Amusement Park’s Most Willing Riders: The Student Intern

Posted: June 24, 2013 by Jessica Reading in Innovation, Non-Profit, Startup

jessica reading miamiIt’s summertime- for many it means amusement park season.  I remember anticipating a day at King’s Island- my friends and I would get up extra early, excited to take on the newest roller coaster. It may have only been a day long, but the only thing we talked about when we were leaving was when we were coming back.

Cincinnati’s entrepreneurial community is much like life in an amusement park.  The roller coasters, varied in size and thrill level, represent different startups.  The people, embarking on various rides for a period of time, function as the teams.  Some team members stick to one they like or others spend time riding each one.

It’s hard to make sense of this amusement park- why put people through fear and stomach-wrenching experiences and call it fun? Well for some- it’s the accomplishment of getting to the tallest peak and going upside down with their hands in the air.  For others, is being able to rely on each other to get through a tough challenge.

But who makes the most willing rider of all? It’s the student intern…and here’s why:

1)   They want to get it all done. 

Being at the park for just one day creates a sense of trying everything, even if it may be frightening.  They may not bring seasoned experience to the table, but they went through the selection process by waiting in line and meeting the minimum requirements. They see the “thrill level” of the roller coaster ahead, but are not exactly sure where the ride is going to take them.  They know the roller coaster has an end and they can either get back on or choose a different ride.

Much like these rides, interns have the chance to try it all- and if they don’t like the bumps and thrills of one ride, head to another.  Either way, they want to see it all and do it all in a day.

2)   They want to be at the front of the line.

You know those riders who always get the “fast pass”? They are the ones at the front of the ride with their hands up the whole time.   It’s the sense of hope and excitement gained from being in this position that make them eager thrill seekers.

Just like these riders, student interns have optimism contagious in any startup- it’s their eagerness to learn and experience the roller coaster from the front seat that makes them fun to ride with.

3)   They want to feel like the next Superman.

Drop from 30 flights high or fly into the air in less than 60 seconds- Watching people get off the roller coaster, it’s easy to pick the ones ready for more.  Their hair may be a bit disheveled, but their heart is still racing as they turn to someone and say, “Let’s go again!”

It may only be the first startup experience, but student interns step out of their seat with a feeling of having conquered something that many others won’t.

Just like amusement parks that hold special student days, so did our entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Over the past few weeks, GCVA and Cintrifuse have hosted various networking opportunities for over 50 students interning in entrepreneurial companies. These students are riding this summer out with various startups in the community.  They are learning how to take risks and gain valuable skills from their experience.

Guides like GCVA and Cintrifuse are encouraging students to get to know everybody in the ecosystem.  And what’s happening?

New riders are becoming season pass holders.  Those pass holders are now creating new rides. And those roller coasters need more willing riders.  The park is only getting bigger, and better. If you or anyone you know want to take a ride, come join us.

Read more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s