Ian Kern ALTON - Ian Kern, a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the newest addition to Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau staff as a public relations intern for the Spring semester.

The bureau has been providing opportunities for students for many years and this year, in the spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, is no different. Interns working at the bureau have the opportunity to experience the full working world and gain experience not only in tourism, but public relations, advertising, marketing, and economics.

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Ian will be gaining experience specifically with blog writing, social media, news, press releases and developing his communication skills. Ian has spent 21 years in Belleville and is no stranger to the six-county region the bureau represents.

“I am excited to start this highly recommended position with Great Rivers & Routes” Ian said, “I struggled to find an internship and was happy there was a spot on this team that I could fill!”

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It is a busy semester for Ian who will be balancing his full-time school schedule, his two jobs, as both a Starbucks barista and a team member at Target, along with this new internship taking place at a unique time.

Ian will be graduating from SIUE in the spring of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in applied communications focusing on public relations. He spoke of his many interests saying, “I can find curiosity in almost anything once I dive in and get to learning about it.” With a minor in political science and an interest in biology, his diverse interest shows.

Ian takes his many interests seriously. He is the vice-president of the college democrats at SIUE and the treasurer of SIUE’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). He takes science classes at SIUE to further his knowledge of biology which he still enjoys.

When Ian is not studying to maintain his spot on the dean’s list at SIUE or working at his jobs, he can be found on any of the local running trails. He takes a big interest in running, he enjoyed cross country in high school and is continuing that interest throughout many of the local communities, while seeing the best of what the area has to offer.

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