My name is Emma Vaulpré, I am a second year at McGill, pursuing a major in International Development and a double-minor in Political Science and Social Entrepreneurship. I have always been interested in the functioning of non-for-profit organizations, and intend on working in a sector with a positive social impact.I had the great opportunity to intern with the McGill University Health Centre Foundation, a foundation that raises more than 200 million dollars a year towards better healthcare and research, at the heart of Montreal. While I had no particular field in mind, healthcare turned out to be a perfect match for me, as it is a vital need around the world. I felt like my work had a direct positive impact, by helping to raise money for the foundation, I was allowing new scientific discoveries to happen and thousands of patients to be treated.
The MUHC Foundation’s primary mission is to enhance patient care, research and provide lifesaving treatments. This is only possible through the fundraising and mobilizing of resources across Quebec. Despite its strong emphasis on patient care, the MUHC is also one of the biggest research hospitals in the province, hence the importance of educating and training.
As a summer intern at the Foundation, I was working alongside different teams within the foundation. First, as part of the digital strategy and marketing team I was responsible for benchmarking, preparing, and presenting a comprehensive campaign awareness and engagement plan for the Foundation’s Raise Craze event happening in November 2023. This included creating a retro planning and division of the tasks between the different members of the team. It also included the identifying and outlining potential visibility opportunities within the hospital environment. Another task entailed research of effective digital conversion tactics, including exploring the use of SMS campaigns, and the creation of social media content. As part of my work with the stewardship and donor relation team, I made thank you calls to recent donors to express our gratitude for their donations. This was a recurring weekly task, but I enjoyed it very much as people were always very appreciative of our calls. For that same team, I worked alongside another intern for a donor recognition project that entailed the mapping of the entire hospitals and the potential walls where donor plaques could be installed. On a more administrative side, I helped in the process of digitizing the filing of return mail letters to streamline our procedures. I also assisted in keeping the donor management system up to date by incorporating the latest donor data updates. Finally, being perfectly bilingual, I oversaw the translation of various campaign-related documents to ensure accessibility and inclusivity.
When I was not in the office, I had the opportunity to assist with different fundraising events, the main one being the yearly “Bal Rouge”. This event is the Foundation’s biggest yearly fundraising gala and raised over $1.68 millions for respiratory care and research. Throughout the week leading to the event, I helped the team with important last minute details such as the creation of a VIP list for the photographs to follow throughout the night. Being a Bal Rouge volunteer was a main highlight of my internship, as I got to see the results of months of work and the financial success of the foundation. I also had the opportunity to participate in the sale of raffle tickets at the Bal Rouge. This was a task that I excelled at as my team raised over $25,000 for the Foundation. This experience was very rewarding for me, as I truly helped the Foundation towards their goal of enhancing innovative research and exceptional care.
Throughout my internship, the major challenge was staying motivated and autonomous while working remotely. Having difficulty focusing at home, I quickly took the habit of working on the McGill campus or trying to go to the office more than my other colleagues. I found that working three days at the office was the perfect balance for me as it allowed me to have more human interactions and learn at the contact of my colleagues.
I did not receive any academic credit for this internship, nor will I write a paper about it.
This internship has helped me gain valuable experience within a NGO as well as reaffirm my desire to pursue my studies in social sciences. During my time at the Foundation, I felt like I was contributing to a greater cause. This sense of purpose made me enjoy my tasks exponentially, as I knew the impact on the community of the Foundation. While this is one of my first internships, I have learned a lot about the importance of networking and stepping out of my comfort zone. I look forward to using these new professional skills in a university setting, for example in some of my management classes or by actively participating in the student life.
The funding I received helped me pay for my monthly expenses as well as starting to save up for future educational opportunities, such as a master's degree.