Heather Hondel and Jessica Wilson, our interns at the Venango Chamber, were recently back for winter break! Heather has worked for us for two summers and Jessica joined our team last summer.
They are excited to reflect on how their experiences at the Chamber affected their studies and what they have learned over the last semester that now applies to their work at the Chamber.
Working at the Chamber has greatly influenced my college experience. I have utilized marketing skills I gained at the Chamber in my classes, such as when I served as the Chief Marketing Officer in my e-Commerce class and as the Publicity Officer for Grove City College’s Swing Dance Club.
Working with Chamber Staff has given me the ability to work as a team on projects in my classes, as many of my entrepreneurial classes involve heavy amounts of teamwork and planning.
This semester, I took a class entitled Managing a Growing Enterprise. I was placed in a team that fulfilled various roles in a company that we managed for six simulated quarters. It showed me how to be quick on my feet and change strategy in an instant when outcomes were different than initially anticipated. This has helped me generate problem solving skills that I can take into the workplace.
This class also opened my eyes to how connected all the roles in a company are and how to work together to accomplish goals. I now realize the importance of understanding the big picture with the overarching vision of a company, while working to generate a thorough understanding in my own role and how that contributes to the vision.
Throughout the course, my management team presented weekly executive briefings containing strategy updates. This class will be incredibly influential on how I work as an intern at the Chamber and in life in general.
Heather is a junior at Grove City College studying Entrepreneurship.
After a few weeks working at the Chamber this summer, I knew this experience was going to change the way I work and what I want my life to look like. During my time at the Chamber, my view of small and local businesses drastically shifted.
Previously, I did not think about local business or how and why they are important, but after my experiences, I realize what a vital part these businesses are for a community. This has greatly impacted my life at school; I now see the local community as a place I want to be.
I am also more intentional about supporting and work in the community. This appreciation for local business has informed several projects and the courses I am taking at school.
One of the classes I took last semester focused on the task patterns and best practices in designs, and it enabled me to think more critically about how and why things are set up the way they are. It also empowered me to think objectively rather than subjectively about important business decisions.
As I come back to work at the Chamber over break, thinking about best practices and objective critique are at the forefront of my mind. I see these ideals shaping the way I work on personal and group projects. Understanding the why behind design and content choices is an integral part of good work and I am so pleased to be able to practice what I have learned in class at the Chamber.
Jessica is studying Communication with concentrations in PR and Integrated Media at Geneva College and plans to graduate in the spring.
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.