Our New Intern Awaits Summer of Learning

Going into the final stretch of my junior year of college, I faced a slight glitch in my summer plans…no internship and no job. I did not have any plans for the summer. I knew that the internship I had during second semester of my junior year would soon be coming to a close, yet I had failed to make plans for what I would do this summer.

I knew that I wanted to spend the summer at home with my family, instead of with my friends in Milwaukee at Marquette University, so I went to Google, where I found Indiana INTERNet. I was able to easily search for internships in the Indianapolis area and in the field that I wanted to work in.

I started applying for anything that was still open, and eventually ended up applying for about a half dozen positions, and not even 24 hours after applying I heard back from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. I couldn’t believe that I was already starting the interviewing process, and that it might actually be easier than I thought to get an internship for the summer, even with a late start.

So, here I am, about a month later, sitting in the Indiana Chamber as a part-time communications intern, and I couldn’t be happier. I am only in the office two days a week, and I am learning valuable information that can be used as I pursue a future in public relations. What more could I ask for?

In the two days that I have been working, I already feel as though I have learned a lot by sitting in on meetings and interviews conducted by the BizVoice magazine writers. I have even written a couple of press releases, edited an article and put together fact sheets for an upcoming Chamber event.

I think the one thing that I will enjoy the most about this internship is that I am getting a taste of what it will be like after graduation next May. I work in a cubicle, and I have an hour and 15 minute commute. I am enjoying the “adult life.”

I am looking forward to an unforgettable summer of great experiences and learning at the Chamber. I may not have a summer of fun in the sun like some of my friends, but I am glad to be here — and most importantly, I can’t wait to see what else this internship has in store for me.

The Intern Chronicles: A Fond Farewell to Learning and Free Food

I’ve kept busy this week, which has made the days seem to really fly by. During a summer job, this is a good thing 99% of the time — the remaining 1% being when you have multiple projects to complete and a deadline fast approaching.

My deadline exists because it also happens to be the last day of my internship here at the Chamber. I’ll pause for a few minutes to allow for adequate weeping time, as you’re surely one of the millions of readers who have relied on the Intern Chronicles for your strength and comfort every week.

But have no fear, the circle of life will prevail and another intern will take my place. Staff members; please welcome my predecessor with open arms and maybe an updated phone list with their name on it instead of mine. My gift to them is an Indiana Chamber Intern Survival Guide, which is comprised of lessons I learned the hard way. It’s several hundred pages long. Here is an excerpt from the “Lunch Break” section.

Don’t bother bringing your lunch for the first half of summer. Tons of conferences mean tons of leftover catering for you. Bolt for the food as soon as the e-mail goes out (this is important) and you’ll be sitting pretty.

Do bother bringing your lunch for the second half of summer. Conference season tragically ends in early July, and although the occasional seminar will bring you happiness and seasoned chicken, it happens much less often and is difficult to predict. You still have to eat, and you can’t afford to get Subway and Qdoba regularly until you have interns of your own.

Although I didn’t have a survival guide to live by during my time here at the Chamber, the entire staff made it easy to feel immediately comfortable and welcome. My supervisors sacrificed time and effort to provide countless learning opportunities and I even had a hefty amount of fun. When I leave today it will mark the end of an invaluable experience that I am truly grateful for. Although I’ll probably miss the free lunches the most.

An Intern Reflects: Dad’s Job Isn’t So Bad

Gone were the MLA headings, 11:05 a.m. lunches, and double-spaced essays.  I had entered the “real world” of real life employees, bosses, and work phones with options like conference and transfer.  To millions of people around the world, these items and people make up their everyday life.  But I felt like a foreigner. 

Slowly I became accustomed to the long hours of silent concentration, only to be disturbed by the occasional typing of keys and the clang of the candy jar lid by my desk by the next “sneaky” individual who tried to be stealthy in getting their daily chocolate fix. Working in a quiet, yet productive atmosphere, just me, my research, and my writing was an enlightening experience.

Though sitting through a tax conference wouldn’t exactly be number one on my list of events to attend at the Indiana Chamber, I was pleasantly surprised and a little relieved that taxation could be presented in a more interesting way than I had previously been exposed to it … i.e. dinner table conversations with my dad, (Chamber director of taxation & public finance) Bill Waltz.  I also had the privilege of writing two short stories for BizVoice.

My short internship at the Chamber also involved archiving old issues of BizVoice. This did involve lifting heavy boxes, not to give Paul, another Chamber intern, any feelings of nostalgia (see June 6th’s blog).

At the end of two quick weeks, I can honestly say that the writers here encouraged me to keep up my interest in journalism and have definitely not scared me away from my aspiring profession. 

The Intern Chronicles: Passing Up On a Good Walk Spoiled

“Do you play golf?”  I was enjoying the second week of my internship here at the Chamber when my boss poked his head in and posed the question. An outing was to happen in a few days, and players were being rounded up for the event.

The rest of the week had been a good one, as I was allowed in on some staff meetings, assigned some projects and given some short articles to start working on.  It became increasingly difficult, however, not to notice the perfect summer weather pouring in through the windows. Golf seemed like a very good idea.

Now. Do I play golf? Sure. Do I play golf well? Absolutely not.  As a little guy, I took lessons and eventually developed into a decent player, but for whatever reason I played less and less over the years (college tuition and gasoline might have something to do with it), and my skill seems to have packed up its bags and left at some point.

It’s no secret that golf is a business tool. If you’re in the same boat as me, you might plan on revamping your game, especially considering that 59% of executives say the way a person plays golf is very similar to the way he or she conducts their business affairs, according to a survey by Starwood Hotels.

As for my boss’s pending invitation, I briefly considered hitting the ranges and practicing putts for a few days so I could attend the outing. Then I remembered who the Chamber generally deals with, and my Rocky-esque training montage was quickly replaced by images of state representatives and CEOs getting pelted by my errant drives.

I declined.

The Intern Chronicles: My First Week at the Indiana Chamber

It has been a little more than frustrating to see my private school education (at Valparaiso University) being put to use in hard labor warehouse jobs over the previous two summers. I was especially pleased, then, when I was accepted to a summer internship here at the Indiana Chamber. I’ve been offered to share how it’s going, and I hope to post weekly updates throughout the summer (if I’m allowed, and if I manage not to accidentally burn the place down).

Just a week in, I can already tell this experience will be different than what I expected. Sure, I figured the profuse sweating and heavy box-lifting of summers past would be gone, but I had a suspicion it would be replaced by making color copies and decafs with cream and sugar.

This will not be an office barista internship, however. In my first couple days, I’ve written a press release, attended a tax conference, covered a news story, and shadowed what seems to be most of the staff members here.

I was also shown a lot of what the chamber actually does. You might know as little as I did, in which case I’d like to share that through my crash-course, I learned the Indiana Chamber of Commerce …

• Is the fourth largest chamber in the country
• Has earned 38 national and state awards since 1999
• Publishes more than 30 compliance and reference guides
• Offers services to more than 26,000 members from all 92 counties
• Publishes and distributes BizVoice magazine to over 15,000 subscribers

Needless to say, I am excited to work this summer with so many talented people in an organization that has so much success to take pride in — and no heavy boxes to lift.