Hosting Anime Pop-Up Community Events

Samantha Duarte
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Samantha Duarte advanced her local pop-up business and strengthened her networking skills hosting anime community events in an entrepreneurial internship.

What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection?

During the first week of the course PAH 383 Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness with Stephanie Springer and Brittney Crawford, I completed the required Getting Started Assignment. I filled it out with my information, including my interests and hobbies. The following week in class, Stephanie came up to me and introduced me to this idea that I had never thought of. Since I wrote down in that Getting Started assignment about how I had a small local pop-up business that I had been running for a couple months at the time, she suggested pursuing an entrepreneurship internship option. I was like “What? You can do that?!” She said “Yes!” Then she sent me the Internship Work Plan to complete to get enrolled in the course. I was in complete shock. I did not know that this option was possible; I thought I would have to start from scratch. So if you are stuck on an idea for a creative/entrepreneurial project, rely on your hobbies and interests. You may find yourself discovering that you can build a business off of things that already interest you. There is always something for everyone!

What was your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part of my internship experience was when I was finally able to make my project come to life. What made my internship experience meaningful to me was being able to go out into the real world and network. Networking was a transferable skill taught during PAH 383. To run a business you definitely need networking skills to communicate with your team, and in my case that included local vendors and businesses. I enjoyed how many people I was able to meet and communicate with in this community mostly built of art vendors. I loved hearing all about how they started their art businesses to learning how to be a publisher of your own manga. There are so many creative people in Tucson!

What did you find challenging about your internship?

A challenging experience I had with my internship was navigating business partnerships without people thinking I was seeking to be their competitor. I was only looking to start a pop-up business to make friends in the Anime community. What I learned from this challenge is that people may sometimes try to bring you down, but that does not mean you get down on yourself. Instead, continue thriving and keep doing what you love, and keep thinking of more ideas to improve yourself and your business alike. During this challenging time I appreciated my mentor Dr. Renee Reynolds for giving me life lessons that will stick to me even after this experience. I just remembered to keep going no matter what, be different, and you can end your journey when you want to.

How was the internship related to your Applied Humanities degree?

The internship is related to my Applied Humanities degree first because my emphasis is in Business Administration and I have always been interested in developing a business and being a leader. My Applied Humanities degree helps me understand the need for community and having intercultural competence. While running a business you need to keep a balance of understanding people, having empathy, building community as well as being able to have networking skills, communication skills, in addition to managing the business itself. It has also helped me meet so many people in the field that support entrepreneurs that want to start a business.

How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?

This internship experience has influenced my plans for the future because I plan to continue my entrepreneurial journey even if I am no longer in Tucson. I will continue hosting pop-ups wherever I am. I plan to have an actual team that can help me with my business in the near future. I would love to continue being in this industry that I really enjoy and have interest in.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?

My advice that I have for other students that are on their search for an internship is to remember to not stress yourself. Definitely take PAH 383 early, as this class gives you a foundation in career discovery along with learning more about internships and what it takes to prepare for one. I suggest also going to career fairs as they may offer internships near you. I encourage you to start networking with your classmates, employers, professors, and peers around you, as they may know someone who knows someone that has an internship or even an opportunity that may be perfect for you. Always reach out and step out of your comfort zone to gain more opportunities and find new adventures!