A Day in the Life of a CA Ventures Intern- Joyce Zhai

Me at my desk!

Me at my desk!

Hello! My name is Joyce Zhai and I am currently a Senior studying Marketing and Finance. This quarter, I am interning for CA Ventures, LLC which is the parent company for several business units such as CA Student Living, CA Office, CA Residential, CA Retail & Hospitality, and CA Asset Services. CA Ventures was founded in 2004 as Campus Acquisitions, LLC by our CEO Thomas Scott. The company started off focused in acquiring and developing high-quality student housing and it only recently moved into other markets to become CA Ventures.

At CA Ventures, I work in the marketing department for CA Student Living as the Market Analyst Intern. Since I go to school full-time, I only work three days of the week. As the Market Analyst Intern, I mainly work on existing markets and keeping up-to-date on what our competitors are doing. Some of my counterparts work on future markets and analyzing how to break into those markets. The markets we look at involve university dormitories, student housing complexes (think 1237 West), and apartment complexes on and near campus.

My favorite part of the office…we have 4 coffee machines!

My favorite part of the office…we have 4 coffee machines!

My day usually begins at 9 AM in the kitchen pouring myself a cup of coffee. After I have clocked-in, I begin sorting my reports in order by markets. This is important because I have to take into consideration the time zones my markets are in. I usually start my day by focusing on the markets that belong on the East Coast and gradually move towards the Midwest and the West Coast. My main tasks as the Market Analyst Intern is to perform my weekly updates on what our competitors are doing in terms of leasing for the next year, marketing events, specials offered to their tenants, and pricing. I repeat these tasks every week for several markets. At the start of every month, I also work on my monthly updates which usually take me about a week to complete given that I also go to school full time! For my monthly updates, I also keep up-to-date on competitors in the market and what they are doing.

Seems pretty easy, right? However, the hardest part is keeping track of all of the competition in a total of eight markets and inputting all of the information I have gathered into this huge Excel file with mathematical formulas and more information you’d ever want to know about the student housing market! A lot of what I do on a daily basis is also very time sensitive which can be stressful especially if a specific market is hard to get information on.

CA Ventures, LLC is headquartered in Chicago and has about 70-90 employees. The company is rapidly growing and I often find new faces floating around the office every week since we have been hiring new staff to support the new business units. The company has not even made it to its 10th birthday and has already accomplished so much. We have properties at a lot of major universities such as University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Indiana University, University of Arizona, etc. We’re also actually building a property right across from the Lewis Center in the Loop Campus which would be convenient for students to roll out of bed and cross the street for class!

Joyce 2

I have been interning for this company for a little over a month and I can say that I’ve learned quite a bit about the real estate industry and what it’s like to work for a smaller and newer company. Previously, I’ve interned for big name companies such as Grant Thornton and Coca-Cola. It’s interesting to see how different it is to work for a big company versus a small company. CA Ventures being a smaller and newer company, I feel my work is valued higher and is depended on more than it was at a bigger company. I am constantly doing work and often times I find myself answering questions for many of the employees who are working on the same market as me. For the remaining time that I am interning for CA Ventures, I’d like to try and learn more about the whole process of developing a student housing complex instead of just focusing on analyzing markets. I’ve learned a lot so far and can’t wait to see what else is out there!

A Day in the Life of the Museum of Contemporary Art:Chicago Intern- Melissa Roels

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Working in the marketing department of the Museum of Contemporary Art: Chicago is one of the most well rounded experiences I could have gained from a museum internship. The technical title of the marketing department is Communications and Community Engagement, which allows me to partake in an array of tasks at the MCA. What I love the most about interning there is that I am able to interact with almost every department (it also helps that my desk is next to the coffee pot!).

The MCA Chicago is one of the largest designated spaces for contemporary art. Contemporary art is a loose categorization of art generally defined as works from 1945 onwards. As a museum we try to focus on community interaction and engagement, making fine art a democratic experience for all.  So, by no means is this a stuffy museum! We try to remain current in technology trends for educational purposes, such as podcasts which explain more about our exhibitions, and also fun trends like the MCA’s edition of the Harlem Shake dance craze, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uShe_kKLLIk.

Day to day activities vary depending on the exhibition schedule as well as events taking place at the museum. The most consistent activities I do everyday is record and file ads which we have placed in various periodicals, and add guest passes into excel spread sheets from the weekend. I also fulfill donation requests from organizations and organize the materials to be mailed to them. On Tuesdays, I have the pleasure of working outside during the afternoon at the farmer’s market. This is a great way to answer questions people have about up coming exhibitions, we also let them know that it is not only the day we are open late with events scheduled for people to enjoy but it is also free for all Illinois residents. On more interesting days, we may something like a performance piece going on that I get to document via social media, or just get to go see with my either of my two supervisors. (Check out the picture of Miller and Shellabarger crocheting their on going piece Untitled, Pink Tube, 2003–present).

As I said before my position allows me to interact with all parts of the museum. I benefit from seeing a “behind the scenes” of how a large institution runs. Sitting in on the staff meetings, I get to experience how they solve problems between departments. It also is great to see how much effort and passion is put in by the people who work there. Each employee has their unique reasons for working at the MCA and it comes through their work and engagement every time I am interning there. Each of uphold the key section of the mission statement, “The MCA aspires to engage a broad and diverse audience, create a sense of community and be a place for contemplation, stimulation, and discussion about contemporary art and culture.” Among all the business experience I am taking in, I am also learning about the kind of environment I would aspire to work in as a career.

A Day in the Life of an Alliance for Lupus Research Intern- Mohammad Musleh

Currently, I volunteer and am an active Planning Committee Member for the Alliance for Lupus Research, ALR for short. The ALR is an amazing non-profit organization that raises funds for Lupus research as well as spreading awareness of the disease itself since it is fairly new. The organization itself is based out of New York but has chapters throughout the entire United States.

As an Active Committee Member for Chicago, it’s my job to help raise funds for the Annual Walk for A Cure event. At the walk “teams” from all around Chicago come together after a year of raising money for the organization and participate in the walk at Diversey Harbor downtown. It’s a great event where you meet great people of all walks of life who in some way have been affected by the disease or are just there to support those who are affected. The walk itself is about a 3 mile walk and ends with a BBQ and great music!

Here is a picture of Team Luck Fupus from the 2012 Walk!

Here is a picture of Team Luck Fupus from the 2012 Walk!

The objective of each team is to raise money in whatever way they can and can be as creative as possible! My team has come up with the team name “Luck Fupus”. I’m sure you can figure that one out. Last year we raised over $2500 at our first annual event which was a 4 course dinner at Café Lucci in Glenview. This year we are looking to have a Halloween costume party fundraiser and hope to get close to our previous amount or even top it. So throughout the year, my team and I are actively looking for different ideas on how we can raise money throughout the year.

So why am I so involved? Well, both my older sisters currently suffer from this auto immune disease. Currently there is no cure and there is not much research currently being done. I see them struggle and it absolutely breaks my heart that there is not much I personally can do to help ease their pain. As a brother, I felt it was my duty to help out in any way possible and I finally have found an outlet to do so. This experience has taught me how to just be able to give and think of those other than yourself.

Day in the Life of a Chicago Housing Authority Procurement Intern- Vincent Farinella

Greetings! My name is Vincent Farinella, and I am a Student Intern (aka Jr. Procurement Specialist) at the Chicago Housing Authority.

For a brief overview of my employer, the Chicago Housing Authority is the largest owner of rental housing in the city of Chicago. The agency provides public housing to more than 50,000 families and individuals of Section 8 and Low-Income criteria and supports healthy communities in neighborhoods all across the city. In 2000, the CHA began the formation of their Plan for Transformation (the first of its kind) which entailed the demolition and renovation of several public housing sites across the entire City of Chicago in an attempt to end past public housing segregation and implement diversification throughout the CHA properties. Now in the Plan Forward phase of the plan, the CHA does business with over 100 construction contractors to take on these rehabilitation and demolition projects across Chicago.Authority. I work in the Department of Procurement and Contracts, specifically in the Construction division.

vicent 1                        vincent1

Being a double major in both Marketing and Finance at DePaul, working in the Procurement Department at the CHA gives me a good exposure to tasks in both fields. A typical day for me often consists of working on a new or existing construction IFB. I will create advertisement materials for it to ‘hit the street’ and solicit the vendor list. After receiving their bids, I will then review their submittals and financials and make recommendations as to the apparent lowest bidder to be awarded the contract. It can often be a long process that consists of a lot of paperwork. The typical day may not always be the most eventful, but my great group of co-workers always try to make it enjoyable by throwing small office events where everyone will bring different foods. I swear they are trying to make me a diabetic before I leave here!

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On slightly more eventful days though, I am able to get out of the office and promote the CHA with some of my fellow co-workers. In an effort to reach out to companies/contractors within the community, I will also attend various vendor fairs, around once a month, to promote doing business with the CHA. Being a public sector agency, the CHA makes it a point to do business with minority-owned businesses around the community. One event that catered to such businesses, which I attended in late August, was the 2013 Hispanic Business Expo which held well over 100 companies in attendance.

Overall, this internship has been a wonderful, in which I have learned an immense amount about marketing, finance, public policy, construction, cake recipes, and much m

uch more. When I started this internship program in the beginning of summer, there were almost 30 of us interns and now there are only 6 of us left, and I am proud to be one of them. I continue to take on more responsibilities each day, and I look forward to continuing my learning and growth here at the Chicago Housing Authority.vince5                       vincent 2

A Day in the Life of a DePaul Art Museum Intern-Olivia Morris

I am a DePaul intern pioneer for all future marketing interns at the DePaul Art Museum. The first of my kind! It’s pretty awesome. Being on the business side of the art and museum world can be exciting, fun and rewarding. It takes excellent communication and organizational skills, a creative and open mind, and a willingness to try new things.

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I started at the DePaul Art Museum two years ago as a gallery monitor. I was asked a year later if I wanted to be the collections intern, and then stumbled/gracefully fell into the marketing intern position.  The administrative staff consists of Louise Lincoln (Museum Director), Laura Fatemi (Associate Director), Greg Harris (Assistant Curator), and Alison Kleiman (Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator).  We have a small administrative staff, four interns (I am counting myself twice here), and twelve gallery monitors.

I started at the DePaul Art Museum two years ago as a gallery monitor. I was asked a year later if I wanted to be the collections intern, and then stumbled/gracefully fell into the marketing intern position.  The administrative staff consists of Louise Lincoln (Museum Director), Laura Fatemi (Associate Director), Greg Harris (Assistant Curator), and Alison Kleiman (Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator).  We have a small administrative staff, four interns (I am counting myself twice here), and twelve gallery monitors.

My goal for the end of my ten weeks as the marketing intern has been defined as: raising awareness and attendance of the DePaul student community to the museum. With no one on staff that handles marketing exclusively, Alison has been focusing marketing efforts on the city of Chicago and the greater Chicagoland area. Hoping emails will get passed along to students through the faculty, putting up fliers around campus, and having an excellent social media presence has been an effective way to promote to students thus far. The marketing intern role is now exposing me to all different channels that students utilize within the DePaul community.

My daily tasks have been formed along the way after first defining my role within the museum based on their most pressing needs. I put up fliers around the Lincoln Park campus, and will be putting up fliers around the Loop campus in the next few weeks. I get to research and create content for our social media platforms. This includes researching artists that we have on exhibition and creating tweets about them, diving into our collection of 2500 art objects and picking weekly features for our Instagram account, and sharing events on our Facebook page.

My daily tasks also include adding events to the Events.DePaul.Edu page weekly, so they can now pop up on the ever-famous Campus Connect that all students are happily forced to utilize. I am also in the process of trying to get a campus wide monthly newsletter sent to all DePaul undergraduates. [Shout out to Kate Stevenson for getting the museum on the track to a newsletter soon!]

I’ve gotten to learn a lot about how a relatively small art museum runs. I’ve been exposed to how a museum’s collection is acquired, processed and stored. I’ve assisted in planning and executing 17 different exhibitions over the last year and a half.  And now as the marketing intern, I get to think about how to communicate effectively to a certain audience in a world that is saturated with people who are trying to do the exact same thing. To me, marketing is problem solving, creativity and innovation through a greater organization’s lens. You have to look at the big picture and the details at the same time. Marketing for an arts organization like the DePaul Art Museum is a great way to utilize both sides of your brain (getting class credit is a plus, too!).
This is my last quarter at DePaul, and I just hope that the next hundred marketing interns have as great of an experience at the DePaul Art Museum as I have.

Right now we have the exhibition We Shall: Photographs by Paul D’Amato on the first
floor and the exhibition Histories / Photographies on the second floor:

The DePaul Art Museum is free for everyone everyday, so stop in on a break between classes or just whenever!

And don’t be shy on social media! 🙂
Twitter (@DePaulArtMuseum)
Instagram (@DePaulArtMuseum)

Facebook (Facebook.com/DePaulArtMuseum)

Thanks for reading,


A Day in the life of the City Church Chicago Intern- Jamie Anastasia

This internship is very different than most positions I have held in the past.  Since it is a Marketing internship for a non-profit organization, specifically a religious organization, it has given me a great opportunity to discover how to use my ideas and techniques in a new way to target diverse and broad markets.  There are approximately 35 employees and 150 active volunteers at City Church Chicago.

My title at City Church Chicago is Marketing/Creative Intern.  One of my main duties is to be in charge of planning and executing all marketing and promotional events within the church and throughout the city.  This includes hosting themed fundraisers, sports outings, mixers, and concerts.  These events raise money or awareness for the church and its philanthropic/community service endeavors.  One of the main initiatives for City Church Chicago this fall is Urban Hope, a community center that City Church Chicago opened in a neighborhood of the west side to provide children with a safe and positive environment after school.  There are 3-5 events per month and all of them benefit or raise awareness for the Urban Hope project.

The other side of my internship is working with the Creative Team at City Church Chicago.  This team designs all the social media, video recaps, building decorations, and helps promote the culture at City Church Chicago.  My day-to-day activities include assisting the Creative Director and Communication Director with completing any seasonal projects.  I assist with social media posts on Twitter and Instagram and respond to any inquiries for information on those sites.  Each week I edit and post podcasts of the weekly services on the website so that those who are interested can see what the church is like and those who are currently members can catch up on the current series if they have missed any services.

This internship has been extremely eye opening for me because I have never had the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of any non-profit organization before.  Since I am assisting for marketing for a church, the ideal market is anyone and everyone in Chicago because anyone is welcome to come to the church services and events.  I am learning more about broadening content and creating several different versions of each post or ad that can appeal to different demographics.  I am excited to continue to learn more about how the marketing team functions in this organization.

A Day in the Life of a Language Stars Intern- Dylan Plachta

dylanlanguagestarsLanguage Stars mission is simple: “To revolutionize how and when American children learn foreign language to foster a future generation of multilingual Americans.” How the company goes about achieving this mission is not so simple.

My role in the process of changing the foreign language influence in America is not with recruiting hundreds of teachers from across the globe nor is it managing one of the 25 Language Stars centers throughout Chicago, DC and Baltimore. Nor do I work with the conversion team on increasing enrollments. But what I do impact is all of these departments. This is because I work in the marketing department as the marketing intern.As the marketing department we brand each center, promote our products and services through e-blasts, direct mail postcards and much more.

The marDylan 1keting department consists of three team members: the marketing manager, marketing director, and marketing intern. With three members to support 25 centers and all departments within the company there is plenty of work to complete each day. My responsibilities are recording and storing all the marketing invoices in the marketing budget budget. As well as reconciling the budget at the end of each season. I also list all of Language Stars events online and in magazines. Examples of Language Stars events are story times in a foreign language, kid expos, fairs, and much more. I also do most of the reporting for the marketing department. I form a Free Class Report each week to see how many free classes each center schedules as well as the progression of that free class until enrollment. I also maintain three competitive analyses that I created. One looks at other kids’ foreign language instruction companies, another looks at all kids’ enrichment programs, and the last details summer camps. Other reports I create and produce are seasonal reports that contain free class numbers, enrollments, and new inquiries. I am in the process of creating additional reports that will allow the marketing department to see how productive local marketing events are in terms of ROI. Finally, I am charge of ordering and shipping all of the promotional materials for each center (i.e. balloons, t-shirts, pens, flyers, etc.).

Through this internship so far, as I have been here since February of 2013, I have learned how use excel and many useful tools it possesses to create invaluable reports. Furthermore, I have learned how to work in a team and develop ideas that affect an entire company. Additionally, I have gained experience as freshman and now a sophomore that will be very beneficial to me in my future endeavors.

A Day in the Life of the OMSS Intern- Christine Chen

Hello everyone! My name is Christine Chen and I am currently a scholarship intern for the Office of Multicultural Success located here in DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus Room 304. I have been involved with OMSS since I was a first year student, as a STARS mentee and a mentor. After being committed to the office for a while, one of the Assistant Directors in the office had asked me to return as an intern.

The Office of Multicultural Success Team

The Office of Multicultural Success Team

To introduce the office, the Office of Multicultural Student Success is an office under student affairs that outreaches to students of multicultural background, low-income status, or is of first generation status through financial aid resources and scholarships, mentorship programs, and developmental workshops. The office is divided up into three areas, (name areas here) with three assistant directors under our head director that help run the office. I, myself, work for Jeff Brown who runs area 2: Academics, Leadership and Identity Development of the office. JB facilitates and oversees students that are recipients of certain scholarships that OMSS offers; he coordinates and creates developmental workshops for these students to utilize, while also helping them prove their success academically.

As a scholarship intern, overall my main job is to increase the awareness of scholarships to these students that fall under the specific profile. In order to do so, I do a lot of social media marketing; I design and develop a social media plan to increase students’ awareness. For instance, I help direct these students to scholarship opportunities in one convenient place so they can all access these applications easily. I create a database that keeps track of students who are inquiring about certain scholarships while also sending out this information. Additionally, I help with administrative activities such as facilitating over the front desk of the office and our study jams events.

DePaul's Office of Multicultural Success

DePaul’s Office of Multicultural Success

With the time I have been in this particular office, I have experienced many different sides of it. I have to give credit to this office because they have helped shape me to the “leader” I am today and have guided me to my path of success. As my efforts are noted greatly in this office, what really matters is the effect that it does for the students individually. This office is very beneficial to students who fit under the specific profile (as well as those who do not, they can still utilize our services) through financial aid, those who struggle with their identity and how to navigate their college experience. What I’ve taken out of this internship is that overall, the office recognizes each student’s individual efforts with something greater than a scholarship: I believe that the lessons that are given by the office are what carry the students through their college years and potentially the rest of their life.



A Day in the Life of the Michigan Avenue Magazine Intern- Ana Faur

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This fall I have acquired an internship at Chicago’s premier source of city-life publication, Michigan Avenue Magazine. Having just celebrated their five year anniversary, Michigan Ave Magazine has become the leader of style, dining, living, and nightlife in the Chicagoland area. Michigan Ave Magazine is run by the production company Niche Media who also owns many other magazines throughout the nation. A few examples are, Ocean Drive Magazine in Miami, L.A. Confidential Magazine in Los Angeles, and Gotham Magazine in New York City.

The Michigan Ave Magazine office is center to the marketing and sales branches of Niche Media consisting of 11 positions- 1 President/ Publisher, 1 Editor-in-Chief, 2 Sales Assistants, 2 Account Executives, 1 Account Director, 1 Online Editor, 1 Associate Director, 1 Marketing Manager, and 1 Marketing Coordinator. On top of that, the company usually hires about 3-5 interns per season.

My job title at Michigan Ave Magazine is a Sales/ Marketing Intern.

My day-to-day activities at the office vary quite a bit- sometimes I am shadowing Sales Executives and meeting with clients to sign or renew advertising contracts and sometimes I am researching new marketing and branding techniques to get Michigan Avenue Magazine’s name out there to prospective clients (new businesses). A few other important tasks that I am responsible for at the office is transferring clients and other important people to the President’s contact database, organizing various company transportation, parking, and meal costs by month, and creating a database featuring competitors advertisements by Ad category, page length, and addresses.

When I am out of the office, I am required to attend company events. Some of the past events I have worked are the 5 year anniversary cover party featuring artist Michelle Williams, Super Chefs, September cover party featuring actress Ali Larter, and a charity event for family homelessness- Primo Classico Bri’Italia. These events take place at various hotels, restaurants, car dealerships, or nightclubs. They also usually include after-parties such as fashion shows. At these events, I usually assist with event set up and break down, work guest list, and follow photographers around and get captions. Post-events, I create event recaps. Overall, I am very pleased with my internship; I have the opportunity to work in many different aspects of business and everyday at the office as well as every event differs. It also provides an excellent networking experience- I could not have anticipated a better first internship experience!