Posted on June 5,2013
Hello, my name is Raquel Grad and I am the RDA intern for the summer of 2013. I have had some interaction with RDA events over the past year, but I am excited to begin learning what happens behind the curtain. I have been coming to the offices of RDA now for almost 3 weeks and already I have learned and experienced so much. What I find most fascinating so far is how hands-on the staff is with every event they host and assist with. All the staff members I work with have gone out on several occasions to walk events spaces, monitor events and gather necessary supplies for events. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend, during office hours or late in the evening, the staff is dedicated to making sure things run smooth.
It’s no surprise that event planning is a hands-on occupation, but the dedication of the RDA members goes above and beyond expectations. One of my first personal experiences with this happened on Friday, May 31st. Beginning at 8am, RDA staff and volunteers began work on stuffing 5,000 bags to hand out during Thursdays on First and 3rd. The morning began with transporting box after box of sponsor materials from the basement storage room to an offsite location, then, of course, unloading them all in our work space. All of this was done exclusively by staff personnel. Then the real fun began. After staff finished setting up four assembly lines, the volunteers began showing up for their assigned shifts and things really got rolling. Staff and volunteers walked back and forth, stuffing bags, dropping them off and beginning again in an efficient, flowing loop.
Everyone had a part to play, and we were filling bags like there was no tomorrow. The work was exhausting, my feet were filthy, my back was sore and I acquired a few paper cuts throughout the day. However, as silly as it may sound, I loved every minute of it. Every project completed leading up to an event just makes the event itself that much more gratifying. Although there were times it seemed like we would never see the end of the bags, the positive attitudes of the staff and volunteers made the whole task fly by so quickly. When I had to leave at 3pm, I could hardly believe that seven hours had passed!
It is my hope that I will experience the same time-warp at my first official Thursdays on First and 3rd. I am both nervous and excited to begin assuming a more active role in this festival. I’ve been given an overview as to what will be expected during the event, but I know these jitters won’t go away now until the first ToF is over, or maybe the first few… Either way, I can’t wait to jump into all that this summer internship has to offer. I know I will leave in August with a plethora of new experiences, skills and knowledge to carry with me in the future.