I am the behind-the-scenes and on-site coordinator for the event. Food Truck Fridays is a weekly event that lasts for 13 weeks. In Downtown Sioux City, 8 – 10 Food Trucks line up around a park and serve to the community over the lunch hour. A lot of preseason work had to be done behind the scenes (insurance, getting trucks signed up, etc.) During the season, I communicate with the Food Truck Vendors each week to see if they will be there that coming Friday. A lot of preseason work had to be done behind the scenes (insurance, getting trucks signed up, etc.) I am also the onsite coordinator for the event. I arrive early to clean off tables, set up umbrellas, put out trash cans, make sure all the trucks are parked in their assigned spot, etc. During the event, I get to enjoy the amazing food and keep the trash cans empty. It often gets super hot as this is outside, but the event only goes from 11 am – 1:30 pm. I do have a supervisor that ran the event for the first five years of the event. I can turn to him with any questions I have.
I would say that my biggest accomplishment was the very first Food Truck Friday. All the Food Trucks passed health and fire inspections (my supervisor said that had never happened before). Although it’s not my responsibility whether they passed or not, I worked super hard and did everything in my power to ensure they passed. I made them aware that it would happen and kept reminding them to be ready. I also heavily encouraged them to be pre-inspected, so they only have to do a final check on the first Friday. If a truck didn’t pass an inspection, they would not have been able to serve that day, which would have been super sad.
I learned how to deal with problems while keeping a positive face and how to deal with upset vendors. I learned how to adapt to outdoor weather conditions, and all of these are great event planning skills. However, the biggest thing I learned from my internship is that I am in the right industry. It has reassured me that I am on the right career path.
What advice would you give?
I know that I am staying in Iowa after graduation, the Sioux City area to be exact, and I often get a lot of side-eyes that there are no jobs for me in event management. Even in Sioux City, my family and friends often don’t think there are opportunities for me here, that Sioux City isn’t big enough. I’m telling you that Iowa is “big” enough. There is a need for AESHM careers right in Iowa. There are arenas, hotels, CVBs, venues, travel agencies, sports venues, etc. In Iowa. You can be AESHM and stay here.