Abigail Blonigen recently completed her internship with APEX. Here is what she had to say about the experience:
My name is Abigail Blonigen, intern at the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX). I have held this position since September of 2018 and will remain here through the summer.
I will admit: applying at APEX was definitely out of my comfort zone. While at The College of St. Scholastica, I studied Spanish, English, and Global Cultural and Language Studies and had little, if any, prior “business” experience. I was encouraged to apply by Scholastica’s Career Services Department, who, despite my lack of direct experience, saw my skills fitting well into the field of economic and business development.
What began as a six-week long commitment turned into an entire year of learning new skills, making connections, and discovering how I could make an impact in my community and region. More specifically, through APEX, I have had the opportunity to expand my network at board and member meetings; research and compile data to complete requests for information; meet and record meetings with industry leaders in the community; and gain development experience in a professional setting.
My experience at APEX has bolstered my self-confidence, sharpened my research skills, and opened my mind to a field of work I would have never considered otherwise. Though I am unsure of what my next steps will be, I know these experiences will be valuable going forward both professionally and personally.
I thank you for your support in making internship opportunities such as this possible.
Statement from Ian Vincent, Senior Business Developer, APEX
Thank you for selecting the APEX Business Development Internship as worthy of this scholarship. As a past recipient myself, it is an honor to give other young business students the opportunity to spread their wings in the economic development field.
With that it was an absolute pleasure to mentor Abigail during much of 2018-19. As a journalism major, she was to a large extent a non-traditional applicant for our business development intern position. However, her level of comprehension, her clear and articulate communication skills, and willingness to explore new subjects made her an ideal colleague and I could not be prouder of the work she accomplished.
She was a joy to work with and is continuing in the non-profit development sector in Duluth. Thank you again for this opportunity to make our internships possible.