My Internship Experience with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership


As my summer internship with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership comes to an end, I am sad but also extremely excited to take all the information I learned and insights I have gained into my senior year at Grace College. This internship opportunity has taught me more about database, website, and (virtual) event management than I ever thought possible. I have been exposed to the countless tools and resources available within this community and all that the South Bend – Elkhart region has to offer.

One of the larger projects I had the opportunity to be a part of was HustleSBE Cohort 2. This virtual six-week, 12-session program focuses on providing support and assistance to minority and women entrepreneurs across the region. The participants gathered for interactive learning sessions and one-on-one coaching with their business coach and HustleSBE facilitator, Celena Green. The participants also had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers from across the region that provided their expert knowledge and willingness to foster connections.

I started as the host and note-taker for the virtual sessions, but quickly became an active participant, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Though I was not enrolled in the program, I learned so much from Celena Green, the amazing guest speakers, but most of all, from each and every participant. Hearing their individual stories and getting to know them and their businesses on a more personal level, taught me what the definition of what hard work and dedication really is.

Throughout this internship I was assigned to multiple projects including monitoring social media activity for the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and Startup South Bend – Elkhart (Startup SBE), developing email communications, managing digital ads for the WE+YOU South Bend Elkhart regional brand campaign, and maintaining the websites for the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, Startup SBE, and the LIFT Network. I also worked directly with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Salesforce Administrative team to update and improve the organizations Salesforce processes. This hands-on collaboration allowed me the opportunity to acquire unique skills and information related to database management that I can take with me and use in the future.

I was blessed to have Sarah Niespodziany as a mentor throughout my time as an intern at the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. Not only did she take time to teach me and walk me through everything I needed to know and more, but during these eight weeks she also made sure that I got the most out of my time here. She allowed me the opportunity to ask questions, provided me the tools to figure things out on my own, and gave me a great deal of knowledge that I will be able to take with me and use for the rest of my life.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that I was given to be a part of such an amazing organization and the way that they are helping shape this region. The lessons that I have learned and information that I am able to take with me from these past eight weeks is invaluable. I am forever grateful to Regina Emberton, Bethany Hartley, Leighton Johnson, Sarah Kovich, Sarah Niespodziany, and Jill Scicchitano for allowing me this opportunity and the abundance of knowledge and wisdom that I have received.

Emily Sharp
Marketing Intern
South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership
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