Wellness Center Internship Experience

Wow, it is already the end of the semester and the end of my internship with the Wellness Center.  Back in January when I started here this day seemed so far away, now looking back the semester really did fly by.  I gained a lot of valuable experience during my time here as Special Events Intern, and I also met some great people.  In this blog post I will recap some of what I did as well as what I learned and will take with me after graduation this spring.

This internship has allowed me to gain valuable experience in many different areas of business.  The primary project that I helped with was the 2nd annual Wellness Center Expo in late February.  This was a fun project to work on because I got to see firsthand how the planning process worked for a large event like the Expo.  I attended weekly meetings and even had a role on the “exhibitor committee” where my job was to assist with the coordination of the Exhibitors for the event.  I created a floor plan of the event and helped place where each exhibitor’s booth would be located during the event.  This seemed like it would be an easy task, but it tested my critical thinking skills.  When the day of the event arrived I had even more duties.  I worked at the check-in desk and practiced my communication customer relations and skills (two areas I wanted/needed practice in).  Later when the Expo was over I helped explain to volunteers how they could help tear down the event.  To do that I had to communicate the specific way that we wanted to take down and load things like chairs, tables and carpet tiles.  Overall it was a valuable experience to see the event take place from planning stage through the execution of the event.  Some things didn’t go like we hoped but many aspects went better than we planned.  One lesson that I will take away from this internship is that you truly can’t plan for everything when putting on an event.  Something will happen that you didn’t expect and you have to be able to think on your feet to solve the problem and learn from it for next time.  Overall the event was a success and I even got to hear about some exciting things they have planned for next year’s Expo at the post-event meeting we had.  (I’m disappointed that I won’t be around next year to attend!)

Other projects I was involved with were Family Fun days, RecSports’ 4v4 Pond Hockey Tournament and the creation of the Outdoor Recreation program.  There were also a handful of other events that the Wellness Center hosted like the Junior Grand Am Basketball tournament and several student organization events.  I also took on many different administrative tasks in my little makeshift office on the 2nd floor that also gave me insight as to how much work goes into the daily operations of a facility like this.  Each project was unique from the other and provided me a learning opportunity.

As I mentioned I got an opportunity to help with Family Fun days this semester.  One Saturday afternoon it was my job to setup and oversee this event.  I arrived around noon to set up.  I had to prepare the kiosk in the atrium so families could sign in when they arrived.  Then I had to get the classroom set up with board games, the gym set up with basketballs and the Multi Activity court with soccer balls and footballs.  All of this took longer than I anticipated and next thing I knew there were families arriving and the Gym court and Multi Activity court weren’t set up yet!  Luckily, volunteers arrived at that same time and I was able to delegate different tasks to complete the setup in time for kids and parents to have some fun.  Once that was done I walked around to all the different stations to check on the families and the volunteers and make sure everyone was satisfied and was having a great experience.  In doing this I learned a lot about being accountable and leading.  I was in charge that day and had to make sure everything was ready to go so that our customers had a great experience.  To make sure that happened I had to organize my volunteers and give them tasks that would help achieve that goal, because I couldn’t do it all on my own.

The 4v4 Pond Hockey tournament was another big project I was involved in.  This was something that Patrick Marcoe (my supervisor) and I worked together on, and he gave me a lot of responsibility with it.  I helped develop the rules for the tournament, setup the bracket, created the event in IM Leagues and put in a marketing request for flyers to advertise the tournament.  Then on the weekend of the tournament we braved the cold weather for two evenings and kept score for each of the games and also served as the off-ice officials overseeing play.  This was another example of not being able to plan for everything that happens during an event and gave me a chance to think on my feet when a couple teams didn’t to show up for their games.  We had to get creative and changed the entire schedule of events right there in the warming house.  Then we had to clearly communicate to all of the teams what the changes were and when they played next.  Although the tournament didn’t go exactly the way we hoped it was still a success and again provided me with an opportunity to develop skills and learn through experience.

I could go on and on about my semester as Special Events Intern at the Wellness Center…but I won’t.  In summary, everyday provided me with a challenge and an opportunity to learn, which is what I’m looking for while in college.  I met a lot of great people that helped me along the way and I hope them all the best in the future.  I would like to thank Patrick for giving me this opportunity and being a great teacher along the way.  Soon, I’ll be off on my next adventure as I travel into the “real world” with graduation a little over a week away.  I will take all of the experiences I had as Special Events Intern at the Wellness Center and use them to be successful at my next stop and beyond.  Now if I could only bring one of these fun bouncy stools with me as well…

Steven Hausmann

May 2, 2013

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Posted on May 8, 2013, in Occupational, Physical, Social, Student Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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