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Life as an Intern by Maxwell Haydon
In being a lifelong resident of Rochester, there is a sense of the need to help others and give back to the community, most notably encompassed within Mayo Clinic. However, I’ve learned throughout three years of schooling, and now two internships, that providing benefits to the community of downtown Rochester doesn’t have to be exclusive to a medical scope. The Mayo Clinic, and downtown Rochester in general, are 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. Throughout my journey, going from a nursing major my freshman year to a marketing student at the end of the collegiate road now, I’ve benefited greatly from the Rochester community and the sense of belonging it presumes. As one of Rochester Downtown Alliance’s 2019 summer events and marketing interns, I have enjoyed giving back to the community of Downtown Rochester through facilitating events and interacting with both businesses and the community itself.
As an intern now, I can reflect upon a high school experience at Mayo High School that gave me an early opportunity to immerse myself within the downtown events atmosphere, by way of a summer job at the Newt’s Thursdays Downtown tent. My love for cooking and engaging with the downtown populous only grew as summer temperatures grew hotter throughout the summer, and I knew that while I couldn’t turn flipping burgers into necessarily a career, I could build a career and gain experience around what Thursdays Downtown in downtown Rochester are based around: Community-engaging, thoughtfully planned events.
After graduating from Mayo in 2016, I planned on attending Winona State University for its successful nursing program, but eventually switched to marketing because of a heavy desire to engage in entrepreneurship down the road, most notably within the realm of the clothing and fashion industry. When I found out about the opportunity to engage in a marketing and events internship with the Rochester Downtown Alliance, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity for me to strengthen my marketing skills as well as building upon event coordination experience, all while giving back to the community through a marketing lens.
In my free time, I enjoy working on a start-up streetwear brand, Mauxvelli, that one of my roommates helped me start in 2018. To date, we’ve hosted six of our own events! Through working on projects with Mauxvelli and creating a different take on upper-echelon offerings for urban-inspired clothing, I’ve been able to emphasize a creative take on personal marketing, and that experience has been beneficial to my coursework as well as the ideal career path that I’d like to take. When I’m not going 1,000 miles an hour on a certain project, personal or professional, you can find me at an area trout stream or lake fishing and hiking, or drinking a dirty chai latté from Bravo Espresso.
My Role with the RDA
With my time working with the Rochester Downtown Alliance and interacting with a variety of businesses in the downtown area, I have gained knowledge within a few fields of interest. As a marketing major, I have developed knowledge and interest within the realm of digital marketing throughout my coursework, but this internship has introduced me to a type of marketing that universities usually don’t teach: Event marketing. I have thoroughly enjoyed this internship because of the variety of tasks that encompasses event coordination, and have enjoyed getting further insight on how events are run from behind the curtain, which is an area of expertise that not many can say they’ve had the opportunity to engage in. From working with the bands and weekly entertainment, to communicating with vendors and attendees, and even getting a first-hand approach on sound and event mechanics, I think my favorite part of the internship thus far has been Thursdays Downtown. Along with Thursdays Downtown, I have also invested myself in helping with other events, including Movies in The Park and Dogs Downtown, for which I got the pleasure of helping design promotional t-shirts. I have absolutely loved being able to learn about certain aspects of these events first-hand during this internship. Even as that is enough fulfillment for a summer internship, I have also greatly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with such a great and inclusive group of people that make the RDA what it is and have benefited greatly from the connections I’ve made through this experience. Although I will be sad to leave for school in a couple weeks, I will be bringing with me an abundance of newfound knowledge, and the bittersweet feeling of pride and accomplishment from all that we have worked on for the summer!