Learning the Ropes

My name is Isaiah Singer. I have just finished my junior year at UNH and will be a senior in the upcoming fall semester. I am majoring in both Marketing and Management in the Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics. I was born and raised in Keene, NH, and this position at RiverWoods Durham is the first internship I have ever had.

In the past few summers, my jobs have been a bit different. Three years ago, I was Housekeeping at a hotel in my hometown of Keene, NH. Simply put, arriving to work to scrub toilets and make beds is not the most ideal way to spend your summer. Last year at this time, I would have been camp counseling. On a 90 degree day, I would be sweating through my third shirt of the day playing tag games and kickball. This summer, luckily, I found RiverWoods Durham. In an Air Conditioned Office, dolled up in dress clothes, where the only workout I get is the strenuous walk from my desk to the copier, is where I am lucky enough to get my work done.

Week One at RiverWoods Durham was an awesome experience. With my first day being the day before an event, this made Week One super hectic. However, this is a good thing. I am a worker that thrives under pressure, and loves being busy. The day before my first event was very interesting. We went over to the Three Chimneys Inn and laid out how the next day’s event was going to be set up, and what the most efficient way to get 130 people safely and comfortably into their seats would be. After a few hours of setup and deliberation, we had come to the agreement that we were fully prepared. In the past, the only event setup I partake in is in the organization at UNH, SCOPE. SCOPE is the organization that brings the concerts to UNH. The setup for a concert is completely different from the setup of a RiverWoods Event. For a concert, the real decisions that have to be made are for security reasons on how to get 5500 college kids safely into the concert venue. For our first two RiverWoods Events, it has been all about space allocation, keeping the line moving safely, and making sure each guest is comfortable and fed appropriately. It is extremely fulfilling seeing a whole different side of event marketing. Because this is what I see my future career focused on, it is awesome that I get to learn about every aspect that goes into planning an event. These events are so special because it allows me to see the bigger picture. It allows me to meet the retired members of the community that I truly go to work to serve each and every day here at RiverWoods.

Aside from the events themselves, it has been an awesome experience learning what RiverWoods is all about. I have learned all about what CCRC’s do, and why RiverWoods is such an awesome opportunity for those reaching retirement age. RiverWoods strives to have each resident live out their days doing what they love to do, meeting new friends, and being taken care of by exceptionally trained staff. This is why my first week has been so special. I never realized how much CCRC’s matter until I listened in on Cathleen’s presentation. So many Baby Boomers are soon to be retiring, which means the senior living industry is going to keep growing. It is not about convincing people to live at RiverWoods; it is about making sure that they plan ahead and have everything in line for a successful future.

Working in the office has been a great experience. During week one, Natalee was a huge help. I watched as she entered data into Sales Force and spoke on the phone flawlessly as if she was reading from a script. I thoroughly enjoy being able to help out with each call that we receive, and to make relationships with the prospects. In addition, I have learned how to use the printer and copier in case anything needs to be printed quickly and efficiently. Sending out mail is another thing I have learned how to do. It is crucial that whatever a potential Founder’s Club member needs, it is our job to give it to them. Mastering the registration sheet, the name tags, and the sales force data is critical. If somebody happens to not be on the list and shows up to an event, there could potentially not be enough space for them. Keeping all different sets of information equal is important. I was also able to contact two different flower shops around the area to find the best quality and the best deal that is flexible enough to meet our crazy event schedule.

I have learned all about the Founder’s Club and the plans to open RiverWoods Durham. It seemed like after only one day, I had a grasp on what the RiverWoods Durham team was trying to accomplish. After each event that we hold, we have a debrief. These debriefs are very informative to see what went well, what went poorly, and what improvements could be made to have a better event set-up the next time. I even could contribute to the conversation with a few suggestions of my own. Also after these first two events, I created a Frequently Asked Questions list. Since Cathleen was bombarded with questions after her presentation, it seemed most efficient to create a list of the questions and answers in case these ever come up again. This, too, helped me grasp the stage that we are at in making RiverWoods Durham a reality. I cannot wait to crack into the social media aspect of the job, and see what else this internship at RiverWoods can teach me.

Isaiah Singer
RiverWoods Durham Marketing Intern

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