NGLCC Internship Program

| By Andy DiAntonio

Every semester, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) brings together motivated students to gain real-world professional experience through our internship program. NGLCC is currently accepting applications for the 2015 Spring Semester. Learn more about the internship program from our current interns in their featured blog posts!

Ian Bonanno
Global Programs & Operations Intern
I love DC, it has an energy and a pulse that you can just feel and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has a finger on this pulse. You can feel the same energy in the office that you can feel in any part of DC. I’m going to be honest, I had never heard of the NGLCC before a career fair at my university. I was intrigued by the name and decided that I should hear what they had to say. One very enlightening conversation later, and I knew that I wanted to intern for them. The work that I was told about sits at the very intersection of all the things that give DC its vibrancy and life. The NGLCC does everything from international programming, to government affairs, to corporate relations, and so on, which is why I knew I had to be a part of it. 
 
I was so excited to learn after I interviewed, that I had been offered an internship position. But I was also nervous. So much important work went on at the NGLCC and here I was a college freshman that had never interned before in my life, much less worked in a professional office. These trepidations eventually melted away as I started my internship. Every day the work that I did meant something to the NGLCC and everyone around me offered nothing but help. I started to really feel part of a larger family, a family that routinely does important work that I am included in.
I could go on gushing about the NGLCC, but I’d rather end with a story. So I basically walk the same way to the NGLCC every day, my head down and headphones in. One day though, I was walking with a fellow intern at the NGLCC, when all of a sudden I stopped. I had finally noticed, after about two weeks, that I was passing by the White House every day I walked to my internship. I was stunned. How could I have never noticed that I was passing by the White House? This exemplifies why the NGLCC is so great, because DC is home to the White House, Congress, embassies from around the world, Fortune 500 companies, and so on, and the NGLCC works with them all. And I am included in this work.

Dan Morris
Supplier Diversity Intern
As a queer college student moving to the DC area, I was excited to become a part of the LGBTQ activist community.  I originally would have been happy to join any of the many organizations in the city, but NGLCC stood out as a unique opportunity, and it welcomed me as part of its team. Being in the city, I have become increasingly interested in international affairs and business, so the NGLCC was a perfect fit for me.  I was placed on the Supplier Diversity Initiative team, where I help to find potential LGBTQ-owned and allied corporations to improve LGBTQ visibility in the business world. Being on a team allows me to direct my interests in this field and give me a focused set of skills.  Moreover, I am treated like an integral member of the team, and my work is both varied and meaningful.  For example, interns are in attendance at the office’s weekly meeting and are given the opportunity to present to the office the projects they have been working on.
 
The internship program at the NGLCC has helped me hone indispensable business skills, such as communication, research, and customer service.  Whether it is researching potential businesses in California, contacting government agencies, or formulating organized reports of data, the NGLCC provides both a broad and constructive learning experience for its interns.  This particular environment is conducive to efficient work as well as concentrated learning.  The employees are both friendly and supportive and have helped me become a more effective worker.  The office is lively, welcoming, and has made my intern experience both worthwhile and pleasurable.

Celia Sacks
Communications Intern
The intersection of my identity and my career was never something I put much thought into. I want to work in communications; maybe entertainment, maybe fashion, or maybe some sector of communications I haven’t even heard of. While my identity as a gay woman is very important to me, I was content to enter the workforce with my personal identity separate from my professional identity. I was content, until I met a representative from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce at my school’s spring career fair. 
 
Hannah told me about the mission of the NGLCC, the amazing work they do to progress the lives of LGBT business owners, and some of the cooler perks of the job. As if a free healthy lunch every Monday wasn’t enticing enough, I was instantly drawn to the idea of LGBT empowerment beyond social advocacy. After interviewing for a fall internship position, I realized that I was being given an opportunity I never knew I needed; to bring together my passion for communications and my personal identity to do incredible work. In the six weeks that I have been interning for the NGLCC, I have felt more empowered, respected, and valued than I ever thought possible in an undergraduate internship. Throughout my internship, I have been given opportunities to actually create content that goes up on our website, gets sent out in our Connects, or gets used as promotional materials for some of our events, and so much more.
 
When my boss says that we are valued associates in this organization, he means it.  From weekly team meetings where I am expected to report on the work I have been doing along with every other team member, to management asking me for my opinion on stories that we might want to send out and what platforms to use, I know that my work for the NGLCC matters. When I finish this internship I will leave with not only gained knowledge in communications and the intricacies of a non-profit organization, but I will also leave empowered to continue to intersect my identity and my work. Thank you NGLCC for giving me the opportunity to grow as a young professional and as a proud member of the LGBT community.

Alexsis Petrikis
Meetings & Education Intern
Hi, my name is Alexsis Petrikis, and I am currently one of four interns here at the NGLCC.  My title is the Intern of Meetings and Education.   First and foremost, I would like to say that I am a Biomedical Engineering major at GW.  
 
So, how I ended up at this position is quite interesting.  I went to the Annual GW Fall Career Fair, obviously looking for potential internships, future jobs, and just to make connections. The career fair was almost up, and most people we closing down their stations, but the NGLCC station was still up and running.  Brandon Schenk, my now current boss, was throwing around some awesome yoyo skills, therefore I just had to compliment him.  We got started talking, him talking about the NGLCC, me talking about what I do, and there was just an immediate interest in what this company does, stands for, and represents.  
 
The next day, I emailed Brandon, and an interview was set up.  I did have some experience in Event Planning but since my major is not in that realm, whatsoever, I had some convincing to do.  Walking into the office for the first time, with the colorful walls, ping pong table, and the wonderful people, I knew this was an experience that I wanted to have.  Well, since I’m writing this you already know the end of the story. I got the job!  At my time here at the NGLCC so far, I have already learned so much.  Not necessarily just things about event planning, but things that you will to know in life in general.  Right now my job is to help Brandon Schenk and my other boss, Rick Fowler, to plan and put on our Annual NGLCC National Dinner.  Helping to put on this event, and to see all my hard work in the end pay off, is just so fantastic, and certainly not something you get everywhere you work.  All I can say is I’m glad Brandon has some great yoyo skills.