An international intern perspective at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

I have had the pleasure of interning for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce for the past 3 months, and I am thrilled to share my experiences with you. My name is Astrid Conconne, and I am a third year student in a Martinican business school called Ecole de Gestion et de Commerce de la Martinique (EGCM).

I am originally from Martinique, in the French West Indies, where I have lived for the past 20 years. I was offered the opportunity to come to the United States by the Miami Beach Chamber to be an International Business Development Intern and to learn about economic development in South Florida and the partnerships that can be made between Miami and my home country.

I started my college career by studying the importance of Marketing, Merchandising, Sales, Spanish, English, Caribbean Economy, Management, Accounting, and much more, to prepare me for this type of internship. Immediately after I was informed that I was required to fulfill an international internship, I thought about coming to the United States, and specifically coming to the world renowned metropolitan city of Miami Beach.

I felt so lucky to get in touch with Ms. Chantal Callen Gloor, the Director of Operations of Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, who also supervises all interns for the organization. We scheduled a Skype interview and I started my internship on June 6th, 2012 and will complete my internship on August 24th, with the Champions of Business luncheon at the Forge as my last networking event.

Interning for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has offered a great opportunity for me to ameliorate my English language skills along with my business writing skills. This internship is particularly important for foreign students because it gives us the ability to discover and integrate into the business community in South Florida. By participating in several networking events, I was able to meet professionals from all types of organizations, which gave me a better understanding of the business ethic in this area.

Through my daily administrative tasks in Marketing, Membership and Public Relations, I learned how to multi-task in the same effect manner that the Chamber staff does. The 10 full time employees at the Chamber execute 250 events per year, 3 websites, 3 different Business Boards, 9 Business Councils, the Miami Beach News publication, a Radio Show, and not to mention over 1100 members. Thanks to their motivation, creativity, and mentorship, I was able to learn the importance to building relationships to help the community grow.

I assisted in organizing some fantastic events such as the 3rd Anniversary INcard Celebration, Pillar Reception at Delano, General Networkers such as Chamber Idol and one at Texas de Brazil, ‘Lunch with an Expert’ luncheons at Cafe Avanti, and much more.

Thanks to all these events, I made several valuable business contacts that I will take back with me to Martinique. I truly had an unforgettable experience and I will come back in February for the final stages of my international internship.

I would like to give a special thank you to Mr. Jerry Libbin, President & CEO of the Miami Beach Chamber, the amazing Ms. Chantal Callen Gloor, Director of Operations, my supervisor, and Ms. Ana Cecilia Velasco, COO of the Miami Beach Chamber, and all the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce staff. I can be reached at conconne.astrid@gmail.com, should you need any information about Martinique.

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