A Culture of Giving: Day of Service for Samsung’s Interns
Every summer, Samsung organizes a “Day of Service” for their interns working at offices around the country and this summer was no different. In total, the group of 50 do community service at various places working to inspire youth during camp at Samsung 837, assisting students at the Tech Museum of Innovation, and helping kids at the Perot Museum.
I had the privilege of participating with my peers at Eva’s Village, a comprehensive social service organization in Paterson, NJ that provides food service, substance use and mental health programs, and housing for financially disadvantaged men, women, and mothers with children.
The employees of Eva’s Village welcomed us with smiles on their faces as they said their goodbyes to their breakfast beneficiaries and showed us to the kitchen. As the cooks prepared the next meal for their clients, the interns were tasked with packing lunch baggies for the afternoon beneficiaries so they could take it with them for their children or for a meal later that day.
I remember feeling excited because not only would I help put together meals, I would also be able to see that impact firsthand when handing out said lunches. My newfound intern friends started to put on their hairnets and gloves, eager to start (there might have been some competitive remarks going around on who could make the most sandwiches). When we were given the green light we went to work. Juice boxes? Check. Snack? Check. Best sandwich ever? Check.
As I looked around me, I realized this scenario looked very familiar because for the past two months of my internship I walked by a wall on the 9th floor of the office at Samsung Electronics America that’s decorated with photos of past employee Day of Service events. When I accepted my offer as an intern with Samsung, I didn’t know the purpose of organizing an Intern Day of Service is part of the overall effort to give us an unedited experience of what it’s like to work for the company. Day of Service is a company-wide effort held by Samsung every October, when U.S. offices put business on hold for a day to give back to their communities.
Before we said our goodbyes, I sat down with Heather Thompson, Chief Development Officer at Eva’s Village, to find out what a “Day of Service” really means to an organization like hers. She expressed her gratitude. “It was vital on so many levels having a company like Samsung aligned with an organization like Eva’s that’s local. It’s not always easy for us to get the word out.” She continued, “It’s so clear how embedded it is in Samsung’s culture and I absolutely love the inclusion of the interns because engaging them from Day One.”
The attitude of gratitude was the same coming from my fellow interns. “Today was a great day, not only to help out in our local community but it was also a great bonding experience between all the interns. We worked together to complete a common goal and had a lot of fun along the way,” said Jake Matluck, Mobile B2B, NYU Gallatin.
“As a New Jersey Native who grew up a few towns over, I felt a personal and authentic connection with this experience. I’m happy to say that Samsung has given me that opportunity,” remarked Lyana MacDonald, MCC Marketing, Wellesley College.
I have to add, it truly was a great experience and I would venture a guess that my fellow interns in New York City, Mountain View and Richardson experienced the same. I’m glad I got to spend time with my friends outside the office AND help my local community — and it’s all thanks to Samsung and the charity partner organizations we work with to be able to give back in a meaningful way.
About the Contributor
Gabriella Florencio is a Corporate Citizenship intern at SEA. She is a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow National contest winner from 2016/17. Currently a rising sophomore at the City College of New York, she is studying International Relations. Through Solve for Tomorrow, she has spoken at WE Day in Madison Square Garden and has been a panelist at the United Nations.