Grant Matz recently completed his internship with the City of Isanti. Here is what he had to say about the experience:
While my time here as an intern in Isanti may be ending, what I have learned here in my short time I will be utilizing for the remainder of my professional career. Under the direction of Community Development Director Sheila Sellman, I was able to learn by watching and listening during city planning meetings and discussions. However, I was also presented with opportunities to take charge of many events and projects. These include the event planning and organization of the Mayor’s Luncheon for the 182 business owners in Isanti, creating new databases for employment figures within the city, contact/emergency information for businesses, and creating marketing material to incentivize more economic development within the city.
However, while many of those things my collegiate education has successfully prepared me for, there are still many things that a college just cannot prepare you for which I have been lucky to learn here. One of those things which has stuck with me is just learning how to conduct myself in an office environment. While I may have learned how to balance a budget in my accounting class and get straight A’s throughout college, there isn’t a chapter on how to present yourself in front of different audiences. Or even something as trivial as how to scan a pamphlet on a Toshiba e5508A to directly email to co-workers. Quite honestly, I’m glad I was able to gain these experiences just to evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses in a professional setting rather than just exclusively an academic setting.
While I may have entered this internship with no intentions of going into the public sector, this job has opened my eyes to the possibility of going further into the public sector. If nothing else, my economic development internship has revealed to me the firmly established helping hand that local government provides to new small businesses. Especially in smaller towns like Isanti. This is extremely detrimental to my future career as I am going into my junior year studying Entrepreneurial Management and Finance at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities- Carlson School of Management.
Overall, I am very glad I accepted this economic development internship here in Isanti. The staff here were very friendly right off the bat which made it a very easy transition and were pleasant to work with throughout the summer. I hope future interns are able to have this great opportunity I was presented this summer, and are able to take advantage of this jobs learning experiences.
Statement from Shelia Sellman, Community Development Director, City of Isanti
Thank you again for the scholarship for the EDA Intern. Having an intern this summer was so valuable especially since I had just started with the city myself at the end of April. Grant was a great addition to our team and picked up on things quickly. Listed below are a few of the highlights from Grant’ s internship:
• Mayors Annual Employer Appreciation Luncheon
Every year the mayor holds a luncheon to celebrate businesses in Isanti. Awards are given out to businesses that have been here 5 years, 10 years and so on in 5-year increments. Grant was almost completely in charge of this event. The invites went out before he started but all RSVPs went directly to him. Grant was also in charge of renting the facility and organizing the food, whether it was collecting donations or ordering from the local restaurants and grocery stores. Grant was in charge of ordering awards, the layout of the event and doing a write up for the Mayor to speak at the event. This luncheon was a great success! Not only was it Grant’s first time doing this, it was also my first time and the first for the Mayor, everything went according to plan.
• Business listing update/emergency contacts
Grant sent a mailer out to all the businesses located in the city requested specific business information so we could update all of our records. We added emergency contact info to the request on behalf of the police department, accomplished two things with one mailing. This allowed Grant to work with the Police Department and get some exposure with them. Grant followed up with e-mails and phone calls when necessary. This information was crucial for us to update our employee numbers and key holder information.
• Promotional Pamphlet
Grant updated our Isanti promotional pamphlet with new numbers, projects, staff etc. He had to learn how to use the software “InDesign” on his own. Grant did a great job on the updates and was responsible for ordering the final product with the local printing company.
• Commercial Listings
One goal of the EDA is to provide available commercial and Industrial real estate listings on our webpage. This is something that will be implemented with our new website with some GIS capabilities. Grant compiled a list of available parcels with contact information, location, size, zoning etc. This will be helpful once we get our new website up and running.
Overall it was very helpful to have Grant here this summer he was a great addition to our team willing to help and learn where he could and was beneficial for me to have him complete some tasks that otherwise may not have gotten done this year.