My internship was with Southwest Georgia 5 (SWGA5), a group made up of individuals from each of five neighboring counties --Calhoun, Clay, Quitman, Randolph, and Stewart--dedicated to promoting economic development. My project was to create a website to promote economic development, tourism and other assets of its area.
When I started this project, I thought that I was lucky to be able to do a lot of work on the project at home. However, this project is one of the hardest assignments I have done in my life. Everything went well the first three weeks, but after that, everything got complicated.
I had to learn many things about technology, but especially about how communicate appropriately with the
committee of SWGA 5. Because most of the work was done online at home, I had to be in contact with my supervisors by email or phone. There are at least 90 emails I sent and or replied to. I tried to write professional/formal emails to my supervisors, the five counties representatives, and the counties’ authorities and businesses.
After review the information I had, I decided to visit all the five counties and see their assets and take
pictures of the recreational areas. I believe this was a good idea because it helped me get a better image of how this area looks. SWGA 5 is a rural area with limited services and resources, but it has many assets that they need to showcase to people who may want to live, visit or invest in this area.
Even though their resources and services are limited, I was amazed with the views and recreational areas, such as the Providence Canyon State Park, Florence Marina State Park, and Historic Westville in Stewart County. These are beautiful places to spend with family at affordable price. Also there are many areas in all the counties for hunting and fishing, which is one of the main reasons retirees move to this area.
My visit to SWGA 5 not only helped me on my project, but also motivated me to bring my family to see these places. We spent the following weekend at Historic Westville and Providence Canyon State Park, and had a fun time.
Besides the beauty of this area, my visit was a challenge. I had to visit the all five counties and many places, but without a GPS it was kind of hard to do it. For no reason, my cellphone did not work that week so my only communication was by the internet, and then only at home. I had to figure how to get to every place I needed to go.
My days started from 7 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. but I still had to work at home loading pictures, checking email, and looking at the map for the next visit the next day. I ended that week exhausted, but it was worth it because I had a lot of material to work with in the coming weeks.
This project means a lot to me because I learned many things. The creation of the website has helped me not
only to expand my technology knowledge, but to improve my communication skills. I had to be prepared for presentations, send a lot of professional emails and make phone calls. Even though my current job requires me to do this and to attend to professional conferences throughout the year, I have never experienced something like this.
Having the feeling that everyone is observing me and expecting something big from me is very stressful;
however this has helped me to have a different perspective of professional jobs. Also, I learned from Dr.
Grant, my supervisor on this project, how to manage my stress, make priorities, make important decisions, and get organized. Students thank ABAC for having professors like him who dedicate their time to prepare their student to succeed.