Shirley Chang Shares How An Internship with CIC Broadened Her Perspective

Posted by TMG on March 4, 2014 2:45:00 AM

As a Finance major in my senior year of college, I came to the U.S. all    the way from Tunghai University in Taiwan. Taiwan is a beautiful country where liberal diversity and multiculturalism thrive. I see a lot of similarities between the convention industry and Taiwan. I think that is what makes me feel like home when I am almost 8,000 miles away.
Out of the kindness of Talley Management Group and Prudential Foundation, I received a scholarship to participate in The Washington Center’s spring training program, which allows me to take academic courses and work as an intern and a global citizen here in the United States.
I am currently interning at TMG where I work with the Convention Industry Council on the highly prestigious “Hall of Leaders” awards program. I am surprised to find that, in only a month, this internship experience has actually re-navigated my goals and shifted my future career path to a totally different direction.
Before I got this internship opportunity, I wanted to work as a composer or PR/Communications professional at music centers as I love music and have been composing songs for my church back at home. However, this internship experience has lifted my career planning to a new horizon.
Back at home where I’m from, the meetings industry is virtually unrecognized. I didn’t know people actually treat convention and event planning as a profession, or even an industry. As I come to know more about meeting and convention planning, this industry simply fascinates me! I’ve never seen a business like this where the momentum is jointly driven by highly dependent interconnections among multiple industries and sectors of society. Due to the unique nature of dynamic diversity in the meetings industry, everyone is able to contribute regardless of their profession or background.
Through the past month of my internship, I’ve been looking through the documents of “Hall of Leaders” inductees from the past 25 years and I’m amazed at how they shaped the industry with innovations from various fields of profession. Whether it is financially defining the ROI (Return on Investment) on conventions and meetings, implementing technology like WWW (World Wide Web) and online registration systems to the industry, or strategically growing an originally small hotel to one of the most diversified financial corporations in business, the passion and the diversity of this industry invited me in!
By the end of this program, I hope I’ll be able to take advantage of more learning and networking opportunities in meetings and hospitality and eventually become part of this wonderful industry as a professional in the future!

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