Summer EDAM Conference Results in Decklan Group Intern

Hi everyone! I’m the newest intern at Decklan Group and am so excited to start this journey. My name is Rose, and I am a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth with a major in Political Science and a minor in Hispanic Studies. I’m sure looking at major and minor alone, you’re wondering “Rose why on earth are you interested in economic development?” Well, I am here to tell you.

Growing up, I only vaguely knew what my parents did; I could answer basic questions regarding their work, and how they made their money to pay for our hockey camps we did every summer. My dad was a teacher and my mom worked at a city somewhere east of us (I realized later the city was Rosemount and that she was the Community Development Director). Growing up, I was always called a “daddy’s girl” we had the same personality, laughed at the same jokes, even looked pretty similar. Unfortunately for my mom, her first-born was head over heels obsessed with her dad. As time went on, I started getting more and more attracted to politics; something my mother was interested in. We discussed upcoming elections, current events, and speculated what it would be like running for office. Fast forward to high school graduation when I realized that I was going to become a political science major, just as she had been.

Even though I knew I was going to major in Political Science, I was unclear as to what I would do with the degree. . I had the typical dreams, maybe going to law school, maybe running for office, but none of those ever really stuck.

My junior year of college hit me like a brick; I realized I needed to 1) get an internship in a field I was interested in, and 2) figure out what my path would be after I graduated. I had never really considered the economic development path before now; perhaps it was the teenage rebel still inside of me that didn’t want me to do what my mom did:) Ironically and thankfully, I landed an internship with APEX, which is a private regional economic development organization based out of Duluth. I started out as the administrative intern; answering phones, making coffee, setting and canceling appointments, etc. I started getting really interested in what APEX did and how they have impacted northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. After a couple months I became APEX’s Business Developer Intern as well as the Administrative Intern.

Over this past summer Duluth hosted the EDAM Conference- The Economic Development Association of Minnesota for my non-economic development friends. I felt like a fish out of water; I was one of the only students surrounded by people who have really created a name for themselves not only in the region, but throughout the state as well. Of course, being shy is one of the worst things you can do at a conference that is designed for networking and creating connections. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to meet Annie and Tim at this conference. Annie asked me about my schooling, and I asked her countless questions about her company and what she did. A couple months later, I went to shadow her in Elk River to get a better idea of what Decklan Group did and how they operated. I think it went well, even after asking what seemed like millions of questions! She gave me a tour of the area, and showed me all of the projects Decklan Group was currently working on. Hearing about all the jobs and opportunity they brought to the northern metro region was fascinating. Call me a nerd, but I love this stuff.

Even after all the constant questions I asked from our full day spent together, I was lucky enough to be offered an internship at Decklan Group this fall. I began last week, and I am excited to see how much I will learn from this awesome experience.