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Personal st. louis

My Intern Experience at the St. Louis Regional Chamber

I have been going through my things lately, at home and in the office. Tidying, cleaning, and preparing for the removal of every trace of me from my desk on the 13th floor of the Met building.  I’ve come across sticky notes, agendas, random event collateral, and loose paper that was relevant at some point in the last 9 months. All of these things hold memories. Flashes of experiences had, feelings felt, and relationships made. I’ve got too many business cards to know what to do with, tchotchkes of the finest (and least fine) quality, and more notebooks than my bibliophilic heart can handle. I will be taking with me more than the material artifacts I’ve accumulated over my time here.

It all started with building a relationship. I met the former COO, Gisele Marcus, while working at a previous position. Her presence really left an impression on me. I reached out to her on LinkedIn to keep in touch should I decide to leave the roll I was in. Months later, I did leave and found myself scrolling through my LinkedIn feed for job inspiration. I was impressed by Gisele’s engagement on the platform and did some further investigation into her role. I imagined myself working in an environment surrounded by people like her. Encouraging, empowering, and serious about making authentic connections. I found myself scrolling through the Chamber’s website. I clicked through the mission and vision of the Chamber and right onto the careers page. I came across the listing for a Marketing and Communications Intern and considered applying. For context, I don’t have a degree in marketing or communications. I do, however, have experience in the customer service and retail industries, making me a talking-while-walking marketer. So, I considered reaching out to Gisele.

For those of you who know me now, I wasn’t the best at reaching out and starting conversations. I have been working on my social skills and this was the first step. I shrugged off whatever feelings of self-doubt were creeping up and shot Gisele a direct message. I thanked her for her exemplary engagement on LinkedIn as it attracted me to her in the first place and mentioned that I saw an internship opportunity available on the Chamber’s website. I wasn’t sure if I would be a good fit considering my lack of formal education on the subject. She assured me otherwise and encouraged me to apply. That was exactly what I was looking for. An environment that fostered venture into the unknown offering support and guidance along the way. I applied.

Not long after, I received an email asking to schedule a phone interview. I excitedly scanned the website and LinkedIn for all of the information I could find that I felt was relevant. When Alesha called, I was so nervous. I had never been nervous for an interview before. When the conversation ended, I was almost sure I bombed. But just a few days later, I received another email requesting a follow up interview. This time, at the Chamber! I was so excited. Once again, I dove into the website and social media to find out as much about the Chamber as I could.

When I arrived at the St. Louis Regional Chamber for the interview, I stepped off the elevator to be greeted with the warmest smiling face. It was that of Dee Johnson, the front desk customer service support. She greeted me with a compliment of my own smile. I can honestly say, she set the tone for the rest of my day. I felt entirely welcome and even at home here already.

I spent longer than the 30 minutes allotted for our interview speaking with Adrienne, Bailey, and Alesha about how my previous job experience and current enrollment in a massage therapy program tied into marketing and communications. They were impressed because here I am, nine months later, typing this at the end of my internship experience.

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Leap… then grow your wings

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time a woman bought a website. That woman was me.

She didn’t know what to do with the website but she did it anyway. She filled it with content and photos. She added links to her social media accounts. And she updated it often.

But she never actually wrote a blog post. When she did, she would just delete them.

Then, a year later, her website subscription service was going to end.

“What have I done?”

“I haven’t shared a single blog post. I haven’t directed any traffic. I haven’t even clearly stated my intention with this website!”

After contemplating her contemplations, she realized there was something missing. Optimism.

So she started writing blog posts. With no intention of driving traffic or clicks in the traditional sense. She just authenticly articulated all through her device and into the digital world. Sometimes from work. Sometimes from the toilet. (I am on the toilet as I write this)

Now, this woman feels better. She knows that no one has shit figured out. So like the rest of them she will:

Leap

And then grow her wings.

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My Time at the Chamber in Photos

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Here’s to 54,000 words!

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Happy Monday

Hey, Friends!

Today is Monday. How has yours been going so far?

I love Mondays!

Not just because I like to go against the grain.

Monday’s are the start of the week. Your Monday mindset really determines the mood for the rest of your week.

Are you a grumpy, got-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed kind of person on Monday? If so, before you get out of the bed, think about 5 things that you’re grateful for. Try to make 3 of those 5 things something that you asked/prayed/searched for and now you have.

We often take time to think about the things we don’t have, goals we haven’t reached, and successes yet to be claimed, that we don’t stop to think about what we asked for that we already received.

I’d like to take this time to say thank you to the Universe, God, and my Higher Self for providing me with a fully furnished roof over my head, a partner who learns and grows with me spiritually, and a platform to share my story as well as the stories of my family.

What are you grateful for this Monday? Tell me!

I hope your Monday feels just as good as your Friday!

Callaway Out!

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Thoughts

It’s Fri-Yay!

The end of the week is here.

So what?

I’m doing my thing. Sitting at the coffee shop. I didn’t write earlier this week because I went to work instead of hanging out at Comet.

So what have I done this week?

Well, Monday I got to do some QA work on a website I’ve been helping out with.

Tuesday was the launch of stlregionalchamber.com! Check it out!

Wednesday, I put together social posts for an evening event.

‘Twas the celebration of the Diverse Business Accelerator’s first year. It’s a program designed for diverse and women-owned businesses who are ready to grow and scale their businesses. It’s an amazing program that now has 3 cohorts and 14 portfolio companies.

The celebration was a Final Pitch for a $10,000 prize!

All of the companies who presented were amazing.

We had Cedric Cobb, President and CEO of Best Wardrobe Solutions, inventor of the Best Pocket Square, and winner of SharkTank, as our host for the evening.

Arian Simone was the keynote speaker for the evening. Her story is amazing and inspired me to do even this. Take a step towards being fearlessly authentic.

So here I sit.

I just ended a conversation with someone I met at the event as well. You know St. Louis is known for serendipity.

We both had questions for Arian. Mine was: “How do you live authentically without taking on the opinions of others?” (In so many words)

And hers: “Should I further my education for credibility?”

It was crazy because that is exactly what I have been struggling with. There are so many people in my sphere who believe I need to go back to school. Based on their own limitations. I’ve decided that I’ll go to school when I feel like it will benefit me. Fuck what anyone else things.

So, I walked up to her after the event to tell her how much I appreciated her standing up and asking that question. Her asking that question made me want to answer it with “Fuck that, you’re already enough!” Validating my own feelings about going back to school.

The next day, she reached out asking for a meeting with me. We had a wonderful conversation and have scheduled another.

You guys! I’m doing it!

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to make commitments and stick to them. Look at God.

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Callaway out!

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Castleinthewood

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Who’s Reading This?

Hello, friend.

Can I call you friend? I hope so, if you’re reading this.

Let me guess a little bit about you..

  • You’re an old soul with a young heart.
  • You like adventure even if that means in the form of sitting on your couch and living vicariously through others.
  • You truly value the individuality of others and appreciate the differences that other’s seem to shy away from.
  • You are a highly sensitive person, an empath, or are at least acutely aware of your energetic self.
  • You have a sense of humor.

Did I get it right?

What did I miss? Tell me!

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Thoughts

Can WordPress Read My Text Messages?!?!

So… Crazy thing happened today.

I texted my cousin and asked her what her address is. Her birthday is soon and I wanted to send her a birthday card.

I didn’t know that my cousin lived in Montgomery.. I mean I did, but I forgot.

Life goes on and then I get on WordPress.

One of the first stories I see is about the Alabama corrections system, in MONTGOMERY, AL

Coincidence? I think not.

I’m not accusing anyone of anything. Especially because I didn’t thoroughly read the terms & conditions. I’m just sayin’ that’s cray.

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Thoughts

A Word Before Work

I just spend the last hour and a half deleting and marking emails as read.

Most of them come from newsletters I’ve mindlessly subscribed to, my significant other, and random updates from WordPress and Google.

It’s ridiculous how much a cluttered email inbox can stress you out.

I usually do a terrible job of checking my emails. I’m working on that.

I have been making an effort for the past few weeks to organize my information input systems.

I’ve downloaded an app called Notebook. It’s actually been pretty helpful by allowing me to have a digital inbox. I have created multiple “notebooks” for things like PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Business cards (yes it can capture that info), and of course I’ve made a notebook for every type of idea I can have.

This is what it looks like now:

Now, if I can just use it.

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photos st. louis