Chamber strives to improve community

Chamber strives to improve community by Dawn Kennedy When I was seeking an internship for business management, the Chamber of Commerce is not what I had in mind. I was looking for a job that would allow me to help others and make me feel like I have done something to better other people's lives. I thought of the Chamber of Commerce because I had done a project in my marketing class that involved developing a survey for the Chamber members and nonmembers.

I knew that Jill (LeCates, chamber director) was involved in trying to improve the community and I felt that this was a chance for me to help others. If you live in a community that takes pride in itself then maybe, those who live there will take more pride in themselves.

I was not completely sure of what the Chamber did. I knew that they had information about the surrounding area and that you could contact them about starting up a small business. After starting my internship, I quickly learned that they were involved with the community more than I ever thought. I found it amazing that a group of individuals were actually trying to make Vermillion a better place to visit and live.

Once I discovered this, it made me excited to be doing this job. I was really looking forward to learning all I could so that some day I would be able to help others see value in their community.

I have learned so much from Jill, Craig, Connie and Jennifer. These people work very hard to keep Vermillion going in a positive direction. Jill is a strong leader, which is what her position requires. She has shown me how to keep pursuing what it is you feel is appropriate and important to the community. She has also taught me that you never need to be afraid to ask for what you want. The worst thing that could happen is that you hear the word no. Many people use that expression but never do it. Jill actually pursues her ideas and isn't afraid to hear the word no. A good learning experience is having a leader who takes action on what they are saying.

I have also learned that organization is the key to a happy office. If you are not up to date on everything that is going on, it ends up creating more work than what was needed in the first place. Communication is also another key factor. Everyone needs to be able to talk about how things are going and what is expected to be done. If you are not conveying that to each other, then problems develop.

I have learned that everyone in the office has an important job. Without Connie or Jennifer most of the ideas and tasks that Jill and Craig have would never get done. They have shown me how to do multiple tasks at one time and still keep sane. It is important to keep the staff informed and to make sure that they understand what is expected of them. The office tries to have weekly staff meetings so that everyone is aware of what is going on. If there was any confusion about what was expected of the staff then Jill and Craig would sit down and talk it over with them. This helped clear the air and dissipate any tension that would arise.

During the course of this internship, I have learned how to prioritize, organize, communicate and achieve goals. It is important that you have goals for the future, decide which ones are most important, and then figure out how to reach them. If you don't have goals then you don't have a future. Jill has done an excellent job at realizing what goals Vermillion needs in order to be a successful and profitable community.

I have enjoyed working on projects throughout this summer that will enhance the life of Vermillion and those who live here. I believe that I have achieved part of the goal that I have set for myself, which is to help improve the lives of others. This goal is a lifetime goal that will never be completely fulfilled but it is satisfying knowing that others will be able to continue living and having jobs in this community. I am proud to know that I have helped to make Vermillion the place to be.

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