RDA Blog

Category: Life of an Intern


Life as an Intern by Maxwell Haydon

Posted on August 12,2019

Downtown Rochester is so welcoming to all because of the sense of community and collaboration that goes into making downtown businesses thrive, and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with this community firsthand. Find out why I've enjoyed my Rochester Downtown Alliance internship!

Tags: Thursdays Downtown | Life of an Intern


Life as an Intern by Teagan Holmes

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. I decided to see what options there were for some summer experiences, and here's why I chose the Rochester Downtown Alliance internship!

Tags: Thursdays Downtown | Life of an Intern


Life as an Intern by Madison Kelly

Posted on August 21,2018

As a twenty-year old Rochester local, I always felt like I should feel more connected to the city. Sure I’d been to Downtown events before and I’d visited various restaurants and shops Downtown in the past. But it wasn’t until I started working at the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) as an Events and Marketing Intern that found myself immersed in Downtown. I started taking the city bus to work. Cafe Steam is now right next to my office (I always go for an Arnold Palmer or Chai Latte). And I’ve never ran around Downtown more than I did while delivering posters and postcards. I’m still figuring out the subway, but I’ll get there! 

Tags: Life of an Intern


Life as an intern by Emma Culbertson

Posted on August 14,2018

Have you noticed an unfamiliar face making stage announcements all summer at Thursdays on First & 3rd? Well, it’s finally time to put a name to that face! My name is Emma Culbertson and I am one of the Marketing and Events interns with the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) this summer. Keep reading to get to know me and what I’m working on through my internship with the RDA.

Tags: Life of an Intern


Life of an Intern - Involuntarily Invaluable

Posted on August 14,2013

Wow, I wonder if the convoluted nature of this post title was worth the cleverness of it's wordplay.  I'll let the readers be the judge.  So, this last week Rochester Downtown Alliance held it's annual volunteer appreciation picnic, which I had the honor to help coordinate.  The staff and I hand wrote, addressed and sent out over 70 thank-you cards and invitations.  That's pretty sweet.  I've had a chance to work with many of our volunteers through Thursdays on First and 3rd, but I forget sometimes that ToF is not the only big event RDA organizes over the year, and the ToF volunteers aren't the only ones helping to make RDA events a success.  It's really a neat thing to see community members of all ages and walks of life taking an interest in their community and working together to make it a brighter, more beautiful place. 

Basically, this is a short post to give a big thanks to all of our volunteers, and volunteers in general.

Tags: Life of an Intern


Life of an Intern - Random Acts of Awesome

Posted on July 9,2013

There is a saying that has become more and more common as the economy has tightened; it’s not what you know, its who you know.  However, I’d like to add a piece to this statement.  It’s not what you know, or who you know, but how you know who you know.  Let me explain, I truly believe that determination, dedication and hard work reap their own rewards, but not without the help of those surrounding.  Humans can be absolutely amazing and their passion, generosity and kindness leave marks on the world.  The best of this happens when people come together, united by a cause.  In the last few weeks, I have been able to witness all this and more as I acquired another internship with C4, Concerned Citizens for a Creative Community.  How am I going to tie this all in together? Well I guess you’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

First, I must rant and rave about being presented with the opportunity to intern with C4 in the first place.  To be honest, I had not even heard of C4 before my superior, Melissa Schmid, informed me that she had recommended me for an internship position they had available.  Here’s what blows my mind, a member of RDA had enough confidence in me to bet their reputation on my success or failure with this other organization.  If I ended up to be a horrible intern with C4, its not likely that they would be taking any other recommendations from RDA any time soon.

Tags: Entertainment | Shopping | Life of an Intern


Life of an Intern - Better Late Than Never

Posted on June 26,2013

It’s a fascinating thing when one begins to grasp the vastness of how much they don’t know.  I have lived in Rochester since I was five years old, and in the last few weeks have learned more about this city than I have in the last 17 years. To provide a little background information, I just took a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) class to better serve the community while working for RDA.  Ok, full disclosure: growing up, I gave-in to the perception that, “There is nothing to do in Rochester”.  WRONG.  If you are ever bored in this city, it is your own darn fault.  Rochester offers way more than any other town of 100,000 (approx.) would be able or willing to provide, and so much of it is just minutes away from downtown!

Don’t believe me? Challenge accepted. 

Let’s start off on a classy note with some expression of the arts.  The Rochester Arts Center provides a variety of world-class exhibits throughout the year providing opportunities for volunteers, interns and artists to get involved or get exposure.  With no private collection, the Rochester Arts Center is able to best utilize their space and bring in multiple exhibits throughout the year for an ever-changing visual experience.  Not only is Rochester rich in visual arts, but also performing arts.  The Rochester Civic Theater offers opportunities for the community to experience the art of acting through classes and performances, as well as various professional, dance and musical acts throughout the year.

Tags: Entertainment | Food | Life of an Intern


Life of an Intern - A Change in the Weather

Posted on June 19,2013

It’s amazing how the simplest of things can have an absolutely astounding impact.  We have had two Thursdays on First so far, and these two events have been more opposite than I can adequately describe.  Fire and ice? Honey and vinegar? Harry Potter and Twilight? All similes fall short of the magnitude of contrast needed to bring this point home.  Although our first week had a better turnout than what was expected, the second week (June 13) blew away all expectations with what was sure to be a record breaking crowd.  At the end of the day, I find myself wondering, what factors contributed to this stark change from one week to the next?

Now, the easy answer would be the weather on the 13th of June was beautiful (Sunny with a light breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s) and people were simply itching to get outside.  But I can’t help but believe that there is more to this than meets the eye. 

I have come to gather that Rochester Downtown Alliance is not small potatoes in the garden of nonprofits.  They operate like a serious business, with unique motivations focused on serving the downtown area and Rochester community.  I fully believe that the multitudes at Thursdays on First did not end up there by happenstance, or simply because the weather was agreeable, but instead because of a well-planned out strategy that is continually unfolding year after year.  It would not surprise me if Thursdays like the 13th of June become the norm, instead of just an exceptional day.

Tags: Events | Thursdays on first & 3rd | Life of an Intern


Life of an Intern - The First of First and 3rd

Posted on June 12,2013

Last week was the first official Thursdays on First and 3rd and my first official experience working behind the scenes of this enormous event.  Although the festival doesn’t start until 11am, our day began at 6:30am, an hour I haven’t had to pay attention to for a long time… 

As I was walking up to the Peace Plaza to meet the other Rochester Downtown Alliance staff members at the information kiosk, I can remember three key emotions overwhelming me; anxiety, terror and excitement.  Anxiety because I had never done most of the tasks I had been assigned, and I didn’t want to mess up royally on the first go around.  Terror because I knew I would be without the aid and advice of the RDA staff for a majority of the morning load-in process.  Lastly, excitement because despite the fear and nerves, I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be.

Growing up, I was never the girl who had her wedding day all planned out by age 10, nor was I ever on the prom committee, or even fundraising for student counsel, but somehow I often found myself organizing and coordinating nonetheless.  Although I always enjoyed bringing people together through events and activities, I never thought of it as a career option.  College, thankfully, changed that.  After a year of attempting to convince myself that clinical lab science was my calling, I finally dropped that illusion once intro to chemistry kicked my butt… for the second time.  I quickly switched to Communications and never looked back.

Tags: Entertainment | Events | Thursdays on first & 3rd | Life of an Intern


Life of an Intern - Gearing Up

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. 

Tags: Entertainment | Events | Thursdays on first & 3rd | Life of an Intern


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