Marissa Hinrichs (Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum)
Marissa enrolled in the Youth Program June 2012. She applied because she was interested in getting work experience with elementary age children. She had completed one year of college and was thinking about majoring in elementary education or English. There were no jobs available in the area, so she asked about possible work training opportunities to get the experience. She was able to work with the Alexandria School District in the Compass School Age Care Program which serves elementary school age children during the summer months. She was a teacher assistant and did an excellent job. The students liked her as well as the adults and she had a meaningful experience.
While she liked working with the elementary age children, she continued to feel a tug towards a communications degree with an emphasis in public relations. She took a couple of education classes last year, but decided education was not her passion. In the spring of 2013, she talked about her interest in public relations and we discussed work training opportunities to give her exposure in that career area. As a result, a new work site was developed at the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum. Being the museum is relatively new, the director was interested in having the extra help to develop new ideas for events, marketing, etc. Marissa was a member of the office team and she also worked in the visitor center, welcoming customers, selling tickets, answering questions about the museum. She became acquainted rather quickly about the history of the early hospitality industry in Alexandria and boats! The museum hosted several fund- raising events and Marissa assisted with the planning of the events and advertising them via the newspaper, radio, web site, and emails to members of the museum. She learned to communicate effectively (with her natural, genuine smile) with everyone who entered the museum whether it was a board member, volunteer, customer and handled situations with unhappy customers very professionally. In addition to the communication skills Marissa learned and practiced, she became very proficient in the office with Excel and Word on the computer. When asked what she learned the most, she replied “time management”. It’s a very busy place and she had to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines with projects, but she also loved working under the pressure! She was able to practice her writing skills and demonstrated that she is very responsible, motivated and flexible to meet the needs of others. This experience solidified her decision of majoring in communications in college!
Marissa left the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum with an excellent evaluation of her work performance and a plea to return next summer!
Alexandria, MN 56308