Note from the editor: Kate Hernandez - a recent Communication Graduate from UTSA - has been serving as a Marketing Intern at Hemisfair since January. Her internship is nearing its end, and I asked Kate if she would tell us about her experience there and what it has meant to her. In response, Kate submitted this piece for our July publication. -- Jane Gennarelli
"Hemisfair needs a marketing intern this semester, are you interested?" — my UTSA honor's college advisor asked. "Of course I am." I responded, knowing full well that I didn’t know what Hemisfair was.
My honor's college advisor then connected me to Thea Setterbo, the then Hemisfair Director of Communication. Thea also happens to be one of the most intelligent and confident women I have ever met. She asked me if I was able to meet at CommonWealth - a coffee shop in the park - to further discuss details of their marketing internship.
When I arrived I was greeted by a woman wearing a red blazer. Thea asked the usual questions about me, about my past internship experiences, my strengths, and if I knew about Hemisfair. Being an Amarillo Native, I felt embarrassed that I had no prior knowledge of the park other than what I could find online. Luckily for me, Thea was able to fill me right in and bring me up to speed.
We agreed that my first day could be none other than Civic Park's ground breaking. Definitely one historic first day. Nervous and cold, I arrived at Hemisfair's office that January morning.
Thea had me begin by making calls to local news stations. And as a typical intern does, I found a way to mess up that simplest of tasks by forgetting to leave my name and a call back number. (I’ll blame it on ‘first day jitters’). The rest of the day included handing out press releases, capturing content, and being gifted ‘hot-hands packs’ from the nicest, most welcoming co-workers I have ever had the privilege to know.
After Civic Park’s ground-breaking event, I drove back to my apartment thinking how much better my first day went than I had expected, even with my ‘first day jitters’ mistake. My first day as Hemisfair’s spring marketing intern was amazing, yet it was probably the most “bad” day I’ve had during my internship. Not because of my mistakes, or toxicity, or anything of that sort, but because my time at Hemisfair has only improved with each day.
Since my first day, my knowledge of Hemisfair has expanded by leaps and bounds. For example, have you ever noticed how the concrete has almost a warm hue to it? It’s because a small amount of iron is added to the concrete mixture, which then oxidizes and gives off this color. Gary, who assists in redevelopment of Hemisfair, shared this with me, and told me about other fun architecture facts on a daily basis. Or do you know where the caterpillars like to hang out in the park? I didn’t either until Jane, Hemisfair’s operations supervisor, showed me, and told me about the favorite spots in the park of other furry friends. If you didn’t know either of these things, then you probably don’t know how the mulch is spread around Yanaguana Garden. It is designed to be easily maneuvered over, to be wheelchair-friendly. I didn’t know any of these things.
Through my remarkable experience as marketing intern, I’ve had the opportunity to pursue my passion for creating and writing inside a beautiful historical home, in the middle of a stellar and inclusive park in downtown San Antonio. That’s made coming to work nothing but enjoyable. And if the beauty and vibes of Hemisfair didn’t do it for me, my co-worrkers definitely did.
Everyone who works here is extremely friendly and helpful. I genuinely enjoy collaborating and talking to everyone here. Not only is everyone a joy to be around, they all are experienced in their careers and positions, which makes for amazing mentors to learn and receive advice from. From hearing Gary’s daily fun facts about architecture, to dancing at hosted events with Jane, to being welcomed by Traci’s warm smile every time she sees you, to accidentally scaring Hilda multiple times a day, to Melissa’s delicious home-made cakes, to collaborating with Shannon, to Andres’ authenticity, and to all the lessons and small but meaningful gestures from Thea — I have had only positive interactions with everyone at Hemisfair. And a multitude of them at that.
As Hemisfair’s marketing intern, my daily tasks have varied — managing the social media accounts, becoming an active and engaging presence on social media, attending our array of fun events for coverage, writing copy, creating graphics, assisting with any other tasks that appear, and a self imposed task of trying not to tumble down the steep stairs in the office.
Through my experience as an intern, Hemisfair has now become one of my favorite places, and it holds fond memories of good people in a gorgeous setting. I cannot express the gratitude I have towards Hemisfair for giving me this opportunity to further my career, and for providing me with the best mentors. Hemisfair has helped me transform from a raw student-intern into a confident, college graduate with experience in many different areas.
Kate Hernandez is a Spring 2022 Marketing Intern at Hemisfair
My first day as Hemisfair's spring marketing intern was amazing.
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