On Monday, six participants of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce's Summer Internship Program shared experiences and lessons learned over six-week stints at local businesses and organizations in a series of public presentations.
The program, which exposes La Cañada High School students to real-world work experiences, ran from June to August. The presentation is a final obligation; interns also attended chamber of commerce, city council, city commission and school board meetings, and chamber mixers.
In their talks, students discussed their projects and the impact they made on the job. Senior Marne Fairhurst described the marketing and communications skills she gleaned working at Student Planning Services, like the crucial "elevator pitch," while junior Brian Kim shared how he used integrated spreadsheets to consolidate expense reports for the Allen Lund Co.
"(I learned) if you believe your idea is really best, you have to push through with that," Kim said.
Ben Blanco, a junior who interned in the city of La Cañada Flintridge's administration department, streamlined noise ordinances and surveyed residents on filming permit guidelines. He said he was amazed to learn how responsive the city is to residents' needs and concerns.
Interning at Citizens Business Bank taught junior Jonathan Connelly the ins and outs of banking and customer service, but also the value of developing good relationships with co-workers, some of whom attended the presentation to support him.
Twin LCHS juniors Justin and Daniel Cohen interned at the YMCA of the Foothills and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, respectively.
While working with the Y's Healthy Living Department, Justin Cohen surveyed members to determine needs for adult sports and activities. His research led to ping pong and volleyball activities and plans for basketball and dodge ball leagues.
Daniel Cohen described the acquisition of the hospital by USC from his vantage point in the human resources department. He surveyed employees about their concerns and compiled his findings in a document that will appear in the upcoming employee newsletter "The Voice."
Each intern received a $1,200 scholarship. The top intern — to be announced Jan. 16 at the Chamber's annual installation and awards dinner — will get an additional $800. For details, visit www.lacanadaflintridge.com.