FEATURING EMERGING LEADERSHIP: JOHN GABRIEL PERA, LGW INTERN
September 1, 2017
LGW has a fantastic team of interns each semester, who contribute unique skills and enthusiasm to the mission of LGW. This summer, the Marketing Communications department had the privilege of working with rising college senior John (Jack) Gabriel Pera.
Jack, a Washington, DC native is a rising senior, attending Denison University in Ohio, majoring in Political Science. When he’s not focusing on his studies, Jack enjoys fishing and being outdoors. On his bucket list, Jack’s aspires to travel to every U.S. National Park. He most recently worked in Sao Paulo, Brazil at ADUS, an organization on the front lines of refugee acceptance and integration.
LGW: What has the internship experience taught you, both personally and professionally? What are your personal goals? How do you think the experience of this internship will serve you in the process of achieving these goals?
As summer comes to a close, my experience as an intern at LGW appears to have gone by quickly, but through my work, it is apparent that everything is a process. Goals and ideas aren’t met through quick wit and spur of the moment thinking. Each and every event, meeting, or discussion, down to the most minute of them, was a calculated step to making them as great as they could possibly be. Without the staff acting in such a way, LGW wouldn’t function. But the same could be said of its members – without their genuine devotion to making a difference in the greater Washington community, and that devotion as part of a long, cultivated process, nothing would be accomplished. I have learned that in order to make a difference, regardless of the setting, you have to allow yourself time to succeed. My Dad loves to say the old military adage, “Remember your 7 P’s: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” There is so much that can be achieved at an organization like LGW, that planning and preparation are vital to its success.
Regardless of the type of work I acquire following college, I hope to be wildly successful by both following the 7 P’s, and being a leader in whatever community I can. To me, that is the perfect recipe for success, and I hope to use it wisely. Success can’t be measured by how much money you make, where you live, or how nice your office looks, but rather by the influence it grants you to make a stark difference in your community.
What have you learned about LGW and the membership network served?
While a major part of LGW is on the ground involvement in the community, be that a community service day, or monetary donation, the huge part, which I think is often understated, is education. Education is how LGW makes a difference. Not only is there a program to educate young people in DC on how to become leaders, but also every opportunity that a member has to interact with other members is through education. For instance, the Thought Leadership Series on Housing Affordability allowed for influential people in a variety of careers to come listen to members directly involved in the subject, and to learn how they can make a difference. By educating people who already carry such powerful influence in their own communities, LGW increases the possibility that at least one person might walk away from that lecture and immediately choose to make a difference on housing affordability.
Members of LGW are not run of the mill; these are the top-notch leaders, capable of making a difference. LGW merely provides the avenue by which they can take their talents and apply them elsewhere; maybe even to improve the greater Washington area that we all live.
Any interesting moments for you over the course of your internship experience?
I had a moment of complete understanding of just what exactly LGW does while at the Thought Leadership Series on Housing Affordability. The lecture had concluded, and there was a time for question and answer for the panel. One of the panel members ran a grass roots type of organization that sought membership from companies in order to fund their endeavors. A member in the crowd raised her hand and addressed the member on the panel, explaining that her company had been looking for a partnership, like the one described, and that with a little more discussion, could agree to terms for such a partnership. It was shocking to me that just in an instant the very purpose of the lecture itself had been achieved. I understood then what it was that LGW does for greater Washington. Without LGW there isn’t a place for that seed of a relationship to be planted and grow.
What advice would you give others looking to gain valuable experience and technical skills through this internship program?
My one suggestion would be to use this time wisely. I came in hoping to be effective in the tasks placed before me, but I also wanted to find job opportunities for post-graduate life. While working on the directory, and speaking with members, I compiled a pretty substantial list of places I might be interested in applying when spring rolls around. Working at LGW can always be viewed as a positive, and it will undoubtedly be helpful because there are members in nearly every possible type of work in this greater DC area.