My time at the Partnership on the Economic Development team was an amazing experience, to say the least. First of all, this is my first experience working in an office. It’s very different from working retail or at a summer camp, which is what I am used to. The environment was just so welcoming here — everyone is nice and cheery in the mornings (most of the time) and an all-around joy to work with. It was honestly my first job where I got up in the morning and looked forward to coming to with anticipation as to what task they were going to have me work on next, and they always kept me busy.
Whether it was doing hours of research for a project that my wonderful boss Dan Leonard would give me, or sitting in on our team meetings where I would learn about the different councils run through the Partnership and their impacts on the Buffalo Niagara region, or attending the numerous networking events that the partnership holds, I truly was always busy at this internship, and I am very grateful for that.
I was always encouraged to be engaged in discussions, and being so active with the company allowed me to get a better understanding of their impact in the community. To be completely honest, before Say Yes posted this internship on their website I had no idea what the Buffalo Niagara Partnership was or what they did. Through this experience, though, I was able to learn about all of the different programs and developments that are backed by the Partnership as well as laws and policies they advocate for. It truly is amazing work that they do on all levels. It also allowed me to understand a little more about my city. I’ve lived in Buffalo my entire life and I believe I’ve learned more while working here than I did in all the other years combined. And let me tell you, it’s a pretty amazing city, and it’s only getting better!
The point of an internship is to take on something that you may have never experienced and learn things that can be applied to your future endeavors. My internship experience here at the Partnership exemplified that to the fullest. Not only did I get first-hand experience working in a professional environment, but through some encouragement from my colleagues, I was able to come out of my shell a little more in terms of meeting new people and the dreaded networking that haunts those of us with shy personalities. I believe that the research and computer skills that I used and improved here as well as my new found confidence when connecting with people will truly help me look more mature, skillful, and overall qualified for any job description to come after college.
A word of advice for anyone reading this and thinking about applying for internships: do it. It truly is an amazing experience. The people you meet, the connections you make, the skills you learn – all of it is worth it. I would definitely recommend working at the Partnership as well and I hope your experience is as great as mine.
By: Courtney Carr-Johnson