Experiencing St. Lawrence County from a Business Perspective
As a business development intern at the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, I pursue the strategic opportunities of the Chamber. In addition to daily activities, I am working on a summer long project that aims to open up St. Lawrence County to visitors. I have the chance to utilize my quantitative and analytical background through this internship. I am currently working on a business plan for the project. The plan requires an exceptional writing skill and a command in research and analysis.
The SLUPIC experience appealed to me because it offers a splendid summer experience. First, as a recent graduate of St. Lawrence University, I feel obliged to give back to the St. Lawrence Community. I am an international student and St. Lawrence has been home for the last four years. Additionally, this internship provides me with an opportunity to put into practice skills that I gained while in college. As a former Economics major I am interested in how residents in the region make their decisions given the resources that they have. I am also keen to learn how the region leverages its rich resources to encourage investment. Happily, my supervisor is an experienced economic development professional whose guidance will go a long way in this internship. My most memorable experience so far is when she and I brainstormed on ventures that would or would not make a good business in Canton.
Working at the Chamber enables me to make use my passion for finance and valuations. In my work with small business, I make financial projections, with the guidance of my supervisor, for various projects to ensure that these projects are sustainable in the long-term. I have been working on a business plan on how to encourage partnership among small businesses in order to change the entrepreneurship mindset in the region. However, after much consulting, one of our advisors opined that tourism is the County’s forte and we should focus on it instead. Although I had spent a week working on the old business plan, I had to shift my attention to a topic that I did not know much about: tourism.
I have learned a great deal during these first two weeks of my internship. I am now cognizant of the challenges affecting small business in this region as well as laws and regulations governing the establishment of businesses. Furthermore, I have realized that flexibility and communication go a long way in a working environment. The real world does not expect that one have enough information in a given field; one has to be willing to change his or her attitude and be ready to learn. I have also observed an aspect of maintaining professionalism while being easily approachable so as to encourage team spirit.