hard at work

Interning with Men’s Health Network

My first day interning with Men’s Health Network was May 31st, a.k.a. the day before the start of Men’s Health Month (MHM). It was rather easy, my most difficult task being remembering everyone’s name in the office. However, this was the calm before the storm. Things were about to get hectic. MHN, the sponsor for MHM and Men’s Health Week (MHW), is a non-profit organization with the goal of improving men’s health. It’s a smaller organization (in terms of size, not reach), and because of this, they were ready to put me to work.

As a Public Relations & Strategic Communication major, I came into this internship looking to get hands-on experience with anything and everything related to communications, and simply put, I got more than I bargained for. Working at a smaller organization gave me the opportunity to work on a vast array of tasks, which was awesome, albeit challenging at times. All my tasks had some importance to them and weren’t your typical intern “gopher” work. A typical work day would consist of me doing anything from drafting a press release to planning out social media posts to making phone calls to representatives talking about MHM.

Getting to explore different fields was definitely helpful, giving me a better idea of what I would like to go into in the future. For MHM, we had a plethora of events planned that were not only fun to participate in, but also beneficial to those who took part in them. From June 14th to the 16th, we held free health screenings on Capitol Hill. A little over a week later, on the 22nd, we helped out at the Congressional Workout, where over 70 people, including Congressional staff, followed the lead of Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) – Co-Chair of the Men’s Health Caucus — as he led them through an intense hour of exercise. I was sweating just watching them, but that’s mostly because it was a really humid day.

MHM was a success, but for as much work I was asked to do in June, I was curious as to whether or not the workload would stay the same in July since there were no notable events in the month. I figured it would go down significantly. I was wrong. I didn’t take into account the fact that the fight to improve Men’s health never sleeps (which sounds cliché, but it could not be more true for MHN).

MHN gets calls every day from people around the country looking to get some help for health events they are putting on. The sad truth is that men’s health often gets neglected, whether it be by men who just are too stubborn to visit the doctor, or by the lack of resources that are geared specifically toward men. MHN is trying to change that, and they are making sure no group gets alienated. MHN offers materials in both English and Spanish, while also directing their resources toward different minority groups.

While it’s ultimately up to the person themselves to change their lifestyles, MHN has been doing all they can to make sure their messages resonate with their audience. Getting a message out that sticks is what’s most important, and MHN has done well in providing resources (free of charge a good amount of the time) that always have a similar theme: Visit the doctor! They do have a lot of valuable information, but not to the point where they would bore the reader. With brochures on everything from heart health to eye health, MHN gives men the tools to understand whatever it is that they are dealing with.

Honestly my only complaint from interning with MHN would be the fact that I had to wake up so early every day. In the summer. It just didn’t feel normal, but then again, this is probably good practice for when I do eventually enter the work force. Having said that, I still haven’t completely ruled out becoming a professional athlete since I’m pretty sure they don’t have to wake up at 6 a.m. on a regular basis. The fame and fortune would also be nice, but I digress.

Heading into this summer, I was a bit worried. I had never worked on anything dealing with communications that would help me out in the future. Flash-forward to today and I feel like I’m in a great place, having learned a lot of valuable information that I’m confident will stick with me for a very long time.

To learn more about internships at MHN please visit www.menshealthnetwork.org/internships and submit an online application today!

Photo credit: pexels.com

Adam Curtis

View posts by Adam Curtis
Adam Curtis is a student at American University, majoring in Public Relations & Strategic Communication and minoring in Marketing. In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching sports, though as a D.C. sports fan, it gets harder and harder every year. Because of his passion for sports, men's health is an important issue in his life. In the future, he would love to work in the sports world, preferably as a professional athlete, but more realistically working behind the scenes.
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