by Steve Brindis, Ridgewater Student & 2019 Summer Intern at Workup & Redstar
Everything started on October 3rd of 2017 at the Taste of Workup. Our instructor, Jessie Boike, invited a group of students to represent Ridgewater’s Marketing and Sales Management program at the Workup event. To be honest, I wasn’t excited to go because at that point, I’d only been in the USA for 6 months and my English wasn’t the best (I mean – it’s not the best right now but it is much better). I figured I had two options – call one of the members of my group and say that I was sick or get out of my comfort zone, go to the event, and meet more some new people. Of course, I decided to go to the Taste of WorkUp.
When I came into the Workup building I was like Woooooooooow!!! What is all this? (Yeah, there was a reason why I was so surprised. Graphic design, photography, connections, and marketing have always gotten my attention). Then I found Lindsey Donner, who I knew from CrossFit Attila and asked her about Workup. She gave me the tour and explained a little bit about the purpose of Workup. At that point, I thought, “Steve, you need too to start pushing more yourself if you want to work in a place like this!”
Weeks later our instructor gave us the assignment to interview someone that works in the marketing, sales or management industry. The first person that came to my mind was Lindsey. So I got in contact with Lindsey, we scheduled the day, and everything went good! Knowing more about Lindsey and Workup made me say to myself again, “Steve, YOU NEED TO START PUSHING MORE YOURSELF if you want to work in a place like this, and you should start taking some communication classes.”
In my sophomore year at Ridgewater, one of the biggest requirements was an internship. I knew where I wanted to do it but I didn’t know how to get into Workup. Again, I contacted Lindsey and asked her if they had any internships at Workup and she said, “Yes, let me talk with Betsy and I will let you know.” A week later she told me, “We have one but somebody else got it.” I was mentally prepared for an answer like that, so I replied, “Okay Lindsey, here is the thing – I don’t need to get paid for my internship, I just want to learn from everybody there, get out of my comfort zone and help in whatever I can.” Apparently, that changed everything because I got onto the WorkUp team!
During my time here at Workup I learned a lot about marketing and social media from the people here and had the chance to get out of my comfort zone and practice more of my English. Most importantly, I learned that there are always people willing to listen to you, help you and understand you at Workup. I demonstrated to myself that I can be good at everything I want to do; that every day and every opportunity is a challenge; and that it is up to me to take the risk and show the best part of me. Just because my English isn’t good doesn’t mean I will not be able to do stuff or be part of something important. I’m better than I thought.
So Workup, thank you so much for letting me be part of this incredible family. Thank you for showing me that marketing is not as easy as everybody says and that it’s not just about solving problems for our clients. It’s more than that.
What is next for me? Well, I still have one more semester at Ridgewater and then I will finally graduate with my AAS degree in Marketing and Sales Management. Then I’m planning to transfer to North Central University in Minneapolis next fall.
Special thanks to Lindsey Donner for connecting me with Workup and special thanks to Betsy Bonnema for letting me be part of the Workup team.