2015 Summer Intern Update

The WaterFire internship program is in full swing for the summer 2015 season. With positions available in thirteen different areas, this unique program offers an in depth look at a nonprofit organization. Each internship position varies in responsibilities, but each offers a variety of experiences. Here’s what this summer’s interns are saying about their day to day roles in the Waterfire office:

So far, things are going really well here at WaterFire. I’m really enjoying the role I have and I’m excited for what’s yet to come this summer. – Sam Colbert, Marketing and Development Intern

Summer 2015 Interns

The first few weeks have been really fun. I learn something new each day. The first few days in the office have consisted of learning my way around the merchandise being sold at the event and keeping great records on inventory. I have helped record sales from all four mini merchandise stations that are available during the full lighting events. I think this is a great experience, and would highly recommend any Marketing major to apply for next summer.  – Lauren Bansbach, Branding and Merchandising Intern

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I can’t help but marvel at all of the things I have learned so far. This past semester at school, I was participating in a similar Social Media Internship and because of that, going into this experience, I felt I had a pretty good handle on things. However, I have realized that it is crazy how much you can still learn even if you do have some experience in the field.  -Danielle Mongeau, Social Media Intern

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Fundraising never stops and it is stimulating and a little overwhelming how much time and energy it takes to fulfill all the contracts. I am learning about the essential functions of fundraising for a non-profit organization and how big of a roles the donors and sponsors of the organization play in making the goal possible. – Rachel Haley, Marketing and Development Intern

All interns participate behind the scenes at the WaterFire events. Each intern position has a different role at the event. From starting to set up the event at 6 a.m., to working in the Brazier Society tent, to “strike” (breakdown and cleanup of the event) at 3 a.m. after the event, interns play an important role in helping events occur smoothly and seamlessly. For many interns, the June 13 event was the first as a part of the WaterFire team. Here’s what some interns have to say about working at the event:

Having focused a significant percentage of my education on marketing, which has predominantly been “behind-the-scenes” work, it was awesome to have my first real hands-on experience. Coming in as a Special Events & Operations intern, I really wanted to dive into all the little details of events—my first fire proved to accomplish just this! I am excited for the rest of the summer and the events to come! – Liz Gomes, Special Events and Operations Intern

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Having grown up in RI I have been to many WaterFires, but it is a whole different experience behind the scenes. – Ariana White, Photography

First event at WaterFire was pretty packed! I had trouble moving around and I missed some important shots, but I made up for it, so its all okay. I enjoyed myself most importantly being that I was doing what I have a passion for which is using the camera. The long day killed me once it came to 1am, but it wasn’t too bad being that 5pm break helped me a lot to carry on through the rest of the day. -Stefan Cosbert, Videography and Media Intern

Being behind the scenes of WaterFire so far has shown me how much actual work goes on in order to put on the fires. From the staff all the way to the volunteers they each offer their own personalities and talents that help make WaterFire a success. One thing that remains common among everyone is the smiles on their faces. -Bridget Cienki, Event Staffing and Volunteer Management Intern

At the event, my main job was to keep the Instagram and Twitter (both with the handle @waterfireprov) active before and during the event. It was so great to interact with visitors to WaterFire who were posting on social media, and to get to know the rest of the WaterFire team better. At the end of the night, the whole team worked together for strike. It was amazing how quickly everything was cleaned up when we all worked together. -Chrissy Casavant, Social Media Intern

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Everyone had so much energy and focus to put on this event it was impossible not to match their attitude. My first event was crazy, busy, and so much fun. I ran up and down the river, put up tents, hung lights and a million other things but I was glad to be busy and avoid any thoughts of exhaustion. The most stress I had was during the torch processions down the river doing crowd control. It’s a bit nerve wracking doing crowd control with 5 flaming torches behind you. For me the event was a huge success. Not only did I get to see the thing I had been working on for the past 2 weeks come to life, but also I got to know my team better. -Annie Craig, Special Events and Operations Intern

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As the night came to a close it was time for strike! This is the time of the night when you can truly see everyone come together. The entire staff and interns all work together to break down what makes the event all come together. From the Brazier Society tent to the multiple trash cans throughout downtown Providence, WaterFire is responsible for it all. Many people had been on site since 6am, yet at 2am when we were dumping trash cans they still had a smile on their face and it was then you could see the amazing dedication so many have to this organization. Driving home that night and the next morning I reflected on what a truly amazing organization WaterFire is and how spectacular the events that WaterFire put on are. I have always loved WaterFire and have been attending it for as long as I can remember but I think it was this fire that my love for WaterFire really deepened. (after all, to be dumping heavy, smelly trash cans at 2am in the morning with a smile on your face has to mean something!) -Sara Emaus, Management Intern

Last week, there was an intern scavenger hunt during the workday. Interns were divided into teams and given clues with instructions to visit different places in downtown Providence. Activities like this are great ways for interns to get to know each other and to get to know the city better.

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We were given clues to places and things related to WaterFire and to the city, and ran around the city figuring them out. It was awesome to be outside for the day, to get to know some of the other interns who I haven’t crossed paths with yet, and to learn a little more about Providence. We had a ton of fun working together and figuring out the clues. -Chrissy Casavant, Social Media Intern

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We were required to decode the clues that our supervisor gave us then go out in Providence. My group and I had so much fun participating in this event. We shared many laughs, and this bonded us together as a group. I probably walked about 5 miles that day, and sweated off about 10 pounds; not to mention the blisters my feet endured! –  Rachel Haley, Marketing and Development Intern

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The WaterFire team is now accepting applications for interns for the fall 2015 season. For more information about day to day office life as an intern, check out the intern blog. Visit our website for more information about each specific internship position.  To apply for an internship position, please email your cover letter and resume to CJ Opperthauser, Intern Coordinator at internships@waterfire.org. You can also apply for these opportunities on internships.com or InternHere.com.

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