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Our First Class of DiscoverNEPA Interns

2017-2018 Internship Program

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, our young people and the 18 local colleges and universities are one of our greatest assets. As we prepare to launch our new website, we wanted to send a special thank you to the adventurous team of interns who helped us get here. We are so thankful for all of the excitement and enthusiasm they each brought to the project, and for all of their hard work.

They may not have known exactly what they were signing up for at the beginning of last summer, but they didn’t let that stop them from making their mark. Whether they were assigned as a group to go play paintball, try out a new escape room, strap a GoPro to one of our bikes and hit the trails, or spend the day working in the photography/videography editing room or the writing room, they helped us build the foundation for DiscoverNEPA.

Without this group of interns and the many more to soon fill their shoes, we would lose our connection to one of the most important reasons we began this journey – the talented, adventurous, hard-working youth of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Jill, Brianna, Jacob, Connor, Alex, Robert, Kate, Matt, and Izzy, from your teammates at DiscoverNEPA and Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, and from our founder Robert Mericle, we thank you!

 

Jill Patton, InternJill Patton

King’s College / Class of 2019 / Professional Writing & Literature

When I started my internship with DiscoverNEPA, I thought I was already an expert on all things local. After all, I grew up in the Endless Mountains, attended college in Wilkes-Barre, and visited plenty of local attractions with family and friends. However, I quickly realized that there was always something new to learn about the region that I call home. I’ve come across so many trails I want to hike, restaurants I want to try, and local festivals I want to attend. When I go home after a day of researching amenities, most conversations with my family begin, “You know where we should go this weekend?”

One of my favorite memories from my internship is when I wrote a feature article about Michael Mootz Candies. I conducted plenty of “research” as I sampled my way through the candy kitchen, but more importantly, I learned about the chocolate-making traditions that have endured for years. I think that was my favorite part of working on this project: uncovering the incredible stories and cool local customs that you can only find in NEPA. My internship allowed me to be an advocate for the region, uplifting it and spreading the word about all the things that make it unique.

 

Brianna DiMaggio, InternBri DiMaggio

King’s College / Class of 2018 / Mass Communications, Philosophy (minor)

This past summer I was granted the opportunity to join Mericle’s team to help build our quality of life website – DiscoverNEPA. Starting from scratch, none of us knew what to expect. Day one, every intern already had their respective task and on to work we went; eight hours a day, five days a week, all getting to do what we love. Whether it was writing content, editing videos, or organizing spreadsheets, there was a job for everyone, and we all got to try a little bit of everything.

Our core group of interns became more than just co-workers, we became friends. We got to go on really cool adventures together in order to get the footage necessary for the website. So even though most of my summer was spent in an office, it was one of the best experiences of my life – and it was by far the best office to work in.

I will forever be grateful to the DiscoverNEPA team – Mary, Rebecca, Brian, Kathy, Jonathan, and Kristen – and everyone else who works at Mericle for welcoming me with open arms and providing me with much more knowledge than I started with on day one.

Thank you all for trusting me to help build this website and for pushing me to make my work the best it could be. I’m so happy I can say I was a part of the team that built DiscoverNEPA, because no matter where I go, NEPA is always home to me.

 

Jacob BenKinney, InternJacob BenKinney

King’s College / Class of 2019 / Professional Writing & History, Creative Writing (minor)

When I drove in for the first day of my summer internship at Mericle, I can accurately say I had no idea about what to really expect from the coming months. I knew that I would be working as a web content writer on the DiscoverNEPA project, but as for what this would actually entail on a day to day basis, I was clueless. Working in an office setting was completely new to me, and, coming from a more casual warehouse positon, I was certainly nervous about making the change.

Looking back on this almost a year later, I can confidently say that it was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. Working with such a talented team of employees and interns gave me incredible insight into what the professional world will be like, as well as valuable experience writing and researching for a project that I strongly believe in. I am extremely grateful to have been the first intern to join the team, and wish to offer a special thanks to all my coworkers for their support and mentorship, especially Mary, Kathy, and Brian. I would also like to thank Mericle for providing this opportunity.

 

 

Connor Switzer, InternConnor Switzer

Penn State Harrisburg / Class of 2021 / Mechanical Engineering

Working with the team at DiscoverNEPA was a great experience. It was a perfect opportunity to explore my creative ability and to help bring this great project along from just an idea to a fully realized website.

While working at Discover NEPA, I was able to enhance my skills in photography and video as well as editing and writing. I also had the opportunity to get out and explore and meet new people and to discover all of the beautiful places and exciting adventures that Northeastern Pennsylvania has to offer.

I really couldn’t have asked for a cooler internship.

I would especially like to thank Rebecca, the Creative Director, for allowing me the opportunity to expand my knowledge by working on many different types of projects. And, of course, I would also like to thank the entire DiscoverNEPA team. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with everyone, and I hope to work with you all again at some point in the future.

 

Alex KnittelAlex Knittel, Intern

Marywood University / Class of 2019 / Communication Arts & Business

My first memories as an Intern for DiscoverNEPA include hours of researching restaurants. So, yes, this job definitely made me hungrier than most. Throughout nine months that went by very fast, growing as a writer and honorary Pennsylvanian has been a truly formative experience. As a New Jersey native and Scranton resident for about three years now, I realized that I did not take advantage of everything this area has to offer. By getting more familiar with the people and places that make up Northeastern Pennsylvania, I’ve fully realized how much of a compassionate place this is. I am grateful for the guidance and mentorship I received from all of my DiscoverNEPA colleagues. I will carry these experiences and lessons with me in all of my adventures to come.

 

Robert Mericle, InternRobert Mericle

Villanova University / Class of 2020 / Real Estate & Management Co-Major

As DiscoverNEPA interns, I think we all started out a little nervous about exactly what we would be doing on the job every day. Once we began venturing out to explore Northeastern Pennsylvania and capturing, through videos and photographs, all of our incredible experiences, we began to realize how cool it was going to be working on the team that started DiscoverNEPA.

An average day as an intern was by no means an average day, because, throughout the span of my internship, I biked and walked countless trails, kayaked multiple lakes, played paintball, captured beautiful drone footage over buildings and parks, and explored the region in almost every other imaginable way.

I learned so much from the extremely talented photographers and editors. I must admit that I was never truly confident in my ability to take photos or video until I was able to learn from professionals who not only taught me how to shoot, but they also showed me how to utilize many different angles and how to edit my photos and videos using Photoshop and Final Cut Pro – all valuable skills that I can see myself using in the future.

This was an internship that I will never forget because I worked with such a fun group of people who were dedicated to the mission and success of DiscoverNEPA, and also because every day, when I arrived at the office, I knew there would be a new adventure awaiting me. Thank you, DiscoverNEPA team for this incredible opportunity.

 

Kate RomanowskiKate Romanowski, Intern

Villanova University / Class of 2021 / Business

The summer internship position with Mericle and DiscoverNEPA was an overall fantastic experience. The internship really expanded my knowledge of the surrounding area. I loved discovering restaurants, shops and activities that I would have never even known about without being a part of the DiscoverNEPA team.

The internship encompassed a more involved role within the community than I expected. We had the opportunity to immerse ourselves within the community and to learn about the history and the deep roots of NEPA. We were able to participate in so many different activities and experiences. These first-hand experiences played a key role in further developing the ideas we brainstormed together and then helped direct our research in a more focused approach. My experience working for DiscoverNEPA was extremely positive, and the people I had the opportunity to work with made the experience that much better. Thank you all for the opportunity, the experience and all of the fun.

 

Matthew Bean, InternMatt Bean

American University / Class of 2021 / Business Administration & Management

My experience at DiscoverNEPA proved to be both exciting and dynamic. The daily work environment ranged anywhere from riding bike trails across scenic overlooks to organizing footage and editing videos in the office.

This internship ended up teaching me a lot, not only about the technical processes of video production, but the best practices for filming on location and working in teams. This type of environment made work both thrilling and educational, with skills that extend far beyond the office.

Having a role in the origin of DiscoverNEPA was an incredibly rewarding experience, as I was able to see projects come to life through creativity and hard work. Being constantly surrounded by motivated and distinguished professionals furthered the ability to learn and succeed.

I am proud to have been a part of DiscoverNEPA, and I will always hold on to the skills and lessons I learned over the course of the summer. Thank you all for the opportunity.

 

Izzy Updike, Intern

Izzy Updike

Rochester Institute of Technology / Class of 2020 / Chemistry

Izzy joined us as an intern for the summer of 2017, and was tasked with researching exciting things to do in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her hard work and attention to detail helped us build the foundation of the website.

Interested in becoming a DiscoverNEPA intern? Learn more about internship opportunities on our careers page.

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