Intern Insight: Bright Futures Emerge

New interns joined our Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, gaining real-world experience as they prepare for exciting futures ahead.

Many past interns have pursued rewarding careers in high-demand industries.

Below, our incoming interns share their experience and future goals.

Nathalie Lopez, Writing/Communications Intern

Nathalie Lopez, Marketing and Community Engagement Intern

Tell us about yourself and what led you to apply for a Chamber internship

I am a native Chattanoogan and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior majoring in marketing with a minor in communications.

I was initially introduced to the Chamber’s Marketing and Engagement internship through UTC’s Rollins College of Business and was interested in learning more about nonprofit work.

Writing and communication are skills I’ve developed throughout my university career. Applying these skills in real life and preparing myself for success post-graduation is what ultimately led me to apply.  

Where do you see yourself in five years? How does the Chamber help reach these goals?

I’m looking for a career that allows travel, creativity and collaboration with a wide range of professionals and industries – be it marketing, public relations or advertising.

In five years, I hope to have a firmer grasp on the marketing and communications landscape and contribute to major publications. The Chamber allows me to publish articles and writing assignments for platforms like Leveraging the Chamber’s strong community ties will allow me to immerse myself in diverse industries and gain a holistic understanding of local businesses.

Bella Merritt, Marketing/Communications Intern

Bella Merritt, Marketing and Community Engagement Intern

Tell us about yourself and what led you to apply for a Chamber internship

I’m a senior marketing student at UTC, set to graduate soon. I have a passion for all things creative and design and sought a position that allowed me to develop these skills.

My last four years at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga ignited an interest in community engagement and nonprofit work.

I learned about the Chattanooga Chamber’s Marketing and Engagement internship through UTC and recognized the opportunity to develop core marketing skills to further my career.

What are some of your future goals?

I’m determined to step outside my comfort zone and dive into the Chamber’s startup ecosystem. My top priorities include building connections, learning more about Chattanooga and Hamilton County, and honing my graphic design and writing skills.

In five years, I see myself as a passionate marketing director within a company that aligns with my beliefs – with more confidence and skills under my belt.

The Chamber’s hands-on experience in writing and marketing will play a key role in achieving these goals.

Vinny Nguyen, Talent Development Intern

Vinny Nguyen, Talent and Economic Development Intern

What led you to apply for a Chattanooga Chamber internship?

I’m an incoming freshman at UTC pursuing a career in political science.

I’ve participated in PEF’s STEP-UP Program for the past few years. It’s a great initiative that helped me explore different careers and pathways I hadn’t considered before – like working in economic development.

My time overseas and STEP-UP experience have opened many doors, allowing me to build on past connections. I met Charles Wood, the Chamber’s president and CEO, during a trip to Germany who sparked an interest in Chamber work.  

My passion for international economics and business relations has grown through these experiences. The Chamber’s Economic Development team is heavily involved in my interest.

How will the Chamber help you reach future goals?

Working at the Chamber offers insight into how foreign and domestic industries interact with one another. It teaches important interpersonal skills while gaining a deeper knowledge of politics and economics.

Being able to observe meetings and get involved with councils, boards and committees furthers my understanding of how key stakeholders make decisions.

This is something I will take with me as I continue studying international economics with the goal of serving as an officer within U.S. Foreign Services.

Read past intern experiences, here.

Learn about our Chamber’s talent development initiatives, here.

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