By: Abby Trahan, Texas State University Student
The first day of my internship my mind was racing with questions and potential opportunities that awaited me at the Chamber. I was excited to work for something that was larger than myself. Not to mention I could walk to my internship, wear business casual clothing, pack a lunch, and have the feeling of being a young professional. I was under the impression that that’s all it takes, right?
I was naive.
I was met face to face with the reality that this internship was not just about what I could do for the Chamber, but who I was.
In order for a Chamber to be successful, I learned that it is not about doing the task, but how you do the task. Not creating an event where members network with one another, but how you create that event, and what type of environment is fostered.
A lightbulb went off when I realized that character and personality is what matters in the service industry. Anyone can gain a skill but how you showcase the skill is crucial. This is relevant in my field of study, Public Administration.
My internship had very little to do with the tasks that I could complete. It was more about what ideas and perspective I was able to share. It was an opportunity for the Chamber to gain insight about millennials and their perspective of the business sector and how they understand community.
The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce does not just want development for the businesses here, they recognize the importance of keeping the whole community working cohesively and efficiently to ensure the most beneficial economic development can occur.
Many of my peers have sought internships in some of the cities nearby, such as, Austin or San Antonio. I wanted to be in San Marcos because I saw the value of giving back to a community that has given me so much. I saw an opportunity to learn what exactly happens to a small community when all of a sudden there is rapid growth. So why not seek an educational opportunity from the pathfinder in Texas, San Marcos?
This internship has helped me to see what it means to give to something actually much larger than myself. In the service industry there is a lot more intertwining and individual character that comes into play than my naive self first believed.
Abby Trahan interned with the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce for the summer of 2017.