Published: March 26, 2021
First-year Bonner Student Markets Glazer Children’s Museum
Every Tuesday and Thursday, after Brin Robinson’s morning class wraps up, she walks across the Cass Street bridge to the Glazer Children’s Museum.
With a cup of coffee in hand, Robinson ’24 starts working on her tasks for the day as a marketing intern at the museum: whether it’s inputting data to target future goals for the museum, working on marketing content to showcase exhibits or assisting fellow museum team members. Each day looks a little different, but Robinson always spends the final 20 minutes of her shift hanging out with kids who are visiting the museum or talking to parents about their experience.
While Robinson spends only a few hours of her time each week at her internship, the experience has been invaluable.
“I have gained an incredible amount of experience since I started working at Glazer,” said Robinson, of McHenry, IL. “Being in a professional environment surrounded by highly educated, passionate and helpful colleagues has helped me grow both personally and professionally.”
Robinson, an international business/marketing major, is part of the Bonner Leader Program, which provides University of Tampa students with an opportunity to serve the community while gaining valuable work experience. Students in the program are placed at local nonprofit organizations at the start of their first year at UT and work for the organization nine hours a week for the entirety of their college career. Students in the program earn paid wages from UT’s work-study funding, as well as an annual $2,000 scholarship.
“Bonner is unique because it is a four-year developmental program for students and allows them to share their passions and talents with the Tampa Bay community,” said Ian McGinnity, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. “In addition, they participate in weekly training meetings and signature experiences with their peers and become a close group of service-minded individuals.”
Each year, UT selects just eight students from the first-year class to participate in the program.
“Being a student who is very interested in community service and relies heavily on scholarships to aid my education, this opportunity seemed like an amazing fit,” said Robinson, who says she’s always been involved in volunteer programs and initiatives. “I loved the overall philanthropic history of the program and its mission to serve the community as well as aid students in their pursuit to further their education.”
The Glazer Children’s Museum offers children interactive learning opportunities to explore and connect with the world. Some of their exhibits and activities include creating art in “Art Smart,” exploring world cultures in “Global Café” and trying out health care roles in “St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.”
As a marketing intern, Robinson focuses on creating content. She’s typically given a general concept of the idea the museum wants to achieve and then Robinson is given full creative range to produce what she feels will best accomplish the goal.
“Every project that I have worked on thus far has been individually created, led and cultivated,” said Robinson.
Although it’s only her second semester working with the museum, Robinson has already made an impact.
“Brin has been one of those amazing interns who was a self-starter from the get-go,” said Sarah Cole, president and CEO of the museum. “She’s incredibly helpful to the team and we all enjoy working with her.”
One of Robinson’s biggest projects was the Great American Teach-In, for which she created a video showcasing the museum’s mission to make a difference. Another big project she led was showcasing the museum’s newest exhibit: “Wild Kratts: Creature Power.” The exhibit allows children to explore animals and habitats through STEM experiences.
Outside of the Bonner program, Robinson also tutors UT students, as well as area high schoolers, in arts, literature and English courses. She also films marketing and promotional content for Tampa-area actors.
“I have the goal of beginning to develop new, creative and innovative ideas that propel my education and experience further throughout college,” said Robinson, who hopes to own her own marketing business in the future.
While Robinson is gaining valuable professional experience in her internship, she says she’s grateful to also have the opportunity to give back to the community.
“The Bonner program has made my experience amazing at UT thus far,” said Robinson. “I have had the chance to be involved in so many new projects, and I’ve been able to meet so many new people… (the) program has allowed me the opportunity to grow as a person.”
Story by Mallory Culhane '21, journalism major