Kyle Brun has worn several hats at the Joseph Maley Foundation. His most recent role has been serving as the Run, Walk, Roll intern. Kyle’s interview provides some insight into his JMF story, as well as the challenges and success he enjoyed over the last year.
You have been affiliated with JMF in different ways prior to your internship. How did it feel to step into the Foundation as an intern?
I had been eyeing the opportunity for a while, and I had always loved my experiences with the Junior Board and the Joseph Maley Friends program so I knew that I would enjoy stepping into a more involved role. I’ve loved helping with events and camps and pretty much whatever else is thrown at me, because they are experiences that many other people my age don’t get, so I am extremely lucky that JMF has an internship program in place.
What unique challenges and experiences does interning at JMF provide?
I get to work with people of all ages, whether they are business owners of vendors JMF partners with, or a five-year-old utilizing the center as a part of programming. It’s also just incredible to be with so many different walks of life in the context of the JMF family.
What do you plan to do as a career?
At present, I am still keeping my options open, but I am thinking about working in a nonprofit setting.
How does your internship at JMF fit into that future journey?
I get access to nonprofit work experience at potentially the earliest possible time, so I am extremely lucky to see the inner-workings of how they function and explore that career path early.
We did some things differently at the Run, Walk, Roll this year. How did you feel about this year’s new additions to the event?
I loved the event, and especially the inclusion of the 10-miler, because I think we were able to make a lot of new friends in the longer distance running crowd. We also kept growing in numbers of high schoolers/young people involved, which was awesome to see, because they are the future of the sport and our community.
From your perspective, what were some things that didn’t go as smoothly as intended, and how do you think those can be fixed for next year?
Some of the details and plans with the water stations fell through at the last minute, meaning we had to scramble to get water out on the course, and slightly late for some of the athletes. That will certainly be fixed for next year and was just a slip-up that comes from doing an event for the first time, like the 10-miler.
Who are these people that race a 10-Miler? Are they the real superheroes?
Having run a half-marathon, I can confirm that it takes a ton of training and determination. I was at a 10-mile water station, and it was a scorcher of a day, so everybody that ran it was certainly “super”. Many of them even had smiles on their faces and thanked us for literally just standing there and clapping, which was unexpected and super selfless of them.
How many JMF race events have you been to?
This was my ninth time at the event, although this was my first time volunteering.
What’s your favorite memory from the Run, Walk, Roll?
My favorite memory of all time is walking with my mom and dad as probably a 9- or 10-year old at Eagle Creek Park, finishing, then sharing a Dilly Bar with them. This year my favorite memory was probably meeting a fellow volunteer, Austin, who was guiding people on the course near my water station. I found out we shared similar music tastes, and he was able to give me good college advice and we just clicked well. It was awesome because if it weren’t for the event, I never would have had the chance to meet him.
Can you talk a little bit about the process of preparing for the race in the abstract (paperwork, emailing, setting things up in the weeks and months before) vs. preparing in reality once the day comes?
The whole process felt like a race in itself. Early on, it was about preparing ourselves, discussing details and making sure that the day could be successful. As the pace picked up, it became a lot more about work ethic and less about thinking through problems and details. The staff at JMF works tirelessly to make this event one that is super successful, and all of the preparation done early on makes that final sprint much easier and beautiful as we get to see everything come together for a great event.
What do you hope to attain from interning at JMF?
Valuable experiences in a productive setting, life-long relationships with great people, and pride in what I have helped accomplish.
If you could add one practical thing to the JMF office, and one impractical thing, what would they be?
As far as a practical thing goes, I would say super lightweight tents that we could more easily take around to our events, as the ones we have now are a little heavy. If I could have anything, I feel like a hot tub would be cool. Who wouldn’t want to work while sitting in one of those?
Any advice or words of encouragement to those thinking about applying to intern at JMF?
You certainly won’t regret it. Like the words on Courtney’s [Basso, Events and Communication Manager] wall say: If you never try, you’ll never know.
Tell us about college. Where are you heading off to?
The University of Dayton
What are you studying?
Communications with a concentration in public relations
How do you think your JMF experience will help you prepare for college?
I will have a small base of work experience to relate what I learn in class to, and I will have plenty of people who have gone before me in this community to lean on and ask for help when I need it.
Fears? Hopes? Doubts about college?
College has always felt like such a distant concept, so the fact that I am leaving in mere weeks is slightly terrifying, but in an exciting way. It’s a period of massive change, but I’m excited to learn a lot and grow.
Who at JMF would make the best college professor? Why?
I think I would have to go with Maggie [Mestrich, Development Director]. She’s really wise, and frankly, I’m not sure why but it just felt right to put her as the most likely professor.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just a big thank you to not only my fellow JMF co-workers but to everyone that continues to support the Joseph Maley Foundation and its incredible mission.