Post-Internship Reflection: Amanda Miner

Reflecting on the past semester of my internship at LEAP, I feel most accomplished by the progress I’ve made learning how to receive constructive feedback. The difference between past projects that I have completed compared to my assignment at LEAP is how I collaborate with others. In past projects, I have worked with a small group of people all working on the same project or task.

In my position at LEAP, I was assigned a project to complete by myself. Instead of collaborating with a small team working for a common goal, my supervisors and I collaborated by giving and receiving constructive feedback. I have been lucky to have great supervisors that have turned into mentors for me. At first, I adapted all feedback and made changes based on that feedback. Then, I learned to take all feedback into consideration but then I had to decide for myself what I should or should not apply.

By interning at LEAP, I have realized the impact that I can have on my community’s economy beyond the textbook. I learned in my economics classes that the economy is a cycle. This cycle, in its simplest terms, is a relationship between firms and households. Learning this on paper is one thing, but while interning at LEAP I got to see this cycle first-hand and how it applied to my life.

For example, attracting a new business to the area will in turn bring more jobs and financial benefits to the citizens. This is just one of the many ways LEAP improves this cycle for the betterment of the community. Seeing the many facets of the economy that LEAP improves has opened my eyes to the importance of the actions I make in my community. For example, when I spend money, I should buy local and from small businesses first. I have learned about the importance of community spaces and busilding facades. Someday when finding a home, I will take this into consideration.

Something I will miss is the posting “Tip Tuesday” posts in the One&All Facebook group. As someone who has been through the beginning stages of a startup, I would put myself in their shoes when creating content. I was inspired by some of the struggles I had while starting my business and aimed to answer questions that I had when starting out. When doing research, I was pushed to learn more about the struggles and questions of new entrepreneurs have. I learned about self-motivation, creating a productive workspace and how to deal with criticism. Just by creating post content, I was able to research topics that I find inspiring myself. I also enjoyed the fact that I was offering valuable information to others. Offering motivation to others is something I will miss.

Learning how to receive and filter feedback, understanding how economic development effects your life and reflecting on past experiences while working on current projects are all things that I would recommend to future LEAP interns. Additional advice I would give is to dive in and learn about LEAP and economic development as a whole. Attempt to get to know everyone at LEAP, even if it’s over Zoom. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, make mistakes and ask for advice. It will take you far.