighty-nine times more by the time that you’re finished. Passionate people do passionate things, and they help other people to do the same. HPH inspired me, and I know that without a doubt, they can inspire you, too. It’s up to you. You just have to take the leap.