Lauren Phillips

Major: Psychology
Hometown: San Carlos, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Intern Coordinator | Gender & Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC)

How did you first get connected with GSEC?
I took some classes about gender because I wanted to know more. Learning is not just about ingesting information, but doing something with it, and I didn’t want to wait until after graduation to apply what I was learning. So, I looked for an internship and found my way to GSEC. I did an internship for a semester and then applied to be on staff.

How would you describe your current position with GSEC?
As the intern coordinator my main job is to support the GSEC internship program so that it can be a transformative experience for interns. I try to keep them stimulated by making sure that the work they are doing is meaningful for them and makes a difference. Many of the functions of my job are human resources related: recruiting, interviewing and placing interns; monitoring their progress by tracking hours and assignments; evaluating their performance, etc. I also facilitate weekly meetings and coordinate all GSEC public relations and outreach efforts. Most importantly, I get to practice the things I’m passionate about: leadership, unbiased evaluation, getting the right people into the organization, and sustaining motivation.

What does working at the center do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
This has been an incredible personal growth experience for me. I get to facilitate a dynamic group of people, so my interpersonal interactions have really improved. I’ve learned how to be authentic with others while balancing that with honesty and respect. I’ve also learned the importance of setting and accomplishing goals. It’s about constantly improving while never losing sight of the bigger picture.

Prior to my involvement with GSEC, it was frustrating to have so much energy and information and nowhere to go to put theory into practice. GSEC has given me that platform to practice what I’m learning, so I feel like I’m learning on a much deeper level. Managing professional relationships and balancing work with school have all been valuable experiences for me.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position at the GSEC?
I think I’m the voice of reason. I try to be unbiased, neutral, and very candid. I think I’m viewed as the “rock” of the office — I keep things steady.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the GSEC better prepare you for that path?
My job is a direct preparation for what I want to do career-wise. I’ve applied to graduate school for a master’s degree in organizational psychology. I’ll assess job opportunities at that time, but ultimately, I’d like to get my Ph.D. to be a consultant. I’m interested in enhancing work environments for employees by improving the organizational culture of a company.