iCleveland Intern Experience
Aug 02, 2017
Category: John Carroll University
You will hear this again and again as a young professional, “Networking is key to success.” With the rise of online networking platforms like LinkedIn, some people forget the importance of face to face networking. While I realize the value of online networking in today’s digital age, it is still important to get out and meet other business professionals in your area face to face. As part of our internship at Cohen, we were sponsored by the firm to attend day events put on by the Cleveland Leadership Center. Their mission is to inspire rising community leaders to make a positive impact in the Cleveland area, and to facilitate networking and the building of meaningful relationships in the business community. These events ended up having a very positive impact on me and I want to encourage you to have an open mind about these events if you get the opportunity to participate.
When I first heard that we would be required to attend these events as part of our internship, I didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived at the first session, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many interns throughout Cleveland were in attendance. There were people there from a wide variety of colleges working in many different industries. I talked with people from other schools who I would never have had the opportunity to meet if it wasn’t for this event. The first day session consisted of tours of rising neighborhoods in the Cleveland area and a scavenger hunt that took us all over downtown. I am from Erie, PA, so I was not very familiar with Cleveland before I started at John Carroll. It was very nice to have people who have lived in Cleveland for their entire lives show us around the city. My small group leader for the scavenger hunt knew literally everything there is to know about Cleveland. We even got the opportunity to travel to different offices and meet business leaders and executives in the Cleveland area. For the second day session, we were given an extensive walking tour of Ohio City. Many people only go to Ohio City for the bars and the West Side Market, but there is much more that you can do there, including going to the art museum and attending street concerts on Wednesday nights. In the afternoon, we volunteered at the Red Line-Green Way doing landscaping work to improve the area. Although this was only two days during the summer, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot about the Cleveland area. I have a greater appreciation for the city and am aware of current difficulties the city is facing. I am also more aware of how I can get involved once I move to Cleveland after I graduate.
These events were the perfect balance of networking and fun, and I encourage you to take advantage of events like these if you get the opportunity. Now I would like to offer a few pieces of advice for future interns who will be attending the (i)Cleveland events. First and foremost, DO NOT wear jeans to these events. The leader of the program may mention to wear jeans, but trust me, no one wears jeans. I made the mistake of wearing jeans during the first session, and I found myself running up and down the streets of downtown Cleveland in jeans on a 95-degree summer day for the scavenger hunt. I still hear about this from the other interns. Secondly, make sure you read the instructions and bring a water bottle, you’ll definitely need it for the outdoor volunteering portion. Lastly, take part in the contests during the events. For each event, they will normally have contests like best picture or best tweet. Make sure you take part in these as not many people do, and you can win some cool prizes like Indians tickets. If you take this advice and keep an open mind, I know that you will have a positive experience at these events.