Posted on June 11,2019
Fresh out of high school, I didn't want to spend my summer after senior year working just any part-time job or laying on the couch watching TV all day. Throughout high school, I didn't really know what career field I wanted to go into. I liked to dabble around in many different areas of study and test out the waters for different careers. Senior year, I decided to try some business and marketing classes. I was interested in having some experience in the community and spent time volunteering at Hiawatha Homes. After a month of shadowing with Hiawatha Homes marketing and event planning office, I decided to see what options there were for some summer experiences in the marketing field, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance internship was one of them.
After starting at Rochester Downtown Alliance, I have found a new love for discovering new businesses and downtown Rochester in general. Even though I have lived in Rochester my whole life, I have never seen downtown Rochester in this light: The ease of access to a variety of businesses and activities, the safe environment that is our downtown, and the liveliness of our community. Thanks to the experience I have gained from working with the RDA, I have also had the chance to meet many incredible people in our community.
Like I mentioned, I just graduated from Mayo High School. At Mayo, I was a part of many clubs and activities like Business Professionals of America, Key Club, SOS Room Committee, Spanish Club, Theater, Varsity Track and Field, Cross Country, Mayo Honors Society, Soccer, horseback riding, and one season of Nordic Skiing (let’s say I didn't handle the cold very well!). I like to try out different things. When I'm not in the RDA office or out at Thursdays Downtown, I will be participating in many activities with my 4-H club (so you might spot me at the county fair, too). In the fall, I plan to attend Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. I'm so glad that I am able to work with the RDA this summer to gain some experience and see if this is a career area that I would like to pursue.
Initially coming into the RDA, I didn't have any idea of what specific project I would like to work on. Throughout the summer, I would like to start my own project within the RDA but it's still early on and I'm not sure what that project is yet. A major part of my job here at the RDA is helping with Thursdays Downtown. So far, we've only had one Thursday of the season and it was exciting and incredibly busy to say the least. On Thursdays, you can find me running around doing stage announcements, talking to vendors (as well as attendees), and, of course, doing the occasional dirty work of picking up trash. That being said, however, Thursdays are by far my favorite day of the week. I love the fast-paced environment that this event brings to downtown Rochester and the liveliness it brings. If I’m not running around Thursdays Downtown, you can bet that I am trying out some incredible food from the vendors that make this event what it is.
Other than that, this summer, I will be working on other little projects around the office like running around town putting up posters and tending to the events that the RDA puts on throughout the summer like Movies in the Park. This internship has worked out really well for me because it's the perfect balance between structure and flexibility. No two days are the same, which keeps things interesting. Not only will I gain so much experience this summer but I already can tell that it will be a lot of fun. The RDA staff is so helpful and supportive, which provides a great learning environment for me. I know this summer will give me experience I can bring with me going into my freshman year of college.