For Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and beyond, we are spotlighting dynamic individuals who participated in the U.S. Chamber’s Next-Gen program. The program provides competitive internship opportunities for university students to serve in departments across the organization based on their interests and academic majors. Trelysa Long is a student at the University of California, Irvine and was a Next-Gen Scholar in 2021. Long shares her vision on being a future business leader and how the program has positively impacted her journey.
Q: How has your experience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and within the Next-Gen program shaped your outlook on the future of your career?
A: Interning at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had a very significant impact on my career choice. Prior to my internship, I had intended to pursue a career in the foreign service or a role that would focus primarily on political science. However, that career goal completely changed after interning with the U.S. Chamber for nine months.
While interning with the Economic Policy Division, I not only had the opportunity to see how economics shape the real world, but I also found a new interest working with economic data in order to understand the dynamic changes that the economy goes through every day. This new interest in economic data, combined with the support of my supervisors, played a significant role in my choice to pursue my current role as a research assistant in antitrust.
In addition to my experience with the Economic Policy Division at the U.S. Chamber, the Next-Gen program also played a huge role in shaping my career choice. The Next-Gen program gave me and my cohort the opportunity to connect with alumni and professionals in different sectors of the economy, which allowed us to network and learn about the possible career options we could pursue after college. Although I ultimately chose to pursue a career as a research assistant, the opportunity to hear from alumni and professionals definitely had me considering a career in other areas, such as consulting, as well.
Q: Name a skill you’re currently utilizing within your career that you learned while you were in college.
A; I conduct literature reviews to write research papers in my current role as a research assistant. These writing and research skills were learned while I was in college.
Q: Tell us more about your journey and anything that has impacted your life as you transition from being a student to a future AAPI business leader.
A: I grew up in the heart of Los Angeles where there is a very diverse population. Because of this, I think learning from people with different backgrounds and perspectives is important. This is why I took the opportunity to live with host families while studying abroad in China and the Czech Republic, and why I interned with a South African organization and the Embassy of Jordan while in college. Each of these experiences has taught me how to connect with others from different backgrounds. This skill has had and will continue to have a significant impact on my transition from being a student because it allows me to connect with others in the global economy.
Q: Tell us about a memorable moment you experienced during your time as a Next-Gen Scholar.
A: One of the most memorable moments during my time as a Next-Gen Scholar was when I learned how to use the sort and filter function on Excel during a task I was completing. As insignificant as that sounds, I’ll always remember learning that skill because it has come in handy more than once in the last few months.
Q: We like to ask participants what business means to them. Could you finish this sentence in your own words: Business is...
A: Business is necessary for a competitive economy to function.