Bailey Rye recently completed her internship with the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency. Here is what she had to say about the experience:
I interned at the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency (Aleda) in Albert Lea, MN. I started the internship by updating their website with new listings on the ‘properties’ page. This page shows all the available land and buildings that are for sale for someone to start or grow a business. I contacted local realtors and asked them for any new properties to add. Luckily, I was able to add a few more. Along with adding new properties, I found out additional information that would help a potential buyer learn more about the property. I contacted Minnesota Energy Resources to find out gas line information, Freeborn-Mower Coop to gather information on utilities, and other various things like the zoning, price, acres, square footage, etc. Phillip Johnson, the executive director, and I agreed that I would call five local businesses every week to set up a meeting for Phillip and the owner. These meetings consisted of Phillip getting to know the business, and the owner learning about what Phillip and Aleda have to offer. A few businesses that Phillip met with were 112 on Broadway, Plymouth Shoe Store, Albert Lea Public Warehouse, Rofshus Precision Machine, Streater, and more.
One part of the internship I thought was great was being able to sit in and take minutes for the Port Authority and Greater Jobs board meeting every month. I got a feel for what the business world is like while witnessing negotiations, problem-solving, and discussions. Another project I worked on was writing several reports on Minnesota Karen refugees and how to bring them to our area, the top growing industries in the Midwest, and an Uber/Lyft campaign to potentially have their services in our town. Other projects were uploading files onto the computer from the file room and finding out information on vacant buildings that could be for sale or rent downtown.
An unexpected takeaway from this experience is that I am thinking of coming back to Albert Lea after college. Throughout high school, I always had negative views on this town. After graduating and interning here, I have learned a lot about Albert Lea and how great of a town it actually is. I also have strengthened my communication and research skills and learned that making connections can help in the long run. The one thing I wanted from this experience was to learn as much as I could about business and myself, as I am graduating college soon and haven’t had the chance to find out what I really want to do with my major. I can happily say that I learned a lot, and I do have some ideas for potential careers.
Statement for Supervisor, Noelle Hagen, Assistant Executive Director, Albert Lea Economic Development Agency
Bailey Rye was a great asset this summer for our organization. While she was our first intern for the organization, she took one projects very quickly and happily. One of the most helpful projects she completed this summer was inventories of available properties and properties owned by the Port Authority. She compiled all available details about each property, allowing us to have the information at the ready to pitch to potential developers, as well as preparing us to determine what sites to seek Shovel Ready Certification on. We would like to sincerely thank the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation for allowing us the opportunity to have an intern through the grant program, and look forward to mentoring other students in the future.