Hello! My name is Shawin “S.K.” Kiero and I’m the 2018 Special Projects Intern at the Plano Chamber Of Commerce. I couldn’t be more thankful to the Chamber for selecting me, as well to Cigna for sponsoring my internship. During my eight week journey I will be posting three blogs describing my experiences as the Special Projects Intern.
My journey with the Chamber began April 20, 2018 – the day of my interview. My interviewers were Ariel O’Brien and Katie Gimenez. They asked about my interests, my personal life, and why they should select me. I answered every question to the best of my ability while remaining honest. After my interview, I felt confident that I had received the internship and wrote thank you letters to Ariel and Katie, my two interviewers. I had to wait for the official letter that I received the internship. As my friends started to receive their intern acceptation letters, I started to worry about my intern status. Two hours after my first friend received his letter, mine finally came. I was ecstatic and could not contain my excitement for the internship. After I officially accepted the internship, I began the wait for June 11, my first day.
On Monday, June 11, I walked into the Plano Chamber of Commerce building for the first time. The first co-worker I saw was Catherine Riggle (Programs Manager) who was very nice and welcoming to me. Once I arrived to the cubicles, I met Ariel O’Brian (Programs Director) and Katie Gimenez (Marketing and Communications Director) again, as well as Jamee Jolly (President/CEO) who I had first met a week earlier. All three welcomed me kindly into their office spaces and introduced me to the rest of my co-workers: Ryan Minter (Programs Manager), Catherine Riggle (Programs Manger), Jennifer Ruhman (Finance and Operations Director), Judy Webster (Member Services and Business Center Coordinator), and Tracy Bartholomew (Director of Membership Development). Everyone was very nice and made me feel welcomed. They even gifted me with a beautiful gift basket of my favorite things.
Afterwards, there was staff meeting. During the meeting, I learned everyone’s role in the Chamber and the task they’re assigned. Later in the day, Ryan, Katie, Judy, and Tracy took me to an amazing Italian restaurant where I learned more about them and the kind of lives they have. While my first day didn’t have too many tasks, I felt tired nevertheless. But as I was driving home, I had this indescribable sense of joy. This joy was not because I was leaving work, but from the knowledge that it was the first day of a great summer.
On Tuesday, I filmed an introduction video with Tracy Bartholomew. I was extremely nervous and I couldn’t keep my eyes straight to save my life. Overall, it was a very fun and entertaining video. We later posted the video on Facebook and it received 92 likes and 1,400 views. It made me feel like a part of the team.
During the rest of the week I attended two more meetings with Jamee as she meet with local business leaders, as well as the board of the Chamber. During the meetings, I observed how Jamee would create a comfortable environment through refreshments and friendly interaction. This was key to her meetings going well as everyone was felt welcomed to voice their opinions. During the week I also observed how all my co-workers were kind and respectful to each other creating a very positive environment.
Through the week I came more and more out of my shell and came to see everyone as more approachable. For example, Ryan was feeling ill on Tuesday so I had told him to drink boiled lemons with honey to help cure his cold. While at first he was reluctant, he would eventually try my method. To ensure he would have enough lemons for the remedy, I decided to bring him a bag of lemons to work to his surprise.
Overall, I would say my first week was a success; I met many wonderful people and attended many interesting events. I look forward to continuing my journey with the Chamber!