By: Anna De Simone
For the past three months, I had the pleasure of working as a public relations intern for the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce located in Shelton, Conn. Despite having to complete my internship remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was just as motivated to initiate my experience with the Chamber.
Throughout the summer, I was primarily responsible for managing my very own blog series, “Keeping Up with Valley Commerce,” on the Chamber’s official website. I am eager to apply the new skills that I acquired throughout this journey to my senior year as a journalism student at Southern Connecticut State University and my future career in the public relations field upon graduation in the spring.
My role as a public relations intern was to assist the Chamber in communicating stories related to the Chamber and its members. Common tasks included: researching Chamber members for most-recent updates, conducting interviews with Chamber business owners and/or staff via Zoom, phone and/or email, writing brief business-related articles for the Chamber’s blog publication and publishing articles to Weebly. Thanks to the incredible journalism professors at Southern, I was more than prepared to work outside of the classroom with the abundant amount of journalism skills that I acquired from the intensive courses that I completed.
I was introduced to marketing platforms such as Canva and Constant Contact where I created graphics and newsletters to exercise my creative abilities and strengthen my marketing skills. As a participant in virtual events sponsored by the Chamber such as FUEL advisory council meetings and a Women in Networking council diversity training webinar, I was enlightened on the groups’ roles within the Valley community.
The virtual internship has allowed me to co-host my first-ever Facebook Live event alongside my supervisor, Nancie Gray, and colleagues, Laura Gorman and Monica Leggett. The livestream, titled “What Not to Do on Zoom,” stressed the common mistakes made by both Zoom presenters and participants. As co-host, I shared some tips for viewers to keep in mind regarding proper etiquette and precautions to take when screen-sharing. Pushing myself to chime-in with my advice and thoughts was challenging, but necessary in order to step out of my comfort zone.
Without question: I couldn’t have asked for a better supervisor than Nancie Gray to guide me throughout my internship journey with the Chamber. Nancie took me under her wing and taught me what a true marketing/public relations professional should be. Besides constantly praising me for my writing talent, she effectively provided me with the extra encouragement that I needed to broaden my horizons in the field. Nancie is undoubtedly the model for what an ideal supervisor should be --it is no wonder why she is admired and respected by many. It was truly an honor to learn from such an intelligent, dedicated leader like Nancie. I aspire to become as accomplished as she is one day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continuous support, understanding and patience throughout my first internship experience, Nancie.
Greater Valley Chamber Staff, Interns & Members