The Metro Chamber Foundation and the City of Sacramento work in conjunction to provide valuable paid internship opportunities for high school students around the region through the Thousand Strong program.
We’ve been lucky to have hard-working Thousand Strong interns in our office who exemplify the success of the program. Jordan Smith interned for the Metro Chamber Foundation from June 2017 to July 2018, and is now attending University of California Santa Barbara to pursue a degree in Economics. Her internship was highlighted not only by the amazing work she did for the Metro Chamber Foundation, but also by the opening statement she gave for Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s State of the City address and a featured column in Comstock’s magazine. We sat down with Jordan to hear about her experiences in the program and her ambitions for the future.
What made you want to join Thousand Strong?
I heard about the Thousand Strong program through my school’s career advisor. She set up an event with Andrew Kehoe from the Mayor’s team who explained the program and how to get onboard. I knew that I wanted to join the program because I was already in the process of looking for a job, but I was nervous with the idea of having to make a resume or go in for an interview when I had no experience to guide me. When I learned about the required 40 hours of workplace training I felt that this program would be the perfect opportunity to gain knowledge and experience that would make me more comfortable when applying for jobs in the future.
What have been some of the highlights for you during your time in Thousand Strong?
My favorite part of my internship has been the opportunity to meet and interact with business members and influential individuals within the Sacramento region. I’ve been able to expand my network and engage with people of all ages and professions through the Metro Chamber Foundation and its programs. Speaking at the Mayor’s State of the City address was an incredible opportunity that not only allowed me to share my own experience with the program, but also allowed me to network with so many people, making connections and gaining experience that will set me apart from other applicants in the workforce.
What are your plans now that you are finished with the program?
Going into the program I was unsure as to which career path I wanted to pursue, where I wanted to attend college, or even what major I wanted to study. With a year of work experience under my belt and my internship coming to a close, I’m excited to say I will be attending UC Santa Barbara in the fall where I will be majoring in Economics and Accounting. Throughout my internship here at the Foundation I’ve gained a lot of valuable knowledge and experience within the business community that will allow me to contribute in my classes and utilize when applying for jobs in the future.
Do you have any advice for incoming Thousand Strong interns?
Take advantage of any and every opportunity. For example, if you are tagging along at a networking event with your employer, it’s not enough to just be in the room. Take advantage, sell yourself, speak about your goals whether they be school or career related. By taking part in Thousand Strong you have the opportunity to connect with and impress influential people within the business community. These connections can be future employers, references, or resources that may help you in the future. Don’t pass up an amazing opportunity that most students our age don’t have access to. Another piece of advice I would give is to ask questions. No question is too big or too small, so speak up whenever a question pops into your mind. You have the unique opportunity to have a job that also serves as a mentorship program, so take advantage of it.