By Leanne Tan
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about numerous changes. From wearing face masks in public to working from home, most of us have had to adjust to different routines or plans in the past couple of months. But change isn’t always a bad thing – and Catherine Henderson can attest to that.
A rising senior at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Catherine landed an internship with TWR after her original plan for the summer was canceled due to the pandemic. She is an industrial and systems engineering major with a minor in management and leadership. This summer, Catherine hopes to contribute to TWR’s ministry by providing helpful reports for leadership and supporters.
Q: How did you hear about TWR?
TWR staffers Cassius and Valerie Smith spoke at my church’s missions conference a few years when I was in middle school and high school. The idea of a mass media ministry where I could use a technical background stuck with me, so after that I looked more into the organization and what they do.
Q: What brought you to intern with TWR this summer?
TWR has been my “dream job” since I heard about it in middle school, but I never thought it would become a reality. When my internship planned for this summer was canceled at the last minute due to the pandemic, I soon realized that God was directing me to apply, and so I did. I thought it wouldn’t work out, but I immediately heard back, solidifying the fact that this was where God wanted me to be.
Q: What will you be working on over the summer?
I will be helping the Data Management team organize their reports and will create new reports using SQL and Power BI (business intelligence). These reports help leadership and supporters understand the effectiveness of certain aspects of the ministry as well as the support being brought in so that TWR can expand its effectiveness to reach out to even more people with quality material.
Q: How does your internship align with your passions and calling?
God calls all of us to glorify him and share the good news with people of all nations, no matter our background, personality or age. I feel like my calling is to use my engineering-wired brain and background to further enable global ministry – and this job does exactly that. TWR was what inspired me to pursue engineering. One of my specific passions has always been data management and analysis, which is now what I’m doing.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your internship, and how have you overcome it?
So far, the biggest challenge has been learning two new software programs in a few days. I did not have much software knowledge before this, so it was overwhelming to have to start from the very beginning. However, I held on to the fact that this is where God placed me and is using me. My supervisor, Chris Overman, has been extremely helpful teaching me the most important parts and directing me to learning resources. It took a lot of time and effort but that has already paid off.
Q: What are you looking forward to doing over the summer?
I am looking forward to being able to grow closer to God through both personal and group devotions. I am also looking forward to bonding with the other interns and participating in the community service days.
Q: Tell us a little-known or fun fact about yourself!
I did Irish dance for over eight years! I also love cats and have two fur babies.
Leanne Tan is an incoming senior at Messiah College pursuing a degree in journalism. Born and raised in the tropical nation of Malaysia, Leanne enjoys playing tennis and binge-watching YouTube. She is currently serving as a summer intern for the Marketing and Communications department at our international offices.