Week 6:
Cruising Along

Massey Fellow in Development & Civic Empowerment

The Obama Foundation | Chicago, Illinois

February 23, 2019

I spent this week working through a number of larger projects that support not just my team, but others within the Foundation. For example, there is a plethora of information that lives in the briefing documents created by different teams, and I’m currently working to transfer all of that information to our databases. It sounds simple, and it’s definitely time consuming, but it offers the chance to read all of the language written by different teams at the Foundation. I feel that I’m learning more about teams through the reading required to dissect the documents. After I finish inputting the various pieces of many documents, access to this knowledge will be streamlined and easier. Along with other tasks, my days fill up quickly.

A lovely sunset view from the office.

Aside from my assigned projects, I’ve also developed an idea for my “passion project” that will also support my internship credits. This is my first conventional, professional working environment, and I feel so fortunate to be in a place where diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of the thoughts and practices of each team. This progress towards a sustainable and equitable work environment did not happen overnight, but is intentional across departments. I have never worked in a space that so seriously prioritized diversity goals as it relates to hiring, professional development, events, and more. So it would be a disservice to myself to not spend time working to understand how these goals are implemented and met across the Foundation. With this passion project, I hope to specifically examine how hiring practices can either support or diminish a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. What does this look like for different teams, and how can progress be made each step of the way? It feels like a project that perfectly combines my current work and space with my sociology degree.

My roommate and I visited Carver 47, a coffee and juice bar, in Kenwood.

Outside of work, I have spent significant time in various coffee shops with Google, working to formulate a list of potential jobs and positions I am interested in. This wasn’t something I could do in a day, or a singular weekend. I worked through my internet tabs for multiple weekends to create a list that seems approachable and interesting, and includes positions for which I am qualified. This was tough, but renewed my appreciation for Google. After serious consideration though, I learned something new about myself. I am drawn to a museum environment. I should have guessed this, I love museums. And during my previous time in Chicago with a sociology course, I visited the future site of the National Public Housing Museum, which has since stuck out in my mind. I’m learning there is something about developing museums that interests me. And now my searches have been geared towards development and advancement positions in a museum setting. This is super exciting, and I feel that coming to this realization is a big victory for me, and hopefully will guide the rest of my job searches moving forward.

This past weekend I celebrated Galentine’s Day with a beautiful brunch, visited with some high school friends on the north side, and I’m still surviving the Chicago winter.

Elizabeth Mombello '19

Elizabeth is a sociology and Spanish major from Overland Park, Kansas.