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Haevn Micro-Internships Connect Students with Local Businesses

In front of beige wall that has The Downtown Escape signage printed above two people, Maria and Oscar, holding signs that say "We Solved the Puzzles" and "Team Work."

Maria D. Reeves '25, first-year student and German major, gives a glimpse into what it is like to be a Haevn intern during Haevn's first year of collaboration with Knox College.

As a first year student, I did not expect to have a professional opportunity so soon after coming to Knox, but the Haevn experience workshop and the micro internship helped make that possible. As an intern at The Downtown Escape, an escape room center located in Galesburg, I researched the town’s history, such as the Lincoln and Douglas debates and the impact of individual Galesburg citizens on the city’s development. I then worked alongside business owner Kate Bullis at the escape room to create puzzles related to the research I gathered. All of these puzzles will be implemented in the third escape room, which will be added to the two current ones that have proved successful in attracting families, tourists, and the general public for an immersive historical experience. 

As a child, I dreamed of participating in an escape room. After arriving at Knox, I was excited to visit The Downtown Escape with my friends. I did not imagine I would ever sit behind the control screens alongside the gamemaster, much less be part of the team that creates the puzzles. 

Photo Above: Reeves behind the gamemaster screens at The Downtown Escape in Galesburg, IL.

Oscar Gardella, another Knox first-year student, works on marketing the escape room through social media and business modeling. On our first day of the internship, we participated in an escape room together, and, even though we did not solve all the puzzles before time ran out, we learned more about how we both work and solve problems. 

Oscar and I met during our first workshop experience with Haevn, a group based in Boulder, Colorado. It was co-founded by Knox alumna Jane Strode Miller ‘81 with the goal of guiding and preparing college students for jobs through workshops and connections with local companies. It was at the Haevn workshop, which was organized by the Bastian Family Center for Career Success, that I found other students who are also interested in professional development, networking, and connection building. The Haevn team invited us to share our experiences and guided us towards creating a future career based upon our interests and “superpowers”, as they call them. 

Though the workshop is not essential to succeeding in a Haevn internship, it helped me understand Haevn’s guiding principles and vision much better before I started my first internship. As interns, we continue to connect with the Haevn team for professional advice and questions about how to best approach this new experience. During our midterm and final meetings, we collaborated with other interns through Zoom to share successes, challenges, and gain advice. These meetings allowed us to reflect on our experiences and share our plans and goals for the internship in a supportive setting. 

A big hesitation I had about attending college was that I would not be sufficiently prepared for the workforce after graduation. Since I have arrived at Knox, I have received lots of great advice about how to best prepare myself. During new student orientation, somebody told me to go to the Bastian Family Center for Career Success and introduce myself, even if I did not have anything to inquire about. Doing so has led me to great professional opportunities and access to other Knox resources, such as the Alumni Engagement Office and this internship. All this preparation has impacted my Knox experience in unexpected ways that have allowed me to contribute my knowledge and experiences to the Knox community and Galesburg, with all its late night train whistles and intriguing history. 

Below find descriptions of each micro-internship project and what Knox students accomplished.

Pravaek Pradhan, Angeles Sanchez-Valencia; Supply chain research for Tina’s Botanicals with Tina Hope 

Students work with acting director of campus sustainability initiatives, Tina Hope, to help her find sustainable packaging for her products. This project gives these students a deep dive into supply chains and packaging which is a field that will support the slowing of climate change. 

Cianja Bone; Operational support for the Orpheum Theatre with Erin Glasnovich 

Canja works with the historic and local performing theatre to assist in operational support. This project shows the ins and outs of how performing arts theater is run as Cianja learns to market events to students and helps collect tickets.

Siya Kasat; Resource guide development for Pet Boss Nation with Candace D'Agnolo 

Siya is working with Candace, who is a pet company consultant, to put together a resource guide for her clients. 

Anastasia Dorval, Tuan Dang, Natasha Sutaria; Marketing support for Sitka Salmon Shares with Donavon Hilligoss 

Students are working closely with the rapidly growing Sitka Salmon to help them reach new markets and develop strategies to grow further. 

Zeina Sbai, Eleanor Phan; Marketing for the Vault with Morgan Seabloom 

The Vault is a new brewery and event space. These Knox students are working to get people in the door. Additionally, they identify markets, create content, and develop strategies with the goal of signing up clients who would like to host events at the Vault. 

Sage Lundquist; Business model research for the Galesburg Community Arts Center with Tuesday Çetin

As the Galesburg Community Arts Center begins to open in a new space. Sage is researching how other creative membership spaces have set up their business models. This will be looking into studio memberships, artist residencies, and individual hosting. 

Hailey Nguyen; Volunteer coordination for the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) of Galesburg with Kate Bullis 

Hailey works with Kate to help her organize and streamline her volunteer process. Hailey puts contacts from DCP’s strong network of volunteers all in one place and organizes them based on skill set. 

Aaryan Dhingra, Shrey Gupta, Filza Khan, Avie Nguyen; Economic impact reporting for the Galesburg Tourism & Visitors Bureau with Tessa Jones

These four economics students work to put together a digital form that companies can fill out after a local event. The form will be used to gauge how much money the event brought into Galesburg per business and overall. 

Wakako Sugata, Luis Lepervanche; Market Research for Haevn with Misa Grenier 

These two students are working with the Haevn team to help them research companies and universities interested in the Haevn curriculum to others…. 

Sarah Nathan, Maggie Garrett; Volunteer Coordination for the Knox Farm with Tina Hope

Students help acting director of campus sustainability initiatives, Tina Hope, to organize the student volunteers who work with the farm by creating electronic schedules and spreadsheets of tasks that need to be done.

Eeman Mahar, Kathryn Allee; Tiktok Content Creation for Lux Blox with Michael Acerra 

Students record engaging content to help grow Luxblox’s audience on social media platform, TikTok. They develop, shoot, and edit short videos about the company's products. 

Leen Shalabi; Photography for Next To The Salt Catering with LaToya Carson 

Leen attends a few events with LaToya to take pictures of food dishes. These pictures will be used to help Latoya grow her business.

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Printed on Monday, July 22, 2024