STHM Internship Experience: Life as a Visit Philadelphia Intern
Junior tourism and hospitality management major Joy McKenzie fine-tunes her passion with an internship at Visit Philadelphia, one of the city’s largest destination marketing organizations (DMO).
When Joy McKenzie, junior at the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), started looking for an internship, she never anticipated working as a Communications Intern at Philadelphia’s largest destination marketing organization (DMO)—Visit Philadelphia. As a tourism and hospitality management major with a concentration in event leadership, she came to STHM focused on planning and organizing events, because that was what she had done for extracurricular activities. It wasn’t until Professor Michael Sheridan encouraged her to apply for an internship with Visit Philadelphia that she considered a career working for a major DMO.
Joy’s journey as a Visit Philadelphia intern began in March. She is tasked with responsibilities like developing itineraries for guest influencers coming to the city, helping with InstaMeets, where Instagram influencers come together to promote destinations throughout the city and tracking media mentions. Joy’s diligent work and enthusiasm resulted in an internship extension with Visit Philadelphia through the summer and fall semesters.
As one of four interns at Visit Philadelphia from Temple University, Joy boasts of the reputation and connections that Temple and STHM bring to the table.
“Visit Philadelphia turns to Temple often because they know our students produce good work, and we do a good job because they teach us well here at STHM,” Joy remarks. “Some of the Visit Philadelphia employees are Temple alumni—two that work there now are STHM alumni, and they started as interns. It’s really great to see someone grow in the same field and the same industry that you want to work in who has the same roots as you do.”
It’s safe to say that this experience with Visit Philadelphia has shaped Joy’s passions into a full-fledged dream. When asked what she wanted to do after leaving STHM, Joy didn’t hesitate.
“I hope to be working for a DMO. Visit Philadelphia would be a great one but I’d love to be working in any major city’s destination marketing organization,” Joy says. “Working at a destination marketing organization was not something I initially thought I would be doing, but since being there I love it. It’s definitely the industry or type of work I want to be doing down the line.”