Secret Life of a High School Intern

One Last Time

Hi everyone, my name is Lydia Williams and I am the Plano Chamber’s 2019 Special Projects Intern through the Plano Mayors Summer Intern Program. Thank you to Cigna for sponsoring my internship. I am a rising junior at Plano East Senior High School, and this is my Intern Blog! If you are new to my blogs feel free to CLICK HERE to read my first entry and CLICK HERE to read my second entry!

An Intern Flashback

Four months ago, in my Spanish 3 honors class with my friend Rachel and my phone buzzed. I picked it up, held it to my face, and read the words “Congratulations! The Plano Chamber of Commerce would like to offer you a summer internship through the 2019 Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program!” Paralyzed in shock, Rachel and I forwarded the email to my parents and texted everyone the good news. I was one of the 119 interns chosen out of 350 applicants and of the two people chosen from McMillen High School. I couldn’t believe it.

The Intern’s Experience

I’ve had many wonderful experiences here at Plano Chamber. At Business Interchange I was inspired by entrepreneurs and small business owners. I learned to alphabetize and chronicle numerous lists and papers, which improved my organizational skills before schools starts. Furthermore, I attended numerous events like Plano First and Chairman’s Council Breakfast where I mingled with executives from Boeing and Toyota North America.

While all of this was amazing, my favorite part of the internship was learning about advocacy. I knew that chambers of commerce bring businesses together and educate them on how they can improve. However, I hadn’t known that a chamber is also meant to advocate for all their businesses to legislative officials. This practice has been a common thread through the entirety of this internship. From listening to Representative Jeff Leach during a Plano Pulse recording to hearing Trisha Windham discuss how the 86th legislative session can affect diversity and inclusion in the workforce. As a self-proclaimed government connoisseur, I absolutely loved every second of it.

The Intern Gives Thanks

This is where I give my Academy Award speech. First off, I want to thank Jennifer for understanding my time sheets. I appreciate Cassie for talking politics with me and Christine for her dancer perspective. Secondly I’d like to thank Katie for reminding me to eat lunch and Kelle for fangirling over Yale with me. As well as Julie, who laughs at my jokes that aren’t funny and Ryan for his “funny” jokes. I appreciate Kathy for teaching me how to use ChamberMaster and Judy for greeting me with a smile every morning.

Most importantly, I want to thank the entire staff for not yelling at me when I thought I broke something, and ignoring the Hamilton Soundtrack blaring from my headphones. Thank you for supporting me through this summer. I will miss you all and I plan to come help at upcoming events, as long as I don’t have drill team or Senate. I think the faint music means my time is up, so finally, I’d like to thank Cigna for underwriting my internship and the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program.

Lydia’s Lucrative Lessons for Interns

  1. Well for starters, don’t get tears on your keyboard while thanking your coworkers.
  2. Be confident in yourself, because it is never as bad as you think.
  3. Learning how to network will open doors for you.
  4. Playing flow free on your phone while waiting on a project is fun.
  5. Ladies, if you can’t drive in heels, drive in Birkenstocks.
  6. Keep up with your notes, it gets annoying when you ask the same question.
  7. Make sure you get event details ahead of time.
  9. Do whatever you must to keep your energy up.
  10. The farther you go, the harder it gets. DON’T GIVE UP!