By Mason Ansel, Denison University
I have spent 21 years in Ohio. I grew up about an hour from Columbus and I have always felt such a strong connection to the capital. Upon beginning my internship search I was determined to stay within my comfort zone of Columbus. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to fully step out of that comfort zone, and throw myself into a completely new place.
Looking for internships is stressful and time consuming. A large portion of my Winter Break and the start of my second semester was dedicated to school work and finding a summer job. I came across Flashstarts when looking at the Summer on the Cuyahoga, a program that aims to bring young professionals into the greater Cleveland area in the hopes of having them fall in love with the city and all that it has to offer. I have to admit I was less than excited to move up North for the summer but there was one thing that convinced me: Flashstarts.
The second I read the description for the Marketing intern at Flashstarts I was sold. Internships at their core are meant to help you learn. Learn how to function in a professional setting, learn how to take on real world problems, and sometimes learn what it is you don’t want to do. Flashstarts offered all of the above.
I moved to Cleveland at the end of May. I spent five days at home before coming up, and my mom tried to convince me to stay home and work at the bar she owns (she had the best intentions at heart). But I needed to go out on a limb and do something new and exciting.
Flashstarts is in the heart of Downtown, and existing in a co-working space like Startmart means that on a daily basis we are exposed to so many styles of working. We get to create real material for the startups we work with. We aren’t getting coffee, we are getting customers, investors, grants, ad revenue, you name it. We are helping them realize their goals, all the while taking a giant step to many of our own goals.
Now there is a reason that a place like Flashstarts exists in Cleveland. And that is because of the people here. Clevenlanders cheer on other Clevelanders. They care about their city just as much, if not more, than the people I have met in Columbus. They are the champions of their own success. Flashstarts is one of many organizations that are pushing Clevelanders forward.
I learned a mantra at the beginning of my second semester at Denison and it was “out on a limb.” I am so glad that I did just that this summer, went out on a limb. I am a little less scared to begin my professional career, and I have Flashstarts to thank for that.
One of the first things we will all do after leaving Cleveland is update our resumes. Putting the relevant experience right to the top for future employers to see. Flashstarts has given us the edge. Each of us that accepted our offers to come to Cleveland for the summer are better for it, and I am excited to take the knowledge I have I gained and take it into my first job after school.