Though net migration to the Greater MSP area continues to increase, the flow of new talent into the market is still not high enough to feed future needs for Greater MSP companies. So, summer interns from across North America attended an event designed to show them all that the region has to offer. The goal? Connect them with each other and convince them the region is THE place to be after graduation.
University of Minnesota senior and content creator for the school’s CLA Agency Macie Rasmussen attended this Discover MSP event. Here is her recount.
At 2 p.m. on a sunny summer day, the doors of the Saint Paul RiverCentre opened and more than 1,200 students interning with 21 different Greater MSP companies flooded the room. The interns came from 21 employers, including Best Buy, Target, General Mills, Medtronic, Xcel Energy, Thrivent Financial and Ecolab.
Make It. MSP., a strategic initiative of GREATER MSP, organized this afternoon-long event for the third consecutive year. Make It. MSP. is a collaborative effort to make the region an excellent place for talented people to come, stay and thrive.
After arriving at the RiverCentre, participating interns started the day hearing about purpose from international soccer star Tony Sanneh, founder and CEO of the Sanneh Foundation. They then moved to a volunteer component where 10 local nonprofits offered skill-based activities, highlighting the strong community service organizations in the Greater MSP region.
Networking was the final aspect of the day, and this is where I talked with students from Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico. While I circled the convention center floor, I saw attendees playing cornhole bags and shooting balls into giant Minnesota Timberwolves basketball hoops while mingling with interns from other employers. Companies also attend to engage interns with the professional, civic and cultural community of the Greater MSP region.
While some of the interns I chatted with were native to the Greater MSP region, many were non-Minnesotans who knew very little about the area. When asked about what drew them to the Greater MSP region, many out-of-staters told me job opportunities in their specific fields, such as information technology and industrial engineering, were at the top of the list. And they knew that they would have no problem finding a job here after graduation. Others said that they were attracted to the specific companies that they are working with because they are held in high regard or are thought to be one of the best in their industry.
Outside of professional development, I talked with students who had high praise for the region. A common theme was an appreciation of the balance of urban spaces and nature the Greater MSP region provides. Many interns like Eric from Davenport, IA mentioned the nightlife in neighborhoods such as Uptown, the abundance of breweries and opportunities to camp and do other outdoor activities. Ava from Greensburg, PA told me she finds a new park every day! While Claire from a small town in Wisconsin mentioned she has been enjoying all of the biking trails here.
After this event, one thing is certain: Interns are loving this Greater MSP summer.