Interns making an impact in Old Town

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While volunteers have proven to make an impact in Old Town, another group is making their mark. The Old Town Commercial Association Internship program provides students with valuable and hands-on experience with events in the neighborhood.

Heather Muylle-Mossing, OTCA Programming Director, is in charge of coordinating the internship. Interns are heavily valued for the help they provide Old Town.

“The projects that they work on and execute on a day to day basis, help promote and get the word out about the Old Town community,” said Muylle-Mossing. “By doing this, they are helping bring new and seasoned patrons to Old Town, which we hope will generate more business and bring more people down to our festivals. The funds from those go directly back into the community.”

The OTCA offers two internship positions, omen in communication and the other in design. The duties of the interns vary depending on the position they hold. According to Muylle-Mossing, the communication interns aid with the monthly newsletter, press releases, event planning, social media and many other tasks.

Corner of Turner Street and Grand River in the heart of Old Town. Photo taken by Alexis Downie.

Corner of Turner Street and Grand River in the heart of Old Town. Photo taken by Alexis Downie.

Former fall 2016 communication intern Stephanie Sleda always had an interest in Old Town and wanted to gain valuable experience rather than working at a larger company. Sleda said she felt valued interning at the OTCA because everyone needed each other to make things work and happen.

“I hope that I made an impact on the community by getting more of the Old Town businesses involved in Old Town happenings and making visitors more aware of them,” said Sleda. “Also by helping with events that bring more people to Old Town to shop, dine or visit.”

Katie Davidson, another communication intern in the fall of 2016, felt their work helped promote the events in Old Town to help benefit the businesses and community as well.

“Writing, interviewing, and editing content for feature stories for the monthly newsletter, promoting events, and speaking with sponsors were just some of the things we did,” said Davidson.

Cover of the Intern Handbook created by J. Curell. Courtesy of the J. Curell webpage under Document Design.

Intern Handbook cover created by J. Curell. Courtesy of the J. Curell webpage under Document Design.

On the other hand, there is also the position of design intern. Muylle-Mossing said these interns work heavily on event marketing (posters, social media designs, billboards, VIP lanyards and more) as well as other in-house design needs.

Not only does each intern have an assigned task, interns also help in the office with daily tasks such as answering phones and helping guests that come into the office.

Each semester the OTCA takes about three to five interns, with a full capacity of three communication and two design. An internship handbook may be provided to interns upon beginning their position at the OTCA to help better their understanding of their duties in a friendly manner. The program runs one to two semesters, however, year-round interns are welcomed.

“We are so grateful for our interns at the OTCA,” said Muylle-Mossing. “We truly could not function without them.”