How I Spent My Summer: Alison Black

Alison Black


One year ago today I was living in Chicago and preparing for my move to Cleveland. When I would tell people where I was going they always had a look of surprise and inevitably they would ask: Why Cleveland?. To be honest, I wasn’t sure either. But I was ready for a change.

As I embarked on my new journey—living in Cleveland and attending Graduate school at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (try saying that 5x fast)—I started to question my decision. What did Cleveland have to offer that Chicago did not? Then something changed. I realized that I was not giving Cleveland a fair chance, and I was listening to the wrong people.

I listened to people who did not venture downtown, or have not explored the city’s many unique neighborhoods. So, when the opportunity to apply for the Cleveland Foundation internship program it presented me with the opportunity to really learn about the city.

When I interviewed with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) I knew immediately that I wanted to work there. DCA is focused on business and community development in downtown Cleveland. DCA’s mission is to build a strong, vibrant downtown.

This was the experience I was craving. This internship with DCA has completely changed my view of Cleveland and I can now see myself living here after graduate school.

Each week we use this space to give each of our interns the chance to reflect on their internship experiences. Alison Black, a graduate student from Case Western Reserve University: Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, has been placed at Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Alison will conduct, analyze and summarize the data from Downtown Pedestrian Count. She will also research, summarize and recommend best practices for downtown business attraction and marketing.