Intern Insight: Stretching and Learning with the Chattanooga Chamber

Josué Vega, Marketing & Communications Intern

Being a college student for the last couple of years has been—well, tough to say the least. COVID-19 completely overturned established student routines, not the least of which are internships. In April of 2021, I was completing my junior year of college and getting ready to bring my undergraduate experience to a close. However, selecting a truly beneficial internship was a nightmare. Many internships were dissolved, likely due to fear of bringing on new covid contagion risks. The internships that were available were very limited in nature—hardly what I had dreamed. While I began mentally accepting the scarcity of what was available, an email popped into my inbox from my School of Journalism and Communication at Southern Adventist University. Little did I know how much that email would impact my upcoming summer.


The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce was looking for a Marketing and Communications Intern, the email said. I jumped at the idea. Getting to work with the brains behind much of what goes on in our city? That sounded like something I wanted to be a part of for sure! As I did the interviews and talked with the previous intern, Natalia Perez, I realized that this internship was not going to be just another fulfilled requirement on my road to graduation. I was going to learn and be stretched.



Sure enough, this past summer was one for the books. I got the privilege of working with dedicated professionals who were both incredibly knowledgeable and willing to pass on that knowledge. Amanda Ellis, former Marketing and Communications Manager, started my training before passing me on to Sybil Topel, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Jeremy Henderson, Creative Director, both of whom taught me beyond what I could have asked during my short three months at the chamber. While I did start work in person during the summer, another wave of COVID sent us back to working virtually about a month later. However, this did not diminish my internship experience. What a blast it was working with the entire staff! The environment at the chamber is inspiring. It brings out efficiency, teachability, and laughter in everyone. Pretty soon, it started to feel like I had known these folks for years. 


Saying goodbye is no easy thing, especially if you are losing something great. But, hey, this opens up the door for someone else to have this amazing experience. Someone like…you? If you are looking for a truly great internship, one that will stimulate your curiosity and learning and stretch you in different areas of knowledge while maintaining a safe, nurturing environment, this is the one for you. Don’t let it pass you by. You won’t regret a second of it.


Check out my top 5 articles: 

The Economic Case for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Continues to Grow in Chattanooga


Pathfinder Films: Leading Creatively

Smart Cities–What's That?

River City Company’s New Dashboard is a Game Changer

Ingenuity and Nimble Solutions:  How 1885 Grill’s Owner Saved 460 Jobs

Other Topics

During November’s Apprenticeship Week – which formally launched a remarkable new program called Apprenticeship Works – one local woman from Unum who participated and graduated from its company’s apprenticeship program declared to a crowd of Chattanooga’s business leaders, elected officials, and…

With holidays quickly approaching, it’s time to dive into the spirit of celebration and find the perfect gift for your loved ones. As we deck the halls and spread the cheer, explore our handpicked selection of six local businesses, each offering the…

One day in high school, a man walked into Lovette Clay’s class with an offer that would ultimately change his life.  His name was Gerald Harris, principal of the Construction Career Center. He offered Lovette an opportunity unlike any other.…

In June 2023, seven graduates from Whitfield County and Dalton Public Schools celebrated their first full-time job opportunities after completing Project Purpose, a two-week workforce training program for high school graduates interested in careers with Whitfield County's leading manufacturers, organized…

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting, sponsored by Chattanooga Gas, celebrated the community's achievements from the past fiscal year. Charles Wood, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber, kicked off the event by acknowledging the dedication of volunteers,…

In today’s rapidly changing world, it is crucial to a community’s prosperity to have a diverse industry base. As a result, some communities are reevaluating their traditional economic development models and shifting away from the industry that has defined them…

Sign up for weekly updates.