Reflections from an Intern!


by: Marc Weaver
, Denison Intern, GACC Spring 2017
Foreword by: Steve Matheny, Executive Director, GACC


Recently the Chamber had the benefit of engaging Marc Weaver, a Denison University Theatre Major,  as an Intern during the Spring semester which has just completed.  Marc was part of the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration's Radius Intern Program which provides an amount of grant funded income to selected, and eligible, Junior and Senior year students.  At the conclusion of Marc's internship  we asked him to provide a summary of his experience which appears below in his own words.  From the Chamber's perspective we have benefitted significantly from Marc's involvement and we encourage additional Chamber businesses to think seriously about engaging talented student interns.  Denison is already attempting to pair up businesses with interns for the Fall semester.  Please reach out to Liz Morrison, Denison's Director of Networks and Communities, at morrisone@denison.edu for additional Radius Program info and details.  -  S. Matheny

When I discovered that I would be interning at the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, I must  confess that I was taken aback. What could I learn from business and trade that would help me? As a  highly impractical and passionate theatre major, I felt like I was mismatched. I don't have an interest in  working in finance or commerce. I wanted to be paired with a site that would deepen my knowledge of  the arts. This internship did not align with my professional goals at all. Or so I thought.

When I first met Steve Matheny, he had me for coffee at Village Coffee. I didn't really know  what to expect, but when I read his quiet, thoughtful demeanor, I was put at ease. It's unusual, in my  past experiences, to have a personal conversation with my supervisor before getting to work. He asked
me about the usual laundry list of questions: what I was studying, where I was from, etc. But our  onversation went beyond that and he asked me more specific questions about what I wanted to do,  when I had first developed my passions and what I wanted to learn more about. Not only did he gave  me plenty of space to share my story with him, but he reciprocated by telling his journey from being a  liberal arts grad to finding a career in human resources and eventually becoming the Executive Director  of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The conversation gave me a better idea of what the Chamber actually is. It's not a secret  meeting place where high-minded men in suits and ties met to stroke their beards and played the stock  market. I began to understand the structure and real purpose of the organization. Consisting of  hundreds of members, the Chamber is a support network for small businesses to grow and make  connections with each other. The Chamber also planned events like the Farmers Market and the Art  Walks, things that I have enjoyed in my time in Granville as a Denison student. Suddenly my first ideas of  where I would be working dissolved. I learned that the Chamber exists partially as a tourist agency but  mostly as a way to bring business- and people- together.

The bulk of my work has been in materializing a vision that Steve had for the Farmers Market  which meant creating placards that would highlight the people and the places represented in each  participating vendor. They would also serve a functional purpose of identifying whether a vendor
accepted credit card payments, an issue that Farmers Market customers brought up from previous  years. I used Google Slides to create a template for the placard, which we mulled over for a while, then  created fifty signs unique to each vendor. The process of which breaks down to over hundreds of tiny  edits. The placards will be on display at each booth in this years Farmers Market.

The rest of my work has been in helping to run the monthly luncheons that are for the members  of the Chamber, held in a different location each month. In March, it was held at RevLocal and in April, it  was held at the Granville Inn. One day, as we were packing up for the luncheon, Steve was going over  the name-tags that get passed out at the beginning of every meeting. " The devil is in the details,"  he said to  some effect. People feel appreciated when an event is organized properly and when they are
recognized. This often occurs in the small details. It was a privilege to attend these luncheons and to  meet so many inspiring driven people gathered together in one room. Despite my lowly status as an  intern, I was greeted with genuine smiles and enthusiastic conversation. It was fascinating to hear  stories of men and women starting businesses in their home and trace their trajectory to a fully  operating business. 

At the March lunch, I remember Susie of Susie's Sunshine Sweets was the chosen  person to speak for three minutes about her bakery. She spoke candidly about surviving through her  first year as a small business. I felt a shift in the room. I could sense the empathy emanating from every
person in the room, as I suspect that this is something that everyone related to. It struck me that these  businesses consisted of friendly people complete with families that go through their own struggles and
with goals of providing a product or service that they can be proud of.

Some of my favorite memories at  the Chamber were at the luncheon and the happy communal atmosphere of people talking, laughing,  eating and sharing with each other.  As I reach the end of this internship, I find that saying farewell to the Chamber will be more  difficult than I thought it would be. At the heart of it all, Steve orchestrates the Chamber will precision,  humor and wisdom and I have learned a lot from being under his wing. 

While the threat of the real  world looms near and my liberal arts education comes to an end, I think about the kind of skills I need to  survive in this changing world. Having the ability to communicate and connect with people who have  different interests and goals is an important skill to have in a pluralistic economy in order to have a  broad-based network of support. I learned this first hand through the people I met. Executing tasks
using technology, such as on Excel, PowerPoint, email, etc. is a good skill to have no matter what  industry you work in, because we depend on computers so much to deliver and share information.

Finally, I think the most important skill of all that I have learned is one that Steve models in his  day-to-day life. He models that no matter what you are working on, you must always ask questions and  think critically before making decisions. A healthy attitude of skepticism can save you from problems  that might lurk in the future. No matter what profession I go in, I will carry these skills with me.

Thank you to Steve Matheny, Michelle Newman Brady, Jerod Long and Jodi Melfi of the  Chamber, Melanie Murphy, Liz Morrison and Richard Berman of the Denison Center for Career  Exploration and the many members of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, who dedicate their
entire lives to what they do for the community.
GACC Monthly Membership Meeting - REGISTER TODAY!
Wednesday, June 21
11:30am-1pm
Saints Peter and Paul Retreat Center
2734 Seminary Road
Newark, OH 43056

Join us for the June Meeting of the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce. Featured speaker will be a panel conversation on financing for small businesses. Stay tuned for more details!  The host for the meeting will be Saints Peter and Paul Retreat Center. Lunch will be catered on site. Pre-registration is requested. Cost is $15 to attend. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 
KUDOS!

Great Granville Garage Sale raises over $3,000! With 54 officially registered sales, several new map sponsors, and maps being offered for a "suggested donation," the Licking County Coalition for Housing was able to raise over $3,000 for its programming. Thank you to everyone who hosted, shopped, and sponsored!

A Planetarium is in the works at The Works!  The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology and Ohio State University's Newark campus are teaming up to build a $1.4 million planetarium in downtown Newark, the two groups announced Thursday. See a full Dispatch Article about the project here.

Granville Recreation District a Model for the State of Ohio! GRD Executive Director Andy Wildman was sought out to write an article for the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association's quarterly magazine. The GRD continues to be a model organization for the state of Ohio. Keep up the great work, GRD!  

Do you have a news item, press release, or kudos to share?  
Post your news on ChamberMaster so we can better share information with our members and your potential clients! 
 
Need help posting a news item or press release?  
Contact Michelle at michelle@granvilleoh.com
 

events
UPCOMING IN JUNE


 
Granville Art Walk Returns June 3. Granville's newest tradition returns on June 3. Wander the sidewalks of Granville while enjoying the sounds of live music, browse our shops and galleries, and enjoy a plethora of drinks and food at our amazing restaurants. Get the full schedule online at  granvilleartwalk.com



Play Polo Club Returns to Bryn Du June 4, 3-5pm. Play Polo Club returns to the Great Lawn for the 2017  
season! These games take place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month through the end of September and are free to the public. Please check the Bryn Du facebook page or http://www.playpoloclub.us/schedule/for changes in schedule due to weather. Get full details here.


Tuesday Market begins June 13 and runs 3-6pm in parking lot of Ross IGA Granville Market. We are excited to begin our Tuesday afternoon market! Shop from a variety of farmers, bakers and artisans at our Tuesday evening market. Get full details on the market here.


Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps Community Performance, Tuesday, June 6, 7pm.  Each year, the Corps resides at Denison as they prepare for the season, and a public performance will be held in Piper Stadium at Denison, Tuesday, June 6, from 7 to 7:30 p.m. The rain location is Mitchell Fieldhouse at Denison. Full details here.

Want to know about more events?  
Sign up for TOWN & GOWN, 
our monthly events only newsletter!


 

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