Making it to the Midway Point
I’m over halfway through my internship, and I really can’t believe it! Time has flown the past few weeks, and I’ve continued to learn and enjoy my time with the Chamber. I have worked on multiple projects and have continued working on the STLC Trails project. The STLC Trails project is the focus of my time and has been one of the greatest learning points about good communication. The project is under multiple organizations: the Chamber, Nature Up North, Community GIS in Maine, and the St. Lawrence County Trails Coordinator. Each one has different ideas and goals for not only what the site will look like, but how its end product should be achieved. It has been a challenge to represent the Chamber and complete work for the project while communicating and taking into account other organizations’ wants and needs.
One of my favorite moments of the summer has been the opportunity to attend the Business Spotlight that the Chamber hosted at Big Spoon in Potsdam. It was amazing to hear people get so excited and talk about their love for what they do and how they have grown their businesses. It was that environment, mixed with the very tasty food made by Big Spoon, that made me realize that this kind of tight-knit, passionate, hardworking community is what I want to be a part of after I graduate. I don’t know if that is in the sense of owning my own business or being a helping hand to support local businesses. The Spotlight gave me a greater appreciation of local businesses in the area and how hard they work to provide resources for the local community. I love that I have the opportunity to learn in this environment and experience events where business owners get to share their plans and goals.
Another interesting event I attended that I found fascinating was about chamber integration and the pros and cons. Chambers of commerce from around the county all came together and did a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) about the old system of chambers and an integrated model. I had never participated in one before and it was amazing to see the lines of communication that it opened. The conversation opened my eyes to a lot of the difficulties facing the county and its various chambers. It was a really cool experience getting to sit in on the conversation and have the opportunity to participate and offer an opinion. I’m really excited to see where the final weeks take me and what’s to come.