A quote that I often find myself coming back to when I consider the future — that is, what major to choose, what internship to pursue during a summer break in college, what career path to embark upon — is one that one of my good friends relayed to me before we went our separate ways the summer before college: “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” I love the almost overly-reductive nature of the quote, the suggestion that there will always be a perfect intersection of what you’re good at and what is needed. It’s a quote that I came back to this past winter quarter of my junior year in college.
Why should you intern for a B Corp?
At Northwestern University, interviews for summer internships can start as early as November or December, with some students securing internships months and months before their summer start dates. These are often positions at the top banks and consulting firms in the nation. I won’t deny it — these internships (and career paths) are incredibly enticing to me. There’s a world in which I disregard the four years I spent pursuing a major in Film and a minor in Environmental Policy and Culture and French, get a job at a consulting firm right out of college, and pay back all of my student loans by the time I’m 25.
But when I find myself veering towards that path, I consider the quote, the call to examine not only what you’re good at, but what the world really needs at this moment. The more research I’ve done on B Corp businesses, the more I realize that they are making the intersection of talent and need a viable career path.
Interning with the 1st B Corp certified surf and yoga camp in the world
Bodhi Surf + Yoga was just recently B Corp certified — this is one of the first pieces of information that I came across while doing initial research on a Bodhi internship. Amidst the chaos of college life and the pressure to find a high-paying, resume-padding summer internship, Bodhi Surf + Yoga became my intersection of talent and need. I knew that interning with this company would be incredibly fulfilling — fulfilling in a way that other internships I was considering could not be. I read through their Ocean Guardian Pledge, their event information for monthly Surf and Service Saturdays, their hiring policy, their sustainable practices at the Bodhi Lodge, their model for teaching surf lessons — everything I read told me that interning at Bodhi would be interning at a business that truly works to be and do good. The decision was an easy one.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve gotten the chance to see firsthand what it looks like to make a career out of a passion. Travis, Pilar, Adrianne, and Gibran, the co-founders of Bodhi, work tirelessly — much more than a 9-5 job — and yet, they greet each day with an enthusiasm and excitement that is rare to see in people whose lives truly do revolve around their work.
Walking the talk, being the change
B Corps use “business as a force for good,” and believe “that we must be the change we seek in the world.” Through B Corp’s certification process, businesses like Bodhi Surf + Yoga are held to high standards in the realm of ethics, sustainability, and responsibility. Bodhi is the first surf and yoga camp in the world to be B Corp certified — and with that title comes a lot of groundwork and responsibility. Interning at a “first of its kind” B Corp business has given me a behind-the-scenes look at the amount of work that goes into running a business sustainably, ethically, and responsibly. Not only must Bodhi uphold B Corp standards, it also must set an example for future surf and yoga camps. Interning here has shown me countless initiatives that the Bodhi Team has taken — for example, working towards being plastic-free and Carbon Neutral — that require an incredibly amount of work but lead to an incredible payoff. Interning at a B Corp business is not just about doing simple day-to-day tasks; it’s about constantly striving to be better as a business and to find innovative and out-of-the-box ways to achieve long-term goals and continue to do good.
A declaration of interdependence, B Corporations Helping B Corporations
Being an intern here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga has also given me invaluable connections to other B Corp businesses like Patagonia and Klean Kanteen. These businesses have partnered with Bodhi for initiatives such as the Ocean Guardian Contest, and the ability to compare and contrast different B Corp businesses and to network among them is a fantastic tool that I’ll be taking with me as I continue down my future career path. The fantastic thing about B Corp is that all B Corp businesses want to see each other succeed; it is a collective effort to challenge and support each other to uphold B Corp’s mission and to always be on the cutting edge of change.
I’ll leave this internship at the end of the summer knowing that interning at any B Corp business is a lesson in trying to use business as a force for good. B Corp businesses are truly tailoring a multitude of talents to what the world needs, and I can safely say that interning at a B Corp business might just be your vocation.
Written by Nora Maxwell