Volunteer Spotlight: Tobias Westermann!

Volunteer Spotlight: Tobias Westermann!

by Bess Alshvang

With the start of summer comes an abundance of valuable interns! Our first Volunteer Spotlight of 2015 is of Tobias Westermann, our Administrative Intern! Coming to Row New York all the way from Germany, we have been happy to have Tobias with us for the last couple months!

What is your name?

Tobias Westermann

Are you an intern or volunteer this summer?

I am an intern.

Which program(s) are you working for this summer?

I do administrative duties and work with the Community Rowing programming.

How did you learn about Row New York?

I was looking for an internship that had something to do with rowing as well as business/management. The United States National Team coach (who knows Row New York’s Executive Director) referred me to Row New York.

What do you hope to learn this summer through your work with Row New York?

I hope to learn more about Business Administration, how a non-profit is run, and how business is done in the United States. As I am from Germany, there might be differences in how business is done in the U.S. and Germany. I also want to broaden my horizons in regards to the different kinds of people in the world and live in a different place to get a feel for the people and culture there.

Where do you/did you attend college, what is/was your major?

Hannover (Germany), International Business Studies.

Do you/did you row? If so, what was your favorite part of the sport?

I do row. I really like the teamwork, motivation, and being held accountable for showing up to practice. I like giving my best during practice, because otherwise the performance of the whole team will suffer. Furthermore I like the elegance of rowing and I enjoy being out on the water to either find serenity in a hectic world, or just push my limits while racing. I also like the physical aspect of rowing, as raw power is translated to speed and even though raw power is needed, there is still this need for finesse and technique in order to get that power through the water as effectively as possible.

What’s something you learned about RNY through volunteering/interning with us?

During my time here, I learned that Row New York is an awesome place to work. I also feel like I learned a lot about myself, in a sense, that I could step away from my “normal life” and reevaluate my purpose and myself as a person in the context of a different culture and environment. I also learned a lot about the work that goes on behind the scenes of a non-profit in order to make it run as smoothly as it does. This is the work many people don’t see, but is essential to the work that people do see.  I also learned much about the way business is done here in the U.S., and can compare it to the way business is done back home.

Having been here, and being here, has helped me grow as a person, and hopefully become a better person than I am today.

Tobias has been a great help at Row New York! We’re super excited that he is here this summer and that he’ll brings the knowledge he’s gained in U.S. about non-profit work and rowing back to his “normal life” in Germany.