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Life of an Intern - A Change in the Weather

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.¶

That’s what’s so crazy to me about this industry.  Every aspect of event coordination succeeds or fails based on the efforts and dedication of a handful of individuals.  RDA is a well-oiled machine and has been thundering through downtown Rochester, changing things for the benefit of the businesses and community it is a part of.  These events, festivals, shows and gatherings don’t just happen by accident, nor do they happen by themselves.  The time that goes into planning any event is substantial, but trying to juggle multiple events at a time? That takes more than raw talent, more than good organization, and more than one person can provide alone.  It’s no small wonder how this group of people are able to not only coordinate amongst themselves, but also hundreds of others on any given event and somehow produce a product that ultimately brings vibrancy and life to the downtown community.

Already, this internship has been one wild and crazy ride, and I’m finding more and more that simply holding on tight isn’t enough to keep from getting thrown.  However, with every fall is a new opportunity to get up and go another round.  I am slowly beginning to develop a strategy for my own goals and ambitions, and plan on ending my time at RDA ready to grab the bull by the horns!

With tact,

Raquel Grad