Chamber hires summer intern

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 9, 2009

NATCHEZ — Newly graduated and already on the job, Inneka Minor was hard at work at the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce office Wednesday.

And while Minor has only been on the job for little more than a month, she was running the show while the rest of the staff was out to lunch.

“This was just a great opportunity to start working,” Minor said of the intern program at Alcorn State University that placed her in the job.

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Minor graduated in May and started working at the Chamber in early June.

“So far it’s been a really good experience,” she said.

Minor said she felt fortunate, given the current economy, that the university’s business program was able to help place her in an internship.

While Minor is currently doing clerical work, and anything else that needs to be done around the office, she has hopes of running her own business one day.

“Ideally that’s what I want to do,” Minor said. “But this has given me access to people I would not normally meet, and it’s been a great chance to network.”

Chamber President Debbie Hudson hired Minor and called the experience “a real eye-opener.”

“I think we’ve been able to learn a lot from each other,” Hudson said. “She’s brought a lot to this office, and I think she’s learning a lot.”

And like Hudson, Alcorn’s coordinator of internships and grants Daye Dearing said the relationship between intern and employer is one of learning.

“Both of them stand to learn a lot from each other,” Dearing said. “Businesses are getting fresh minds with new perspectives and the interns are getting excellent job experience and a chance to see how the real world works.”

The program currently has 14 interns working around Mississippi.

While Minor was pleased she was able to find an internship, the number of interns the school placed in jobs this year was twice the number hired the year before, Dearing said.

“We’ve had a long stable relationship with the businesses that hire our interns,” Dearing said. “And we haven’t seen the economy impact that.”

Dearing noted that many of the interns placed by the school end up in full-time positions with the employer.

“It’s a great trial run for the employer and the intern,” Dearing said.

Minor has plans to attend graduate school at Ole Miss after her internship.