Welcome to Summer at the Chamber, where I've reported on the experiences of my fellow summer interns. Read on to learn more about their roles, journeys to the Chamber, career goals, and what has inspired them this summer.
Hailing from universities like Purdue, George Washington, Temple, and the University of Virginia, Dayja Burton, Shannon Crowe, Olivia Egge, and Gabriel Leonard work on emerging issues, European affairs, health policy, and other policy areas. They are involved in issues like state-level environmental policy, supporting special events, and compiling research on a wide range of topics, such as equality of opportunity
Here are some of the things I learned from my conversations:
On their path to the Chamber:
Olivia Egge: I took a course this past semester on the U.S. healthcare system and became interested more in health policy and delivery. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it seemed unlikely that I would be able to shadow a doctor, so I made plans with UVA to study abroad in Valencia taking a public health course. Unfortunately, that fell through as well (thanks, Covid). One day, I was telling my neighbor about how I was stuck between going into medicine or health policy, and that I didn’t have any summer plans. She encouraged me to apply for internships working with health policy, and that is how I ended up at the Chamber this summer. Although my path here was not clear, I am so happy this is where I ended up!
Gabriel Leonard: After my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to intern with a robotics company. While it was a great experience, it ended up pushing me away from engineering roles, and towards more policy-oriented work. This summer I chose the Chamber over government/academic research roles because of its incredible networking opportunities and the wide array of topics covered. Most importantly, my interviewer (and now supervisor, Jenna) was incredibly kind and knowledgeable!
What inspires them every day:
GL: Every project I’ve been able to contribute to deals with emerging policy issues that impact millions of people. It’s exciting and certainly inspiring to be working alongside the Chamber’s experts on important issues. And, at the end of every day I can honestly say that I’ve learned something new.
Shannon Crowe: I am often inspired by the different policies that are released that focus on climate change and improving the world for everyone. I also enjoy listening to important speakers like ambassadors, trade specialists, and politicians and understanding their thoughts on the current events of the world.
On their career goals:
Dayja Burton: I want to become a sustainability coordinator in the supply chain sector of the government or for a company whose mission aligns with my goals. Being a part of a team and leading a team is something I’ve always seen myself doing.
OE: I’m still thinking through my specific career goals. But I know I want to do something health related: either as a practicing physician or helping to make health care more accessible. And I know that I want to help others. I want to love my career and get excited everyday knowing that this is what I get to spend my life doing!
How the Chamber has promoted growth:
DB: It's very inspiring to see everything my team members do to build audiences for the events they sponsor. I want to do my best to contribute to these events in a positive and impactful way.
SC: Having an insider view of this process has helped me confirm my career aspirations. Not only has it exposed the inner workings of how business and policy interact, but it has also humanized the entire process for me.
Something they do for fun:
GL: I play the trombone! At Purdue I’m involved in a concert band as well as the Men’s Basketball pep band, which has led to incredible experiences like playing for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight March Madness games in 2019.
Something not many people know about them:
OE: One thing that not many people know about me is that I am a cancer survivor. When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my right tibia. I had to undergo 9 months of chemotherapy and had limb-salvaging surgery.
My experience with cancer and interactions with healthcare professionals has inspired me to help others be as healthy as possible. I’ve learned just how important good health is to live a happy and comfortable life, and I want to help others achieve that, whether it be through working as a doctor or as helping people get the access to treatment they need and deserve.
About the authors
Former Communication Intern, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Tyra Green is a communication former intern working with the strategic communications division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.