We welcomed more than 200 student interns representing colleges and universities across the nation through the Intern Experience program this year.
The summer began with the kickoff event at Wake Forest University School of Business, followed by socials at the Winston-Salem Dash baseball game, the new Hotel Indigo, and Dave and Buster’s. Students were given valuable opportunities to build their networks by connecting with one another and with young professionals living and working in the city. Through events such as Intern Night at Venture Café and Lunch with Leaders at Winston Starts, interns were introduced to the growing and very supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Through the Intern Experience, we want to support local employers’ efforts to nurture young talent. We provide opportunities for professional growth and networking, introduce students to career opportunities in Winston-Salem, and host events that showcase the local lifestyle.
We met three Winston Starts interns that shared their thoughts on the Intern Experience and interning in Winston-Salem this summer.
Kelsey Gill – Wake Forest University
As an intern in Winston-Salem, there is constant exposure to the fun events going on throughout the city. While interning at Winston Starts, we have had the opportunity to listen to many speakers and made valuable connections with motivated entrepreneurs and businesses. It’s been great getting a feel for not only the culture in our office, but also the energetic community that thrives downtown. The Intern Experience has introduced us to the city and interns working for other companies in the area. By interning in Winston-Salem, we are gaining a competitive edge for the future that you cannot find anywhere else.
As a marketing intern at Winston Starts, I have had the opportunity to work on creating and designing a monthly newsletter for the company. Working on this project has allowed me to have a lot of creative freedom, and it’s been amazing being a part of a company that values the opinions of interns. On top of posting about events on social media, I have also started a blog with recaps of speaker events at Winston Starts that is showcased on their newly launched website!
Aliyah Rice – Salem College
I thoroughly enjoy my internship, as I have had the opportunity to create graphic designs for clients and work on the Art Starts Mural. I love working in Winston Salem as it is indeed the city for those with colorful dreams and goals. I am constantly meeting people brimming with ideas and wishes.
A prime example of meeting and mingling with others was at the Intern Experience Kickoff event. During the breakout session after a wonderful speech, I got the opportunity to speak to other interns throughout the area, as well as receive advice from mentors. This was empowering, as both the interns and mentors gave me an air of confidence with their advice and personal experiences.
Audrey Buck – Wake Forest University
At the Lunch with Leaders event, Claire Calvin reflected on her journey starting a restaurant and practicing leadership daily. She offered wisdom on how to overcome the struggles you face in starting your own business and becoming and considering yourself a leader.
As the Arts Starts and Women’s Starts Project Manager, I have been able to see these two programs through fruition in the short few months I have been at Winston Starts! Arts Starts is a groundbreaking mural project that brings together student artists in Winston Salem and pairs them with artist mentors to transform the stairways of the 500 W 5th building. The mission of this project is to inspire academic collaboration, provide an opportunity for artistic growth for students, and create wonderful pieces of artwork for the building! Women Starts is an initiative that centers around female founders. We are working to create programming and events that give female founders the opportunity to come together and discuss support, their needs and struggles female founders often face.
The projects have increased my exposure to many female entrepreneurs in Winston-Salem that exemplify strong leadership in developing our city into a hub for innovation, and being an intern for Winston Starts has allowed me to make so many connections throughout the city!