Boston's Upcoming Fall 2012 Events for College Students
This past week, Boston World Partnerships’ executive director asked all the interns to keep Friday morning free for a collaborative meeting with a few other Boston area companies that would be taking place at the Mass Challenge space. Along with BWP, World Class Cities Partnerships, TEDxBoston, Greenhorn Connect and Helena Fruscio, Creative Economy Industry Director for Massachusetts, have been working on an initiative with a goal of portraying Boston as a proactive, fun and exciting city towards college students. Together, leaders from each organization have been meeting once a month to brainstorm and plan events that would be geared towards the interest of college students, whether they be freshmen first entering the city to older students about to graduate.
All of the interns working at all of the companies were asked to come to a meeting with the board working on this initiative to get their feedback on the initial ideas that were being planned. For me, it was exciting to be a part of a focus group with other college age students from the area, as we were giving feedback on a project that was being directly targeted towards us. As they began introducing the events to us, the first was a concert launch event premiering a band/artist. Ideally, the event would be in October and would feature an artist or band that has its roots in Boston; names that were thrown around included the Dropkick Murphys and Sam Adams as music performers that would appeal to college age students. The overall idea is to promote Boston beyond its innovation and technology image; by hosting a successful concert, it could also show Boston as an upcoming entertainment capital.
Another idea that was presented centered around how to integrate college freshmen into the city upon their start at school. The directors explained potential collaborations with Fenway Park and CollegeFest, which all of us interns were excited about. We were also told of a scavenger hunt, which was mostly met with negativity; early in fall, so many schools have orientation activities that include scavenger hunts that the idea is too traditional and overdone.
Awesome Boston, a project that will link college clubs with access to Boston based CEOs, is launching in September. The idea is to allow students to connect to CEOs at like Zipcar, Kayak and other powerful companies that got started in the city. with access to willing, helpful and resourceful executives, students would be able to set up CEOs to speak at their campuses. I liked the idea as it goes hand in hand with speakers that we have at Babson, and it could potentially be an inspiring way to promote entrepreneurship at other Boston area schools that aren’t necessarily focused on business and innovation.
Since the events are going targeted towards college students, I loved being able to be part of a group that had a heavy say in what we would enjoy and what we thought needed to be revamped. It was great to be part of a group of interns from all different companies, seeing how their internships and college experiences shaped their opinions on how certain events would appeal to students their colleges. Also, I liked that the executive board planning all these events came from different organizations for a full collaborative efforts; particularly, it was great to see someone from the state department represented, as it shows the Commonwealth is truly aware of college students’ impact on economic development and the overall portrayal of the city. The first events will be launching in fall, so I am excited to see how our feedback has influenced the project as a whole.