Secret Life of a High School Intern

 A Little About Me

Hello everyone, my name is Lydia Williams! I am interning with the Plano Chamber of Commerce through the Plano Mayor’s Summer Intern Program. I am a rising Junior at Plano East Senior High School. At school I am a Senator on Plano East Student Senate where I advocate for youth community involvement. I am also a Junior Manager for the Plano East Golden Girls.

Outside of school, I am the Vice-President of Pearls and Ivy; a community service-based organization for the advancement of young African American women in Collin County. The organization is sponsored by the Chi Zeta Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Also, I am a dancer in the Pre-Professional Division of Dallas Black Dance Academy. I am a proud member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars. I also participated in programs such as Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, and the National Student Leadership Conference.

                                          My First Day

                Looking back on my first day, I remember poorly parking my dad’s car and hearing him say “Repark the car! You won’t pass your driver’s test parking like that”. I hastily shifted the gear and said “Dad, you’re going to make me late!” Even though I was already thirty minutes ahead of schedule. Shortly after, I informed my Dad that he didn’t need to walk me in, and I’d be able to find Plano Chamber on my own. However, after wandering around LegacyTexas Bank for ten minutes and tripping on the stairs, his presence comforted me.

Despite my minor slip ups from the morning, lunch was rejuvenating. Partially because I realized that my coworkers for the next two months weren’t as scary as I was anticipating, but mostly due to the decadent cheese pizza I inhaled… I mean ate. In summary, the butterflies in my stomach still flutter around but as time progresses, I’ll become more comfortable in my cubical and confident in my work.

My First Two Weeks

                While shadowing different people on the staff, I got to attend a Women’s Division Luncheon and two Business Interchanges. At both I played a role in greeting members, distributing and collecting name tags and business cards, and of course eating good food such as stuffed peppers and Taco Cabana breakfast tacos (always a crowd favorite). Both networking events have exposed me to a large audience of people that are kind enough to give me sound advice about navigating high school and picking the right college or career. I’ve even been encouraged to make a personal business card and pursue the scrunchie making business I’ve been dreaming about since the eighth grade. There is something about being in a room full of business executives and entrepreneurs that has inspired me to innovate.

                Although events seem to be at the heart of Plano Chamber, there is a well oiled machine behind the scenes that is necessary to create the awesome events Plano Chamber members know and love. I have been observing staff members in retention, finance, Board of Directors, and weekly staff meetings, and although I generally am clueless as to which numerical doohickey they are referring to, their work ethic is unmatched and almost that of an athlete. They’ve given me so much to look forward to for the next couple of months and even more to aspire towards in life. I am grateful to Plano Mayors Summer Intern Program and a sponsorship and Cigna for giving me this opportunity and thrilled to see what my next two weeks at the Chamber brings me!

Lydia’s Lucrative Lessons for Interns

  1. Always bring a winter coat or blanket to the office unless you
    wish to return home with frostbite.
  2. Coffee is not just for an energy boost; it can also keep you warm.
  3. KEEP A CALENDAR! KEEP A CALENDAR! KEEP A CALENDAR!
  4. Don’t bring your phone to staff meetings … or any meetings, in fact.
  5. Write your passwords down where YOU can find them.
  6. Always check in with someone when you arrive and before you leave to stay on the same page as the team.
  7. Talk to the people you work with; they have a lot of useful advice for you.
  8. Put in the code before trying to scan something to your computer.
  9. Make sure YOU scan papers to YOUR computer.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!