Post-festival Reflections: Seeing Both Sides

I had the pleasure of attending my first Imagine RIT festival on May 2, 2009, as a visitor.  I was a first year student and hadn’t heard much about it, but my roommate was from Rochester and said we should definitely check it out.  She told me that it was the second year of the festival and people couldn’t stop talking about it.  Her description of Imagine RIT painted a stunning image in my head—and when we went out that day, I was not disappointed! There were people everywhere on campus! I had never seen it so alive and full of excitement!  

That day the amount of effort put into creating this incredible festival never crossed my mind.  Little did I know I was about to get an inside look into Imagine RIT and find out first hand how many awesome things go on beneath the surface.

Halfway through my second year at RIT, I applied for a job opening in the department that organizes the festival.  I was lucky enough to get the position, and was immediately thrown into Imagine RIT planning!  I found out how much work was put into changing the festival and making it even bigger and better than the year before. Any reasonable suggestions or comments that come from the evaluation surveys are taken into consideration when planning the next year’s festival.  The process can be daunting, but it’s totally worth it when you see Imagine RIT get even better every year!

Once I was hired, I volunteered to work every Imagine RIT festival.  During the 2010 festival, I was a “people mover” driver for part of the day and used a golf cart to transport people from one location to another.  I was able to meet and talk to people from all parts of the Rochester community!  It was a great experience, and it felt more like mingling at a party than doing volunteer work.  During the 2011 festival, I helped distribute free Dinosaur Barbeque lunches to all the volunteers and exhibitors.  They were incredibly grateful for it, and I loved helping to pay them back for everything they do that allows the festival to continue.  Most recently, during the 2012 festival, I went around with RIT’s Facilities Management Services to ensure that all the welcome tents had all of the supplies they needed to greet every one of our 30,000+ visitors to the festival.  Helping out with the festival is something that I look forward to every year.  I love being part of such a huge event that brings the community together!

Needless to say, I am a huge fan of the annual Imagine RIT festival, and I highly recommend going to see everything it has to offer!

Image– Amanda Rubacha, biochemistry, ‘12

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