Aside from a few babysitting gigs, my first real job was at the local swimming pool. Not the glamourous role of being a lifeguard but in the hot and sticky concession stand. Starting at 14 years old, I served slushes and jumbo pretzels for two summers. In high school, I upgraded to working at my town’s grocery store. I started as a cashier and moved up to working the courtesy courter. Of course I took my turn at bagging the groceries, stocking the shelves and inventorying product.
Growing up, I watched my two older sisters start working at a young age. (Ironically, one was a glamourous lifeguard and the other worked at the same grocery store just a few years before.) My parents encouraged each of us to have a part time job. I think it taught us responsibility, instilled a work ethic, and gave us pride in managing our own money.
It’s no surprise I wanted to have a job while attending college. I worked as a tour guide for Iowa State and in the ISU Dining Hall offices. More important than a regular job, internships become crucial to college students wanted to launch a career after graduation.
The Blue Ribbon Foundation offers an internship program to college students. Not only do these students become part of the Blue Ribbon Foundation staff and have direct responsibility for specific projects, they also have the opportunity to further develop their skills while adding new experiences to their resumes.
The Foundation plans to hire two spring semester/summer interns and two summer intern. The four internship positions are outlined below.
- Public Relations: Publicize and coordinate the Iowan of the Day program. Promote other events with various communication materials.
- Donor Relations: Coordinate special events, donor communications and correspondence with the corporate sector.
- Volunteer Relations: Schedule and manage more than 600 volunteers for events.
- Business Relations: Oversee the logistics of the wholesale water program including oversight of orders, invoicing and summer staff. Assist Sponsorship Director with business functions.
Each intern will also assist with a variety of social media, marketing initiatives, and general office duties. Special to the Blue Ribbon Foundation, there are other potential projects based on an intern’s skill sets. This really means that each internship experience can be unique. If you want to develop a certain skill - chances are the Iowa State Fair has some project that can help you accomplish it.
I am officially biased when it comes to the Blue Ribbon Foundation internships because I was an intern a few years ago. I can guarantee that having the internship with the Foundation helped land my first “real world” job after college. I advanced my writing abilities, developed better customer service and relationship skills. I worked hard (and lots of long days) to help the Blue Ribbon Foundation accomplish its fundraising goals - all while having so much fun!
Encourage the college student in your life to apply. Applications will be accepted until November 30.
My summer internship in 2011: