Chamber of Commerce interns help move organization forward

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By Noriah Williams
Mason Times staff writer

Mason Chamber of Commerce

MASON – The life of an intern can be much more than fetching coffee and filing papers. The interns at the Mason Chamber of Commerce make an important contribution to the success of the organization.

Doug Klein, president of the chamber and a professor at Lansing Community College, has been hosting interns for six years. He has helped students from schools like Baker College, Western Michigan University, Marquette and Michigan State University gain hands-on experience. His goal is to show how government organizations function.

“Some think the job is more glamorous than it is, especially while in school,” said Klein. “Interns learn that sometimes they’re bored.”

Jami Franson of Hastings, MI and Jami Graber of Lansing are the current interns for the non-profit, providing fresh ideas for events as well as learning the inner-workings of the association. Franson, a communications major from Michigan State University wishes to ultimately move to Chicago and work as an event planner.

“I basically do what they don’t have time to do, really. It’s a non-profit, it’s only 9 to 3, so there’s only so much they can do in a day,” said Franson. 

Jami Franson works on a task during her internship

Franson works her class schedule around the internship hours by having Tuesday and Thursday classes, as well as online courses. Being a communications major has had a hand in Franson’s success as an intern. She played a major role in the chamber’s annual event, the MACC Annual Awards Dinner, which honors members of the Mason community and their contributions.

“I help Bonnie out with a lot planning, like the awards dinner I did all the little details she didn’t have time for, “ said Franson. “It went really well.”

Jami Graber will graduate from Baker College this spring. Majoring in business management, she hopes to be an entrepreneur, work in the restaurant business, or hold a management position. Graber is more on the business side of the Chamber of Commerce.

Graber said she is, “Putting together a prospect list for potential members, refining it, coming up with a plan to target them, that kind of thing.”

Jami Graber works on a directory at her internship

Though interns run small errands, the work stresses how important the non-profit can be in a smaller city like Mason.

“We expect our interns to ask questions and want to learn,” said Klein. “You have to do everything in a smaller organization. Details make everything work.”

Klein said he hopes that through his interns and his own work in the Chamber of Commerce, citizens within the city and outside can learn about the often overlooked opportunities Mason has to offer.

The Mason Chamber of Commerce internship opportunities are open to members of the community that would like to lend a hand. Students with a concentration on public relations, marketing, and management are requested and applications can be found on Intern in Michigan.

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