I’ve interned at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce since Sept. 2018. Before my internship I didn’t know much about the Chamber and I was excited to learn.
In the beginning, many projects required me to update forms and presentation slides, etc. The projects I started with were limited by Chamber branding, and I learned why it's important to know an organization's style guide.
Once I understood the Chamber’s design identity, I redesigned our style guide, or the document the Chamber uses to guide creation of printed and online materials.
In addition to redesigning the style guide, I redesigned our Diversify event collateral. I created the logo and color scheme and presented it to the department. I was grateful for the creative freedom as well as the guidance of our Creative Director, Jeremy Henderson. He grilled me on each of my design decisions to prepare me to successfully present my work.
I also worked with Chattanooga Trend on a few design projects including numerous Trend covers featuring photography or my original illustrations.
I wanted to learn as much as possible during my time at the Chamber and I did that by offering to help others. Future interns, make sure you aren’t just sitting and taking up a seat in your internship. Instead be present to grow your skills.
I don’t consider myself a writer, but after pitching a few article ideas to our Marketing & Communications Manager and editor of Trend Amanda Ellis, I completed one. I coordinated and wrote the Sept. cover story: Latinx Leaders Impact Chattanooga. Because I was nervous about the article I asked a million questions. The questions I asked gave me clarity, making it easier for me to complete this new task. I may not be a writing wiz, but I’m thankful for the experience in writing I got at the Chamber.
The Chamber is a professional environment with dedicated staff who are fun, caring and friendly. My biggest piece of advice to future interns is to make it a point to talk to someone new. You never know who you might meet or the friendships you might make.
This internship provided so many new opportunities that I would highly recommend it to any graphic design student who is considering it. You’ll work with a supportive team and have structure along with creative license making the Chamber the perfect place to learn.
Hailing from Maryland with Salvadorean roots, Candy Giron is a Southern Adventist University design and public relations alum. She is now Design & Communications Coordinator with Morning Pointe Senior Living after gaining experience in several design internships and various hotel roles. One of the best parts of working with her besides her creativity, sense of humor and can-do attitude? She makes delicious traditional pupusas.
If you’re interested in working with a collaborative team on meaningful projects, read more about interning with the Chamber's marketing team here.