The Research Triangle Park

My Internship at The Research Triangle Foundation

By Author Jul 11, 2018

In my time at The Research Triangle Foundation as the Marketing and Communications intern, I have worked alongside mobilizers dedicated to bringing opportunity to North Carolina and unity to the Triangle community. This internship experience has been both fun and purposeful; in just six short months I have learned new skills and how to make ideas into reality.

A typical day for me includes gathering content for newsletters, designing and ordering branded materials, writing blogs, and working on huge projects like updating the RTP company directory and the driving tour for Park visitors. Prior to my internship, I had only heard of MailChimp—now I use it regularly to keep the Triangle community up to speed!

One of my first projects was updating the elevator directory at The Frontier. I was given the opportunity to design something that our community would see and use daily, using brand colors and encompassing the quirky vibe of The Frontier. It was amazing to see it come to life in the coworking space from a draft in Canva.

Speaking of The Frontier, I came to know one of the companies, Unity Digital, fairly well as we teamed up to accomplish an amazing updated company directory. My role was to be a voice for how we wanted it to look, collect and flesh out data, and import all company logos and location photos for proper representation. This was such an important project to both the Foundation and the many companies and employees in the Park, and I was honored to be a part of it.

Picnic in the Park was an exciting event to help plan for and to be a part of. This was a day dedicated to unveiling outdoor amenities and enjoying lunch and cold treats at the expanded Frontier campus. Having a staff role at Picnic in the Park gave me a small glimpse of the event planning world. On top of managing social media accounts for the day, my role was to order branded “SWAG,” pick up floral table décor, and set up the VIP tent. Partly as a staff member and partly because I love talking to people, I mingled with the more than 500 guests to get an overall sense of how they were enjoying the event. I met babies and pups, fans of our wood-grained glasses, brand new residents to the Triangle, and folks just happy to soak up the sun on a blanket with their favorite food truck meal. It really brought home the impact of The Frontier on the RTP community.

I’ll be leaving RTF with quite a few skills in my repertoire. One of my favorites: embedding the Eventbrite checkout in HTML onto event pages. It probably sounds oddly specific, but it makes reserving a ticket that much easier! And as a marketing and communications professional, putting yourself in the shoes of the targeted audience is crucial. I’m happy to have the tools to make the user’s experience a bit simpler with features like these.

Another skill I’ve enjoyed learning is how to use WordPress. Through uploading countless events, a series of blog posts, updating and organizing staff pages, and tons of other tasks, I’ve gotten enough practice to feel comfortable in the back end of rtp.org. The platform is a lot more sophisticated than the sites I used in college, and now I feel I can maneuver as a WordPress site administrator with confidence in the future.

©2018 Kevin Seifert Photography

With all of that said, the project I’m most proud of is the Women of RTP project. This stemmed from a casual conversation around highlighting women and their role as leaders in the Park. That sparked an email to about 20 female leaders gauging their interest in being part of the conversation, which later led to a powerful photo and blog post resulting in over 7,000 (and counting) views and shares. The photo itself is soon to be hung in The Frontier with a placard underneath, which is something I will never forget. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I helped capture something that will inspire women throughout the Park and beyond to continue pushing the boundaries in the workplace.