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During the summer of 2023, the DARTS marketing team grew by three- three marketing interns, to be exact. The three of them (Camden, Miles, and Emma) had different projects and roles during their time at DARTS. They influenced communications in different ways! We learned about their pasts, taught them in the present, and can’t wait to see what their futures hold.
As I finished up my sophomore year at the University of St. Thomas, I knew I wanted to find a summer internship that would make a difference. When I found DARTS, the biggest reason I wanted to apply was for the community that DARTS serves. My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019. It has been a big struggle knowing what she is going through, and with me in college and not being able to see her often, it has been hard. When I read about what DARTS does for the older adults in their area, I was intrigued and wanted to help.
One program that caught my attention was the Tech Buddies program. I know that, in my life, whenever my grandparents come over to see my family, my grandma would walk straight to me, hug me, then ask me to fix XYZ on her phone. The Tech Buddies program, staffed by dedicated volunteers, aims to support older adults in navigating the technology. Since technology often has a steep learning curve, this program helps. This program reminds me of helping my grandparents and is close to my heart.
When I applied to work at DARTS, which seemed like a fun and friendly workplace, I believed it would be a rewarding place to work. Not only that, but working at DARTS would make me feel like I was helping my grandma. I am so happy with my decision to intern at DARTS. It aligns perfectly with my aspirations and the desire to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults in the community.
I walk into work at the DARTS office on a balmy Monday morning around 8AM. After grabbing some freshly made coffee, I go to my cozy nook office and begin my day by clicking through the calendar. This week’s focus is to do whatever we can to increase attendance at our weekly group respite program, The Breathing Space. This is a newer program where older adults with early/mid-stage dementia can gather and socialize while their caregivers receive a break to have self-care time.
My idea for new avenues of outreach is to drop flyers in churches throughout Dakota County, so today I will be mapping out my planned route and having a field trip! After returning, I will enjoy my lunch at the outdoor eating area and chat with the other interns. I spent the afternoon looking at the edits made to the article I am going to pitch to local newspapers. It’s an exciting first exposure to marketing and advertising that really puts future real-world experience to the forefront of my mind.
Before coming to DARTS, I couldn’t imagine what the true daily tasks of someone working in advertising. There’s something exciting about being onsite and creating real material that will represent an organization in the public eye. Beyond the job experience, I’ve been exposed to an entirely new world. I did not even know the term “caregiver” before coming to DARTS and had zero exposure to aging services. The work has been so rewarding and really added a unique subset of knowledge to my life. Doing good work in the community to help those who are aging has been so worthwhile.
(And, spoiler alert, my article was published in a local paper and attendance at sessions of The Breathing Space has more than doubled since my time here).
I am beyond thankful for the time I got to spend at DARTS this summer. After 14 weeks as a Marketing Intern, I was able to grow so much in my early career path. Not only that, but I learned what it means to work for a non-profit organization. DARTS has shown me collaboration, inclusion, and how to give back and serve the community. The kindness and everything everyone has taught me has been beneficial as I learn how to grow my skills. With DARTS direction and education, I can now walk away from this internship feeling fulfilled. I feel ready to apply my newfound knowledge in my college courses and throughout my career.
I got to learn how to use many different platforms and even created the summer newsletter, and even launched the DARTS Instagram. I will miss my time working at DARTS and will never forget the valuable lessons I learned along the way. With the help of my supervisors and the other Marketing interns, I have learned so much. I now have a better grasp on what it means to collaborate and understand others point of views. Learning how to include those views within my own work while also staying true to my own ideas was difficult, but important. I now understand how important it is to not only work for your community, but how to serve in your community.
I rode the DARTS bus and met with DARTS clients in their homes. I saw our services firsthand, and gathered what it means to give back. I saw in-action what it means to be inclusive of all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds. As I go into my junior year at the University of Minnesota, I look forward to using everything I learned this summer. Thank you, DARTS, for teaching me what it means to create connections that enrich aging.
Camden is a rising junior at the University of St. Thomas, graduating in 2025. There, he is a Marketing Major with a minor in Digital design. He hopes to someday work in sports marketing. When he isn’t studying in school, he enjoys being a member of the Men’s Volleyball Team. During the summer of 2023, he was a Marketing Intern at DARTS who focused on the mailing of the summer newsletter, including testing who receives it physically and virtually. He designed the new Party It Forward logo, created the online version of the newsletter, and did an analysis of the DARTS social media strategy. When he wasn’t at DARTS, he spent the summer working at the Edina Country Club golf course and going to concerts all over the Midwest.
Miles is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where he is a Strategic Communications major. After he graduates in 2024, he hopes to work for a PR and marketing agency in Minneapolis. Miles spent the summer splitting his time between DARTS, another communications internship at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), and being a server at Hola Arepa. While at DARTS, Miles focused primarily on program outreach for programs that fell under grants. He worked on outreach and growth for The Breathing Space program, designed signage for the inside of buses promoting Home Repairs services, wrote articles, and wrote a press release for a new DARTS outreach initiative. Outside of his many jobs, Miles loves working out and being active, and trying new restaurants around Minneapolis.
Emma is a rising junior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a graduation date of 2025. There, she is a Strategic Communications major with a minor in Spanish Studies. Besides working at DARTS, Emma also spent the summer nannying. As a Marketing Intern at DARTS, Emma designed and mailed the 2023 summer newsletter to over 4,000 households. Besides the newsletter, Emma also launched the DARTS Instagram account. To do this, she researched the audience, created soft launch content, planned a post-launch content calendar, and planned the timeline for the launch. When she’s not working, Emma enjoys spending time outside, drinking lots of coffee, and spending time with her family. In the fall of 2023, she is studying away in Hawaii for the semester.