Dear 2017 Festival Intern

Lauren Hallowell and Sarah Dickinson

2016 Intern Lauren Hallowell (L) and 2015 Intern Sarah Dickinson met as the Festival drew to a close.

We were delighted to have Penn State student Lauren Hallowell–our third excellent intern named Lauren– as our Festival Intern for the summer of 2016. The intern’s final assignment is traditionally a wrap-up of the summer or a note to the next intern. I thought that hers was particularly good and worth sharing.
Rick Bryant, Executive Director

Dear 2017 Festival Intern,

Prepare yourself. Prepare yourself for a summer of hard work. Prepare yourself for a summer of the paper cutter, making copies, counting Festival buttons, collating packets, and helping to organize a little Festival attraction called the Silent Auction. Prepare yourself for trips with the red cart, Official Program Guide deliveries, and acting as Rick’s personal texter. (He drives; you text; it’s quite a system.) Prepare yourself for sweltering summer heat, daily strolls to the Post Office, and snapping “spontaneous posts” for Instagram.

You also need to prepare yourself for a summer of fun, because you can’t help but have fun.

Yes, you will be to be teased by the staff and they want you to kid them right back. They enjoy it.

You’re going to spend the summer sharing an office (and a Festival) with three of the hardest working and most caring individuals you will ever meet.

Rick will add his clever quips to his daily observations that will never fail to make you chuckle. He’ll also make light of your mistakes because, after all, “you’re just a kid.”

Carol will take the time to question you about your personal life, she’s like a Mom that way. Just know that accepting her on any social media platform can mean the occasional browse of your online friends.

Jen will discuss the riveting topic of stormwater, and she will discuss it many times. She will also sacrifice you to the joshing in the office to give herself a break as its usual target, but that’s just a role you have to accept.

My summer as the Intern was difficult at times (I won’t even start on the project that was the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s program), but it was always rewarding. This experience confirmed my decision to follow a career path in festivals and event planning. As a result of getting a glimpse of the details and efforts that go into planning and managing a festival, I can’t wait to begin my own work in the field.

Rick, Carol, and Jen have so much knowledge and experience to offer that it’s difficult to absorb all of it. They know how to plan a successful festival, but they also know how to enjoy themselves. Some of my favorite memories from this summer were chats at the conference table during the Festival, where staff and volunteers discussed questionable actions and the wild outfits of the festival goers. It seemed as if goofy visitors and fashion disasters were in never-ending supply.

During your internship, dive right in from the start. Complete the work, learn from the experiences–both successes and failures–and enjoy the company. When the event finally rolls around, savor it. My experience with the Festival was incomparable and beyond rewarding, and I hope yours is the same.

Good luck and don’t forget to make sure Rick has his coffee in the morning, Carol knows “everything will be okay,” and Jen has access to a block of cheese to snack on.

All the best,

Lauren Hallowell,
Penn State ’17
2016 Festival Intern

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