A- A+

DSM Summer Interns: Make the Most Of Your Internship

Internship Tips for Working and Living in DSM USA

April 18, 2017

Did you land that dream internship or job this summer in Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Congratulations! You can now brag to your friends that you will be interning in the fastest-growing metro in the Midwest and a Top 10 Best City to Live and Work by Robert Half’s Career City Index (2016).

We know you will have a wonderful experience on the job but don’t miss out on all the region offers outside of your workplace. Following are a few suggestions to maximize your total experience and make this the ultimate summer to remember.

Tips to Enhance Your Internship Experience

Get Involved with Seize the City

First and foremost, participate in the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Seize the City program. Beginning on Wednesday, May 31 and continuing through the summer, the Seize the City series provides a unique opportunity to gather with hundreds of interns from across the metro, meet with a wide range of influential business and community leaders and gain some valuable insight on personal and professional development. Series events occur at unique-to-Des Moines locations across the region on selected Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m., are free to attend and always include food and beverage. In addition to the six-part series, you can participate in a planned group community engagement activity and take part in small group discussions with key business executives. Learn more about Seize the City and register for events here.

Check out the Young Professionals Connection (YPC)

Des Moines is also home to one of the largest and most active young professional organizations in the country. Through YPC you can meet hundreds of recent graduates and YP’s who are building their lives and careers in Des Moines. From networking events to professional development programming to sports/recreational activities, YPC offers something for everyone. If you want to reach out to a YPC member or simply check out its calendar of events to find activities that interest you, go to ypcDSM.com. Learn first-hand why Des Moines has been named the #1 Best City for Young Professionals by Forbes (2014), the #2 Best City for Jobs by Forbes (2015) and the #2 Best Affordable Place to Live by U.S. News & World Report (2016).

Find Things to Do in Des Moines

Speaking of affordable, there are so many things for young adults to do in Des Moines that are free or budget-friendly. On Saturday mornings head to the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market on Court Avenue for free entertainment and an opportunity to purchase locally-grown or hand-crafted products. Note: in addition to breakfast burritos and pizza, egg rolls and barbecue sandwiches are indeed socially acceptable breakfast cuisine at The Market.

Want to feed your creative side? Wander over to the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park to enjoy the nation’s largest collection of outdoor art in a singular location. Or follow Art Route to explore over 80 pieces of outstanding public art throughout downtown. And while you are wandering around, don’t forget to stop and play a tune on one of our many outdoor City Sounds pianos strategically located in the heart of the city. Better yet, cover more territory on a BCycle where you can explore our more than 600 miles of connected recreational trails.

Love music? Don’t miss 80/35 Music Festival, July 7 and 8 in the Western Gateway. With three free stages and a ticketed main stage you can enjoy all genres of music by local and nationally acclaimed performers. Throughout the summer, you can get your live music fix at a variety of free or affordably priced outdoor concerts from Jazz in July to Nitefall on the River to the Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops to pop-up performances at Cowles Commons.

Want it all ­— food, music and the arts? Summers in Des Moines are packed with a variety of festivals from the world-renowned Des Moines Arts Festival and the Interrobang Film Festival to ethnic celebrations such as CelebrAsian and Latino Heritage Festival.

And, yes, we have beaches! Pack your gear and head to Saylorville Lake, Gray’s Lake or Big Creek; where you can relax the day away on the sand or get on the water in a kayak or small watercraft.

Bottom line: get out and explore, experience and enjoy Des Moines. You may leave at the end of summer, but you’ll leave wanting more!

Mary Bontrager

Mary Bontrager serves as executive vice president of talent development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, where she leads efforts to recruit and retain talent to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region. Bontrager currently serves on Grand View University Board of Trustees, Girl Scouts of Iowa Board, South Central Iowa STEM Advisory Council and several advisory committees for Future Ready Iowa.