Written by Heather Hondel and Jessica Wilson, 2019 Venango Chamber Interns
Spending the summer working at the Venango Chamber has been a wonderful experience for the two 2019 interns. As their summer employment ends, they are reflecting on the lifelong lessons they will take with them.
Going into this experience there was a clear path of the obligations and goals. The main responsibility would be the Oil Heritage Festival Basket Raffle, partnered with other festival duties such as social media posts and entering information into our database. Having a path laid out for the internship made the experience easier to manage, and knowing the expectations from the beginning enabled the interns to align their vision with the Chamber’s.
The Chamber provided a welcoming atmosphere where everyone’s input was encouraged and listened to with care. All were encouraged to share their newfound knowledge from college and apply it to their positions at the Chamber. This allowed them to apply what they have learned and bring new ideas.
Examples to Follow
Since the beginning of this internship, Susan, Tessa, and Ashley have been excellent examples of what it is to be a professional in today’s business world. They have skillfully shown what it means to work in business with tact and grace. Susan illustrated how to lead with intention, while also being understanding and flexible. Tessa showed how to work in a way that supports others through helpful comments, while also working in a way that promotes the greater mission of the Chamber. Ashley exemplified how to make a difference without being overly disruptive or hurting others. These three women have greatly enhanced and influenced the way the interns think about and act in a professional setting. Their ability to lead by example is something that has inspired them as they work toward this type of professionalism.
Value in an Intern
It was clear to the interns from the start of their internships at the Chamber that they are cared for. In the beginning they were asked about tasks they enjoy and ones they wanted to improve on. This enabled them to have a personal experience tailored to helping them have the best learning experience possible. Additionally, those in the office were always quick to ask about each other’s lives and show that they truly care, this enabled all staff and specifically interns to continually feel welcomed and appreciated even though they are only working for part of the year.
Learn, Work, Fun
During the summer, college students have many options for work. Some work as seasonal workers or continue a job they had in high school. Securing an internship is another path many college students take. Internships vary in form, but the typical goal is to work in one’s field to get a general feel for the work they are studying. Working at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce was a wonderful mix of learning, working, and having fun. Interns were given projects and the ability to work in a way that let them learn both from experience and through asking questions as they worked. They also felt value in their work, which made it a fun summer experience. This summer has helped the interns grow a greater appreciation and knowledge of many areas in business.
Meet Other Young Professionals
Meeting other young people from the Venango Area helped further distinguish this summer. Participating in FLEX events helped the interns meet and work with young people from area business. This enabled the interns to talk and compare experiences with young people in the work place. Knowing there are other young professionals in the Venango County area helps students who are home for the summer to see firsthand how working locally in a desirable field is not out of reach. This further encourages students to see the possibilities of returning to Venango County after graduation.
This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s August 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.