Intern Perspective: A Day in the Life of a GMM Intern

Written by our Fall ’21 intern, Sean Bryant.

On the weekend of October 17th, 2021, the Gray Matter Marketing team completed another successful event. This event was the 10th Annual Citizens Pell Bridge Run done in partnership with the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. We hope you enjoyed running this event as much as we did hosting the event on that spectacular Sunday morning.

Do you know what exactly is involved in putting on such a large-scale event like the Citizens Pell Bridge run? I didn’t fully understand what was involved until I became an intern with Gray Matter Marketing. The event is very quick; it’s only a 4-mile run from Jamestown over the Newport Bridge that finishes by the Gateway Center. However, accommodating the 2,800 plus runners taking part in the event was no small task. We arrived at the Gateway Center around 4:30 am to set up the area with tables for bib pick up.

By 5:00 am, the runners started to arrive and waited for us to open the bib pick-up area. At 5:15 am, the team and our awesome group of volunteers started the bib pick-up process. During that time, I was helping with handing out the T-shirts to all the runners. Even though it was only for an hour, we served over 2,800 runners in that short time. We coordinated more than thirty shuttle buses to transport all the runners from the Gateway Center over to the starting line in Jamestown at East Shore Road. While waiting for the race to start, we broke down the tables at the bib pick-up area. We then set up tables where we would be handing out medals to all the runners after the event.

The race officially kicked off at 7:15 am as runners started to make their way from Jamestown over the iconic Pell Bridge; it’s only once a year you can run or walk over this Rhode Island landmark. Once the race kicked off, we didn’t have to wait that long for runners to start crossing the finish line. It took only 21 minutes for us to see the first person to cross the finish line this year! We had a decent crowd of spectators lining up around the finish line, cheering on the runners and walkers as they finished the race. As the participants started to cross the finish line, several other volunteers and I handed out each runner’s medals at the end of the race.

Once the final participant crossed the finish line, the Gray Matter team and volunteers started to break down everything at the starting area. We had to take down the signage and pack up the remaining medals, and t-shirts runners received at the finish area. Overall, it took about thirty to forty-five minutes for the team to break everything down and clean up the starting area. Reflecting on my time as an intern, this was the second most fun event I worked with while at Gray Matter Marketing. I have a new appreciation for anyone who works in event management and the event industry.