Civic Center Ticket Office closed for in-person ticketing until Aug 20; order by phone or online. Learn More
  • News
  • Getsy Hernandez: Multicultural Leadership Program

Getsy Hernandez: Multicultural Leadership Program

Getsy MLP

Multicultural Student Leadership Program

Name: Getsy Hernandez


Hello! My name is Getsy Hernandez and I am a rising senior at Drake University majoring in Sociology; Social Services, Policy, & Advocacy with a minor in Leadership Development, and a concentration of Social Justice in Urban Education. I am a part of the Crew Scholars Program, a leadership program for students of color on campus and have had the opportunity to work for the program for the past two years as a Student Success Coordinator. I was interested in DMPA’s Multicultural Student Leadership Program because it served as an opportunity to network and connect with many professionals and leaders in the Des Moines area from many industries. The program has helped me develop professional communication skills, gain the ability to form connections in the community, and has empowered me to grow my skills as a Multicultural Student Leader in Des Moines. I am forever grateful for this program, the opportunities and experiences it provided me with, and DMPA’s mission and community impact!

Date: 05/21/24 (DAY 1)

When I woke up to start my first day at DMPA, I was overcome with feelings of both nervousness and excitement. However, right away I felt super welcomed and a part of the team joining them for their morning huddle. I really enjoyed meeting so many people from a variety of departments and hearing their updates and shout-outs. Overall, the first day was very insightful and a great introduction to the program. I had a great time getting to know everyone! We got the opportunity to travel to Holmes Murphy to chat with Nola Cartmill. She had so much insight and great advice to give us and I really appreciated the time she spent connecting with us. She gave us a tour of her beautiful workplace to conclude our time and then we headed back to DMPA to continue our day. When we came back, we received a tour of the Civic Center from Janet Albanese. It was a very fun experience; getting to learn more about the Civic Center and the environment I will be in for the next few weeks was very helpful and Janet and Emily were such amazing people to tour with– I loved hearing their stories! I appreciated learning so much about DMPA and everything that goes into making events and shows possible and accessible for the community. I found it so fascinating to learn about the different departments, what they contribute to the organization, and seeing them actually working in real time for the IHSMTA. 

Date: 05/22/24 (DAY 2)

On the second day, I felt a lot less nervous and more excited to start the day. We headed to a coffee meet and greet to chat and it was a great way to start the morning and continue to get to know everyone. The day was filled with informational sessions regarding the HR, Finance, and Ticketing departments, as well as sitting in on the Assistant Stage Manager orientation. I learned so much about everything that goes into every department and how they all work together to maintain DMPA’s mission. My highlight of the day was talking to everyone, hearing more about their personal journeys that led them to DMPA and learning more about what they currently do, especially because I had no background knowledge about certain departments like Finance and Ticketing. Every session was very interesting to me as well because it was nice to be able to acquire more knowledge on what each department focuses on. I felt like I learned so much while also being able to connect with everyone we met with. The ASM orientation was also incredibly interesting and it was nice to meet high school leaders within this industry. Karoline and Janet were very welcoming and helped me learn so much about stage management and the amount of teamwork and attention to detail it takes to run the IHSMTA. Overall, everyone gave so many pieces of information that helped me understand more about what it takes behind the scenes to create shows, events, and so much more. 


Date: 5/23/24 (DAY 3)

Day 3 was very eventful and full of so much networking, which I greatly enjoyed. We started with coffee at Scenic Route Bakery with Ardis Kelley and she gave a lot of motivational and positive pieces of advice that inspired me; her kind words of encouragement are ones I will always cherish. Then, we headed to Nationwide to meet with Lisa Gobber, Laura, and Holly to have lunch and continue to network. Meeting them was great and they gave us a lot of great information about their organization’s culture surrounding DEI, which is a topic that aligns with my career goals. I learned a lot about what Nationwide strives to do within the community and it was so cool to hear about the many groups they have in place that associates can be a part of to foster a sense of belonging and teambuilding. Everyone we were able to connect and meet with was lovely and I am so grateful to carry their valuable insights with me into my future professional endeavors. Once coming back to DMPA, we met with the Development team (Emily and Alex) and got to learn more about what they do day-to-day in regards to fundraising and donations. This was a department that I was not too knowledgeable on, so it was great to gain a deeper understanding on why it is such an important component of DMPA. We ended the day by meeting with Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Laura Sweet; she taught us about ikigai and the importance of finding it in our own personal lives. Finally, we toured parts of the Civic Center that we did not have a chance to see before, which was a wonderful way to end a busy day.


Date: 5/24/24 (DAY 4)

The last day of the first week was quite eventful and fun! We started the day with Bill, Bri, and Christina in a resume and interview feedback session, which was incredibly informative and helped me get a better idea of important components that should be in my resumes and interviews. This gave me an opportunity to grow my skills and I will carry with me into future applications. I am so grateful that they took the time to give us advice and tips on how to better present ourselves for future positions. We then headed to the Business Publications Corp to meet with CEO Suzana de Baca and Connie Wimer and a few members of her team. We spent our time there connecting with everyone and learning more about the purpose behind Business Publications Corp and what they do in the community. We toured their office and got the chance to hear everyone’s leadership and life journeys. It was very inspiring and gave me so many new perspectives about the differences that can be made in the community in many ways. They even gave us lots of magazines and publications to take home which was such a kind gesture! Finally, we ended the day by heading to CelebrAsian with Bri and meeting San, who spoke to us about the history of the festival and why it is such an important form of community-building and representation for Iowa. She was incredibly kind and I am so glad we were able to meet her and enjoy the festival! Overall, it was such a significant way to end the first week of the program and I am so grateful for the experiences I gained, as well as the people I had the opportunity to connect with.


Date: 5/28/24 (DAY 5)

The first day of the second week was a very busy one. We started by meeting with Ann Wright and discussing our DiSC profiles along with some other members of DMPA so we could compare our leadership styles. This session with Ann was incredibly interesting and it was nice to see what traits and characteristics other team members held and how we are able to work with them according to their DiSC profile results. I learned a lot about how to be a better leader in both individual and team settings, and also how to be a better active listener. Then, we headed to Kemin and met with Shay, Bindhu, and Dion to learn more about their journeys as well as the company. This trip was so cool and I enjoyed connecting with everyone as they gave very motivational and heartfelt advice to carry into my future careers. We ended our trip at Kemin by touring the beautiful headquarters building which was a wonderful experience; it was so cool to see an integral part of Des Moines that I had never seen before. When we got back to DMPA, we met with President and CEO Jeff Chelesvig. Meeting Jeff was great, he was very welcoming and told us many stories about his life experiences that led him to the positions that he is in today. He took the time to get to know us, give advice as we move into the professional world, and even gave us a sneak peek at the IHSMTA rehearsals that were happening. Finally, we ended the day by meeting with the Marketing, Communications, and DigiEx departments. Barb, Jacob, Jonathan, and Greg were all amazing and I am grateful they took the time to meet with us. I gained a deeper understanding of not only how their departments work closely together, but also the meaningful community impact that they bring through their work. While it was a very busy day, it was a delightful way to start the final week of the program.


Date: 5/29/24 (DAY 6)

Our sixth day of the program started out by having some downtime to update our journals and catch up on anything we needed to. Then, we headed to a meeting with the Programming department, where Brooke and Julie talked to us about the ins and outs of their positions and what they do for the organization. Soon after, it was time for lunch with Jeff and Laura at the Embassy Club which was so delicious. The view of all Des Moines from the restaurant was breathtaking and it was nice to spend that time connecting personally with Jeff and Laura. It was such an amazing experience! After lunch, we went to tour the Temple Theater with Dani Roth. I learned so much about the history of the building, took the time to appreciate the architecture, and got to know more about Dani’s position. Our day concluded by watching a tech rehearsal for the IHSMTA, which was super exciting. It was so cool to see how the spotlight medleys are put together in 30 minutes and how incredibly talented the high schoolers who are participating are. While it was a very busy day, it was such a fun way to spend the day and begin to close out the week!

Date: 5/30/24 (DAY 7)

For the second to last day of the program, we started out by having lunch at A-Dong with Bri, Laura, and Robert Warren from Hoyt Sherman. We got to learn more about Robert’s experiences and journey and a lot of the history behind the Hoyt Sherman building. This was such an intriguing way to start the day and I loved hearing his stories. Next, we headed over for a tour of the Hoyt Sherman mansion, theater, and art gallery. It was such a beautiful building with so much history and life within its walls– I was in awe. I loved seeing everything and learning more about the history of both the building and Des Moines. Finally, we headed over to DMPA, as it was a big day; the IHSMTA showcase! We received our tickets and were able to come back in the evening with a guest to watch the full show. This was such an amazing opportunity and there was so much talent to take in as I watched; it was truly an unforgettable experience. I am so grateful that I have been able to see everything that has gone into making this show possible behind the scenes the past couple weeks, and now seeing it come to life! It has been a surreal experience to say the least.


Date: 5/31/24 (DAY 8)

As the MSLP came to a close, we started our final day at Central Library with Jacob to meet with Sue Woody. She spoke to us about the many aspects of her leadership, as well as the many aspects that go into how libraries serve communities in Des Moines. Sue was wonderful to connect with, and I am so grateful to have had the chance to meet her! Then, we headed to our last lunch with the MSLP committee (Christina, Bri, and Jacob) at Panka, which was a fun way to end our program activities and continue to bond with the committee. Finally, we went back to DMPA to finish out the day with our ‘graduation’ and received our Leadership Certificates. This program was truly so special to me and it gave me so many new life perspectives and connections in the community that I will cherish forever. Thank you so much to everyone at DMPA for this opportunity and for taking the time to connect with us and serve as a resource for the future. I never thought I would have the chance to experience something like this, especially catered towards Multicultural Student Leaders. I am so eternally grateful to have experienced the wonders of DMPA and also grow my skills as a leader in the community!