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Co-op Stories: Clarine Karyadi, The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk

Raising funds for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s fight against cancer


Areas of Emphasis: Health Communication, Strategic Communication

In 2015, more than 8,900 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk participants and 1,000 volunteers raised more than $8.2 million for patient care and innovative cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. As a Development Intern, Clarine played an integral role in the Walk’s outreach and marketing efforts, offering fundraising guidance to new participants, tracking email statistics and collecting stories from people involved who had been touched by cancer and the Walk.

Making cold calls to hundreds of strangers could have amounted to an overwhelming task, but Clarine felt prepared thanks to her Communication Studies coursework. She credits both “Public Speaking” and “Voice and Articulation” with building her confidence to engage in deeper conversations and better improvise over the phone.

Jacqueline Sweeney, my co-op coordinator, also did an excellent job prepping me for the co-op… checking my resume, doing cover letter exercises and offering tips on how to dress for an interview. I had never thought of doing a co-op for a non-profit organization, but [The Jimmy Fund’s] mission to raise funds for cancer research and patient care really hit close to home. Many of my immediate family members have passed away from or been affected by cancer, so it’s sort of second nature to me to want to get involved in any way that I can.”

Clarine’s six months with the Jimmy Fund Walk were inspiring. Her fellow team members were hardworking, creative and fun, providing help when she asked and giving her enough space to figure things out on her own. She learned how to prioritize tasks in a high-paced work environment, juggle shifting deadlines, and stay positive.

“Talking to [cancer survivors and volunteers] made me want to work harder because I knew I was working for a good cause and that every single phone call I made could make a difference in the funds we’d receive to fight cancer.”

Learn more about Clarine’s career on LinkedIn.