As our community welcomes back all the college students, I wanted to check in with a student in their senior year awaiting a May 2024 graduation! I connected with a college student during the Intern Experience’s closing ceremony where everyone shared their impressions of the program and how their perspectives on what the FM area has to offer for young professionals changed drastically. Here is how he introduced himself:
“My name is Jesus Iracheta. I am 21 years old and I go to Concordia College and am currently a senior with a major in Business Marketing. I’m a really big advocate for supporting small businesses and artists as well. I am a big go-getter and I honestly feel like nothing can stop me. I am bilingual and currently learning a third language. I love to repurpose old clothing into new one-of-a-kind pieces. I like to cook, read, and walk outside whenever possible. Lastly, I live life to the fullest, accepting whatever comes my way! “
The Red River Valley is fortunate to have Jesus Iracheta call here his home away from home!
Next time you run into him, ask him about Fargo Fashion Week…
Until we meet again:
Where do you call home?
There are a couple of places that I would consider home. The first place I would consider home is Matamoros, Mexico/Brownsville, TX. This is where I spent a good chunk of my life growing up. As a kid, I didn’t really focus much on life around me and just focused on being a kid. In retrospect, there were so many experiences that flew over my little head. My family grew up poor with no set house of ours and so my siblings and I lived with my grandmother throughout our time in TX. My parents were always working to provide us with the best they could, and we would only really see them later in the day. I remember the constant back and forth between the states and Mexico, mainly for visiting family and seeing the doctors. At that time, I had no idea how fortunate I was to be a US citizen. The main experiences I remember as a kid in this area were going to these grand quinceañeras and having these big get-togethers with all my family. A fond memory I have from this time is always being outside with my grandparents. As I said earlier, we didn’t have money, so they improvised to cool us off in the heat. I remember my pool being a 5-gallon bucket and I would always be in there. I grew and so the bucket changed into a storage tub and eventually getting older there were no more pools. They did what they had to do to provide us with some fun as kids—otherwise I wouldn’t say I enjoyed being a kid. The next place I called home was Brooten, MN. This is where I spent the other chunk of my life before moving to Fargo. My parents worked hard to provide for us and care for us as children. Part of this meant that they would travel for work. My parents were migrant workers going back and forth between Brownsville and Brooten for a few years until, eventually, both my parents were offered full-time jobs and that gave us a reason to stay and find a home in Minnesota. Before that, we would rent in a little community off to the side of the city that was out of view, and it consisted of other migrant workers and their families. The city of Brooten has a population of around 700 people.
I was very fortunate to be integrated into this community as a child, but I wish I could say the same for my parents and my older sister. This is a very rural community and so there are people within that community that are not too fond of people of different ethnic backgrounds. We were not treated the best to begin with. As I said earlier, I was fortunate to be integrated at a young age as this meant the local kids didn’t see me as an outsider having grown up with them all the way to high school graduation.
My extended family stayed in Mexico/Texas. My immediate family is still in Brooten today. We don’t get treated poorly anymore simply because we’ve been in the community for a while and my parents earned many locals’ respects for being such hard workers. We do still get a stare or a remark here and there but that doesn’t stop us, we can’t let it.
Lastly, what I currently call home is Fargo! I moved here to pursue my higher education in 2020. This was bad timing because of COVID and so I didn’t have the chance to integrate into the city until now!
How did you learn about the Intern Experience (iExp)?
Coming to Fargo I didn’t know anybody here except my hometown friends that also moved here for college. I wasn’t super involved, and I didn’t try to be. I wanted to get my degree and get out of here—but, that mindset has drastically changed since. One thing I enjoyed about the area was the community events that were put on downtown. You could always find me at the Red River Market wandering around. This eventually led me to learn who Folkways was and what their mission in the community was. This is where my perspective started to shift about Fargo. I felt welcome here without really having to introduce myself. I felt at home almost. This led me down the path of wanting to work for Folkways as their mission had impacted me drastically. I did feel like I belonged here, and I wanted to give that same feeling to people who are just like me.
I learned about their social media internships and CampusFM online and as well at their events. Sure enough, I applied, not having any connections to anyone at this point and I got into their creator-ship program which is CampusFM. I then learned about the Internship Experience through my creatorship. We didn’t have a choice of participation in the Internship Experience as this was another program run by Folkways but I’m very glad I didn’t have a choice. The Internship Experience has led me to so many doors that I didn’t know were even there, all I have to do now is open them.
Why should other young professionals come to work in the Fargo community?
I think the main reason other young professionals should come to Fargo for an internship is because of the community. You really can’t beat how this city will make you feel. One big tip however is to look for that community, because it is here. You just ought to look for it because it won’t look for you. When you do find it though, it is life changing. The people here want to see us young professionals succeed and so asking and looking for those internships is very important. On top of that, there are many other reasons. The people here are very friendly and are always willing to help a young professional trying to get ahead. Fargo is a growing city that is only getting bigger and being here for that growth allows you to grow with it. Lastly, there are so many things to do. Events are going on every week throughout the city and it’s a nice way to meet new people and network yourself as well as enjoy your time here.