By: Ricardo Fajardo
I was sitting in the dining hall at the University at Buffalo enjoying my chocolate pudding and thinking about what I wanted to do after graduation. My friend suggested I apply for an internship to help inform my decision with some real-world experience – so I applied for the Marketing and Event Planning internship at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. A few weeks later, while I was back in NYC, putting my baby nephew to sleep, I got an email notification. It was an offer for the position and I was overcome with excitement for my first college internship! I knew I was going to learn a lot about working in a professional environment.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, this was my first time working for an organization with brand recognition all over the Buffalo Niagara region. I have to say, I was a little nervous. But as soon as I got my first assignment, I was content.
I was introduced to their CRM software. I never heard of it, but I quickly learned that it is a set of applications designed to help businesses manage a range of business processes. I also worked on Publisher and Eventbrite. Learning how to use them will be beneficial to me in my future.
The best part about being an intern at the Partnership was the different projects and tasks that I was assigned. I never got bored, there was always something different to do. My biggest project was doing a Social Media Audit, which involved me going through the list of current members and updating their social media contact list. Doing this project allowed the Partnership’s social media accounts to have a bigger presence online and increase their followers.
Other assignments had me working in Excel, which I realized I really enjoyed. I have the tendency to try and learn everything on Excel because it has so many functions that can help clean and organize data. I got to further enhance my Microsoft Excel skills and learn new function formulas. Even when I thought the work was tedious, I could rely on my supervisor, Krystal Testa, to guide me through it. She’s a great mentor and I was grateful to have her around to help me grow professionally.
Being an intern at the Partnership allowed to me learn more about the organization. I learned how they support local businesses through their Advocacy Agenda. I attended BN360 events they host which help young professionals achieve their goals for professional growth and success. Being a part of all of it made me feel like I was impacting the organization and helping them achieve their goals.
I really enjoyed my time at the Partnership. The office environment and the people are friendly. It made me realize that Buffalo is a great place to work and start a career. Somewhere in the future, I will look back and reminisce about my time at the Partnership and say, “This is where it all started”.