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Life as an intern by Emma Culbertson

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.

About Me

I graduated from Pine Island High School in 2017 and will be a Sophomore at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities in September, majoring in Strategic Communication with a minor in Leadership. After spending the school year in Minneapolis, I knew that when I moved home for the summer I wanted to have a job that aligned with my career paths, as well as helping me to be more connected with my community. When I found the opportunity to intern with the RDA, I knew it was the right fit for me because it matched both of those goals perfectly.

Outside of my internship, I work part time on the promotions team for iHeartRadio—Minneapolis, I am heavily involved with my sorority Alpha Phi, and serve as an ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts at the U of M. You can also find me eating at Downtown restaurants with friends, playing with my wiener dog, Theodore, and binge-watching Netflix (hello, Orange Is the New Black fans).

My Role with the RDA

Outside of the internship description, I initially wasn’t exactly sure what I would be doing as an intern with the RDA. I knew I would be primarily working the Thursdays on First & 3rd event, but besides that I was open to whatever was needed. What I love most about being an intern with the RDA is that no two days are the same. One day I might be in office writing press releases and prepping Thursdays on First & 3rd materials, and the next day I might be distributing event posters to businesses or recording radio ads for upcoming events!

My main duties within the internship are writing press releases and blogs for Thursdays on First & 3rd, Movies in the Park, and Dogs Downtown. I additionally work on tasks for the Bookworm Walk, Social Steps, and Games on the Grass such as poster distribution and material organization. I also work with our Marketing Department in contributing to the writing of the #MyDowntownRochMN blogs and creating social media posts. This summer I implemented the #BehindTheThursday mini-campaign on our Instagram which features our Thursdays on First & 3rd staff. This campaign features an Instagram photo and post about each staff member alongside a corresponding Instagram story sharing more in-depth about what they do with the organization. I chose to create this campaign as a new way to advertise our event, as well as, introducing the faces of the RDA and those who help us put on Thursdays on First & 3rd.

This is my first internship and I could not have asked for a better experience. I am able to implement the skills I’ve learned in college into a real-world setting, while also learning innovative industry know-how about media marketing and event execution. Not only am I gaining experience this summer, but I’m also having fun while doing it! The staff at the RDA are extremely supportive in giving me opportunities to use my skills, while also giving constructive criticism to help me grow. I am so thankful for this experience and am sad my time here is almost over, but I cannot wait to see all that the RDA accomplishes in the future.