Invest in Community: Gwen Robbins Marketing Internship with the Big Rapids Parks and Recreation Department

Being on campus a lot of the time I don’t think you get a chance to immerse yourself in the town you're in and really get to know like the locals.

Gwen Robbins, senior in the Ferris State University Marketing program, spent the summer of 2019 getting to know the Big Rapids community.

Robbins was the marketing intern for the Parks and Recreation Department in Big Rapids, MI. She managed the Big Rapids Farmers Market and the Food Benefits Program. During her work day, she managed the farmers market finances and social media accounts. She also worked with the Public Library’s social media.

As an intern, Robbins ensured the Farmers Market vendors received accurate amounts for the items they sold. She said because her internship involved a lot of accounting, it encouraged her to become more organized in her internship, and her life.

“I was not an organized person before this,” said Robbins. “A lot of what I do is accounting and I think I’ve learned how to be a good record keeper. I’ve learned a good amount about excel spreadsheets.”

Robbins was able to immerse herself within the organization’s culture. Robbins said creating relationships with people that she otherwise would not have met was an eye-opening experience on how to interact with multiple audiences at once. It also taught her that different audiences have different communication preferences and that it is important to cater to those.

“Without an internship or any interactive type of learning experience, you are just reading words off a page and it can feel impersonal,” said Robbins. “Once you put yourself out into the environment and you have to have these interactions, or you’re put in situations, that’s how you learn the best.”

The College of Business at Ferris State University provides career-oriented education, responding for over 100 years to the changing needs of the business world. The curriculum prepares graduates to deal with real issues as members and leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits the Marketing program. ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence.