When I was first offered an internship at the Leander Chamber of Commerce, I thought, “Yes! Finally a chance to get my foot in the door after being denied job after job over the past year!”
But then I realized, “Wait, I don’t even know what a Chamber of Commerce really does.” I mean, I was familiar with the term in that I knew every city has one and it deals with business, but that was about it. Here are some things I have learned after being here a month.
Right from the get-go, I can tell you the phone rings A LOT. In a day and age where it seems like most communication is done via text on a screen, it’s nice to know old-fashioned phone calls still take precedence when it comes to professional relationships.
Speaking of professional relationships, I have discovered what seems to be the biggest priority here at the Chamber: networking. We are less concerned about collecting annual dues than we are with allowing members to get the most out of their membership through things like attending events, volunteering, and forming camaraderie with fellow businesses in order to grow their own business.
During a recent proofreading assignment, I had to keep reminding myself I was supposed to be searching for missing commas instead of leisurely reading about Leander. By the time I finished, I had learned more than I thought I knew about this city! Sure, I bet we all know that really underrated restaurant in town, or that park bench that is your best kept secret, or…that stupid right-turn-only lane that no one else seems to be aware of.
However, did you know:
- Leander was formerly known as the town of Bagdad? It wasn’t until 1882 when Bagdad settlers moved their businesses and homes about a mile east to be nestled around a new completed railroad, and thus, Leander was born.
- Bagdad Cemetery was used as a filming location in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? (I love horror movies so that really got me)
- Leander is the 4th fastest growing city in Texas?
My favorite part of interning at the Chamber is walking in and knowing I’m going to learn something new, whether it’s as trivial as some fun facts like the ones listed above or it’s learning how to use a new program. I look forward to working events and getting to match faces to names that I have already become familiar with!