My first two weeks interning for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce have now come and gone. I have begun to cement my own position as an increasingly familiar face to the many staff members in our beautiful office space. And when I say beautiful, I mean magnificently beautiful. Our office occupies the entirety of the 10th Floor of the Westin Hotel in Downtown San Diego, which in and of itself is an architecturally astounding building and one of the fixtures of the San Diego skyline. The conference room, rated as the premier conference in the city, offers a splendid view of downtown San Diego, that extends all the way to the port and the convention center. The convention center, of course, is host to Comic-Con International, the premier event that epitomizes our world’s pop culture. More significantly for our office, however, is the fact that the view of the convention center provides our office with a view of one of the crowning achievements of the Chamber’s work in San Diego – as the chamber was instrumental in pushing for the construction of the convention center.
The breathtaking views that our office space offers provides our staff with a symbolic view of the many things that we are trying to do to strengthen San Diego – through the vitalization of trade, attraction of new businesses, and the attempted assurances that our city has all its needs maintained. The nature of our office environment also reflects the busyness of downtown – conference calls every hour are the norm, staff members (including a former Mayor of San Diego) speed walk the floor, ensuring that their counterparts in other departments (corporate relations, international affairs, member relations, to name a few), are aware of their activities and the tasks that need to be done. Yet, despite the inherent workload, there is a degree of casualness, symbolized by the formal yet tieless dress code in the office, which is something I indeed appreciate. Moreover, the staff members are always friendly, polite, kind, and willing to help one another out should the need ever arise.
This has proven especially beneficial to me as I familiarize myself with the various tasks that are expected of me and the platforms and methods through which I accomplish those tasks. For example, one of my primary tasks thus far is to draft policy position letters, detailing the Chamber’s position on the various business-related policies and legislation that are up for debate at the local, state, and even federal levels. As I began to do them initially, I was very concerned with my style of writing, and whether it was sufficient enough for the level of the Chamber – considering that these letters would be the equivalent of our public statements in regards to important policies. Luckily, two of the figures in my department who are also fast becoming my mentors in the office proof-read the letters, and seemed to be genuinely impressed, as they offered a few minor changes and suggestions. Thus far, my initial experiences in this internship have been very positive, and are indeed molding my long-term professional goals even now! The tasks I have been given, such as these policy letters, have provided me with knowledge of the various policies that would affect San Diego’s business community, while also providing me with the notion that I am very much contributing to our office!