Internship Series: Food Truck Festivals of New England

September 20, 2013

Lissette Martinez
COM’13 | Major: Journalism
Media Relations & Event Planning Intern, Food Truck Festivals of New England

Lissette Martinez was a Media Relations and Event Planning Intern for Food Truck Festivals of New England during the spring of 2013. She had a variety of tasks, including arranging media kits and re-organizing the organization’s Pinterest account. Food Truck Festivals did not post available internships, but after sending an email with her resume, she got an interview and was offered the position soon thereafter.

CCD: Tell us about your experience at Food Truck Festivals.

Lissette: I helped with various tasks that ranged from arranging media kits, maintaining and editing an extensive database of contacts, posting and scheduling things for social media, re-organizing Pinterest, mailing official forms for peddler’s licenses and other permits, contacting vendors, and researching potential sponsors.

CCD: Why did you choose to become an intern for Food Truck Festivals?

Lissette: My career goals involve doing event planning and media relations for organizations and non-profits dedicated to creating unique experiences in the gourmet, organic/slow food, or sustainability sectors. Food trucks are huge and festivals are exciting, so I knew that this would be an organization where my skills would fit in and where I would benefit from the experience. Food Truck Festivals did not have any internships posted, but I sent them an email with a quick letter of interest with my resume attached. I went in for an interview not long after and quickly received the offer!

CCD: What was the best part of your internship?

Lissette: I really enjoyed managing social media and connecting with food trucks through those channels. Boston food trucks are great at social media so it was  exciting to see what they contribute to it. I also enjoyed going on site visits where we checked out potential locations for our festivals. I gained perspective of why some locations work and why they don’t, as well as a better understanding of how to communicate and negotiate with those who run the venues.

CCD: How has this internship changed your future plans?

Lissette: This internship hasn’t changed my future plans, but rather reaffirmed that this is something I am interested in pursuing. I haven’t decided if I want to pursue working at an agency or do in-house/non-profit special events and marketing, but I am positive that this field is something I would find exciting each and every day. This position also solidified the fact that I care about food, how it is made, and how we can improve our local and global food initiatives to make sure it is available to everyone. It also opened my eyes to potentially pursuing either an entrepreneurship or policy type role in the food industry.

CCD: What is one thing that you took away that will be most beneficial in your future?

Lissette: I learned that event planning is about being able to skillfully maneuver around many pieces, all of which may or may not be the pieces you thought you had to work with. Every state or city has very strict guidelines about food and outdoor events. I realized the importance of efficient follow-through, giving yourself deadlines, and being flexible enough to roll with the inevitable punches. These skills go beyond just an event planning or media environment and can be applied anywhere I end up in my career.

CCD: What are the top three takeaways from your internship?

Lissette: The top three skills I’ve learned are following through, organization/prioritization, and the need to not only be a good communicator, but also a good salesperson.