Hey guys! My name is Erin Clancy, and I’m a rising junior at Tulane studying Economics and Public Health. I’m from Boston (or just south of it), and have always loved working. I’ve always enjoyed school, but the opportunity to apply academic knowledge and go a step further has always been much more fulfilling for me. I have worked as a hostess and a waitress at restaurants, in customer service at a ski mountain, as an administrative intern at Boston University, as a social work intern at the Orleans Public Defenders office, and most recently, as a DSC at Tulane. I typically prioritize work over other extracurriculars, because I believe that professional experience can teach you so many lessons and forces you to grow up in a lot of respects. This summer, I’ll be interning in downtown New Orleans at the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA). As someone pursuing an economics-related career, I have yet to work directly in the business world, and it will allow me for the first time to use what I’ve learned in my economics classes in actual business situations. My learning objectives this summer are as follows:
- Learn about potential career paths with an economics degree and network with professionals in different fields.
- Understand the importance of research and planning in a business environment and in impacting economic change.
- Gain confidence in an office setting and in my business abilities.
- Utilize the knowledge I’ve accumulated from my academic background and apply it in real life scenarios.
- Become more familiar with the New Orleans economy, and also work towards more personal independence living in this city.
As I discussed in my initial application, female leaders are vastly outnumbered in the business world. There are very few women holding leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies, and women in business are subject to many obstacles in climbing the corporate ladder. Many women are less confident than their male counterparts, and in order to lessen the gender disparity, it is important to eliminate that lack of confidence, instead instilling fierce ambition and self-assurance in young women. I think that the key to this is educating women, so that when they walk into a business meeting they are more prepared than anybody else in the room, and they are able to actively participate in large scale decision making. Through this internship, I will have the opportunity to work alongside a number of strong women in business who will serve as role models, people I can turn to with questions. I look forward to the chance to pick these women’s brains, ask why they believe that business-related fields are so male-dominated, and what advice they might give women pursuing careers in business.
In preparing for this internship, I have been reading more about the mission of NOLABA, their team, their accomplishments, and their current projects. As a Special Projects Intern, I will be directly involved in the process of catalyzing economic growth in New Orleans by attracting new businesses and fostering growing businesses in the city. Many of my tasks will rely on my being proactive and independent, so I think it is crucial that I walk into the internship with as much know-how as possible, so I have to ask fewer questions and can hit the ground running. Aside from this, I’ve been planning a lot of logistics: transportation and creating a schedule that complements that of my other job as a tutor.
I start tomorrow, and I’m thrilled to get started. This is the first experience I’ll have in a field that I may want to go into in the coming years, so I’m excited to explore the business world and all that it entails. I think through NOLABA, I’ll witness the inner workings of a number of different subfields as well, which will hopefully give me a more narrow idea of what I might want to do after college. I’m also looking forward to working in an office environment, wearing business attire, commuting to and from work, and the air of professionalism that I’ll be surrounded by – I feel like it’s a potential glimpse of what’s to come.