By: Camila Gonzalez
I want to begin by saying I am so grateful for being able to work under the Economic Development Corporation not once but twice. It was a privilege to work under empowered women with the goal of growth in our little city.
Over the two years, I met respected professionals such as Governor Laura Kelly, Hilmar Cheese’s top management, Dodge City commissioners, and my personal favorite, immigrant families coming to Dodge and fulfilling their vision of The American Dream. Networking became my long-term goal as soon as I began this internship. My confidence as a learning professional has grown immensely as well as my understanding points of view of others. A goal I had set for myself this year was to be able to communicate in Spanish when Spanish-speaking business owners needed assistance. Though I had many hiccups, my mentor encouraged me to try. All of the 5 people I closely worked with pushed both interns, that includes myself.
As the Main Street Intern working under The Development Corporation I focused on graphic design, social media marketing, billing/invoicing, attending community events, assisting with other organizations, etc. I also completed my community service, blog posts, and zoom meetings required by Ogallala Commons. This year my community service consisted of painting the exterior of an older house, passing out flyers for the Migrant program for USD443, and assisting with a Dodge City Days event called KidzFest. The blogs were also great to do especially on the reader side. It was so interesting learning about what other interns were doing in different industries and states. The zoom calls were very informative, especially the Resume Building zoom. I’ve always updated and spruced up my resume but having extra advice was beneficial.
In my first year, I didn’t quite understand what being an intern entailed. I was so used to front desk work with absolutely no guidance. Oxford Languages defines an intern as a student to a trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation to gain work experience, and I did exactly that. I learned, made several mistakes, and retried and accomplished all my tasks. The guidance of my mentor about work life, social life, and adult life was by far my favorite part of my time here. It was also very beneficial to have tasks I had to get done for Ogallala too. It felt like a real-life situation where I had to plan and juggle my priorities. There was a big shift of maturity over the last two years and I thank Ogallala and The Development Corporation for that growth.