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Greater Peoria #InternoftheWeek: Daphne Xu

Meet our next #InternoftheWeek, Daphne Xu! She had a great time at last week’s mixer at RLI, and is looking forward to attending more this summer! Check out our full interview with her below, and stop and say hi if you see her at an intern mixer #InterninGP

Q: Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you!

A: Hi everyone! My name is Daphne Xu and I am currently a Master of Urban Planning student at the University of Southern California. I am originally from Naperville, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), and for my undergrad degree, I went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to study International Relations. I decided to come back to Illinois for my internship because I have an interest in how transit-oriented development can make an impact on a small/mid-sized city.

Q: Tell us about your current position.

A: I am interning with the City of Peoria Innovation Team. Our team works on a multitude of issues the city of Peoria is trying to solve, including researching business development along West Main Street by Bradley University and increasing the collaboration with other cities across the Central Illinois region. Everyday looks a little different for me, but I am currently working on creating a Parklet Policy for the city of Peoria which creates little parks in parking spaces along the street. (Google “Parklet San Francisco” for some cool examples if you don’t know what parklets are)

Q: How does this internship compare to other internships/jobs you’ve held in the past?

A: The I-Team is really collaborative and at the same time, very independent. I am in charge of a couple of projects, which the Project Managers kind of just leave me to go at it by myself, but I also get to be a part of really cool conversations and meetings with city officials and community members who are all working towards the same goal.

Q: What is your opinion of the area?

A: Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would like living in a smaller city for a summer, but Peoria has definitely grown on me! I was actually really surprised at how the downtown actually looks like a city with the tall buildings, riverfront, and museums; and I love the old buildings in the Warehouse District and the beautiful old houses in all the neighborhoods!

Q: What are you looking forward to most about your summer here in Greater Peoria?

A: I love checking out new food places, so I’m really excited to visit One World, Sugar, Thyme, and Las Delicias. Also on my list are Zion Coffee Bar, Thirty-Thirty Coffee, and Pour BROS, so if anyone else is interested, we should definitely go! Also, if anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to try out other places as well!

Q: What community are you staying in and what are your thoughts on that community/your summer crib?

A: I live right on the border of Peoria and West Peoria by Bradley University. My place is near Haddad’s Market, which is where I’ve been getting all my groceries, and the neighborhood seems to mainly be families so it’s a little quieter than being right next to Bradley’s campus. I really like where I’m living, and I can walk to West Main Street or Bradley in a few minutes.

Q: What are your thoughts on the intern mixer series?

A: I really like how they’re all in different places, and how we’ll get to see the cool places Peoria has to offer! I also like having the intern Facebook page where Stephanie and Kate have been posting other cool events around Peoria.

Q: What can we find you doing on a weekend here in Peoria?

A: I already talked about all the places I want to go, so on the weekend you can probably find me at the Riverfront Market Saturday mornings and then eating my way through Peoria the rest of the weekend.

If you’ve yet to join our intern Facebook page that Daphne mentioned, or you haven’t registered for our intern mixers yet, you can sign up/join here!

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