Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Western Regional Office

  intern video

Quotes from Former Interns

 

   

   

  • I found it very comfortable working as an intern at the MSBDC Western Regional Office. I was always treated as an equal. My internship gave me a look at what exactly it takes to run a successful business.

    Since one of my jobs was to gather and project businesses cash flow and profit and loss, I learned what goes on behind the scenes of successful companies. This also included looking at a company's financials and advising them on ways to cut costs, which in turn would increase profitability. Working with real business financials helped me understand corporate finance and gave me real-life perspectives.

    One of my other projects was helping the office utilize its Facebook page. I liked this assignment because my generation knows all about social media. I drew up a plan on different ways the office could utilize its Facebook site and how to go about doing it.

    Another great opportunity of being an MSBDC intern is that the offices offers informational workshops. I was fortunate to attend several workshops and learned a lot from each one of them.

    ~ DF, UMass Amherst
     

  • What working at the MSBDC has meant to me...  My time at the MSBDC has been more eye opening than I could have imagined. Coming home to Longmeadow after the Olympic Trials disappointment was tough, and I thought that in order to have a great summer experience, I would need to be in a big city somewhere, living and learning on my own. However, from my very first day at the office, I knew I had a lot to learn from working here.

    First of all, the MSBDC has the ambitious mission to help the local economy by supporting entrepreneurial growth. It is not only ambitious, but it is vital to our area and as I found out later, extremely rewarding.

    Growing up in Longmeadow, I did not have much chance to look outside the “bubble” of our town, where the families are affluent and the lifestyle is easygoing. I think one of the most important things that I can gain throughout my life is perspective, and this has certainly helped my perspective tremendously. I feel much more connected to the local community than before. I saw people from all different walks of life with all different sorts of ideas, which gives me a deeper appreciation for our region and a deeper understanding as to why people are so proud of Western Massachusetts.

    One instance in particular sticks out to me, when I went to visit a manufacturing facility with Dianne and Mike. This may seem normal to the older generation, but it was a completely new experience for me. It opened my eyes to many local businesses who are struggling with the globalization of the economy and the shifting of industries. What’s more is that the father of one of my high school classmates owns this facility.

    When you are a student, you do not think about how hard your parents work, or much about what your parents do at their jobs at all. As I grow older and enter the working world, I am continually reminded to be grateful and to stay humble because people are working incredibly hard every single day. To me, it was like seeing these “invisible threads” that make up the world we live in today.

    It seems obvious, but everything we use has to be made somewhere. Everything from ice dispensers to lollipop molds was made at that facility, and that reminded me not to take all these convenient things around me for granted. Throughout this summer, I observed and I reflected on a lot of things that I had previously never given a second thought to, which is huge to me. When this happens, it’s something you do not forget for a long time.

    It was also amazing to see the actual impact that the MSBDC had on its clients. I was fortunate enough to meet a few clients several times throughout the summer and see their progress. Almost everyone I met with would leave the consultation re-energized and driven to tackle the to-do list that had just been brainstormed.

    Sitting in on client meetings with Dianne, Allen, and Lyne were such learning experiences that taught me a lot about small businesses but also about human interaction. Each advisor has their own expertise, but each advisor also had their own way of helping the client move forward. Everyone often gives reality checks to the clients who get carried away with their ideas.

    Dianne judges feasibility based on market research and demographics of an area. She uses her extensive knowledge of the area to give valuable advice on marketing and business/personal interactions.

    Allen judges feasibility based on numbers - cash flow projections, balance sheets, profit & loss statements, etc. Most of the time this is the area in which clients need the most help with, and Allen is patient and extremely useful to clients who haven’t the first clue on financials.

    Lyne makes sure that the clients know the hard work ahead of them and is most informative and encouraging. She refers them to the resources they need to do the work themselves, but somehow makes the client feel good about doing it.

    All three are personable, easily understandable, and extraordinarily helpful to the clients and I have learned so much by simply sitting in the same room as them and listening to them speak. It is an art to know how to deal with people. Years of experience certainly help, but I think I observed a lot from these client consultations that I will try to emulate in the future.

    Finally, I am thankful to have worked in such a happy office environment. I am aware that in the future, I might not be as lucky and be stuck in a huge office with a competitive environment instead of a supportive one.

    Obviously, I learned many skills that will be useful to me going forward, such as cash flow projections, balance sheets, writing experience, business etiquette, and the list goes on and on. But I think I will most remember the intangible things I have learned that I described in this letter.

    Thank you for making this internship such an all-around great experience for me and I will look back on this summer fondly (not something I could have said a few months ago)! I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone.

    ~ SL, Harvard University
     

     
  • I just wanted to thank you again for my experience at the internship. The daily things I learned from you and from just everyday tasks were invaluable and I can't thank you enough. I believe my communication skills, overall business etiquette, and being able to carry out a conversation have improved dramatically since January. I really enjoyed the counseling sessions with an array of clients.   

    ~ WG
     
  • I feel that my time with the MSBDC has been the most important part of my college experience. I have learned a lot in the classroom and improved my skills, but my experiences at the MSBDC have been invaluable. The lessons that I learned while working with experienced business professionals, as well as other interns, have been extremely vital to my development as a student and a professional. The skills I learned while at the MSBDC have changed me forever, and have helped me realize what my goals are in life, and how to better pursue them.

    I really would like to thank the MSBDC staff - Allen, Diane, Dianne, Lyne, Peter, and Gary - and [the other] interns for all the support they gave me throughout my entire internship.  This past semester has really changed me and [helped me] evolve from a student to a professional. 

    The skills that I picked up will help me progress in my business career and hopefully [I will] be very successful in the future.   

    ~ BTS
     

  • I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with all of you during the spring of 2009. I gained valuable experience during my internship that I could never have learned by just sitting in a classroom. You immersed me in what you were doing and allowed me to get hands-on experience working with clients, as well as doing the behind the scenes work of running financials. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

    I got to see the true entrepreneurial spirit coming out in clients and truly believe that it will be these entrepreneurs that will get us through these tough economic times. The service that you provide to local entrepreneurs is second to none and you can see it on their faces. Personally, I will always recommend that people seek out the professional help of the knowledgeable staff at the MSBDC, because I know how powerful your work can be to struggling business owners and entrepreneurs.

    Any student that is chosen to take on the internship, would be lucky to work with you, Allen, and any one of the staff members in the office as you all bring great expertise to the educational process, as well as to your clients.

    ~ MS