Deisha Adhishesh: Treasuring and Growing Relationships with Businesses across Silicon Valley
As a member of the LSB Community Fellows program, I have been given the opportunity to intern for the San Jose Office of Economic Development as a public policy intern. My first quarter working with the Office of Economic Development (OED) has been more insightful than I could ever have imagined. This internship has been eye-opening in many different ways, and is the first time that I have worked closely with a nonprofit and governmental organization. My role as a public policy intern at OED is multifaceted. I have the privilege of wearing multiple hats within my everyday duties. One of the main initiatives in OED is business development within the City of San Jose. I support OED from a policy perspective by pulling data on wealth across the city, and using that data to make informed decisions about how to best support the economic wellbeing of San Jose.
I was very surprised by how intertwined the City of San Jose is with the governmental affairs of businesses within the city. Though it may sound like a given to most, I did not know the extent to which the City of San Jose was positively impacting businesses in their area, especially in the new post-pandemic phase that our world is seemingly entering. At meetings, my supervisors and coworkers are constantly discussing ways to improve and better strengthen their relationships with small businesses within the large city. This is a great initiative to see and also take part in. I also enjoy that I am able to pursue passion projects within the scope of my role. My role naturally has a great deal of work in housing policy, which has sparked an interest in urbanism for me. In my downtime on the job, I enjoy reading into the intricacies of urban planning and having thoughtful discussions about the topic with my coworkers and team.
As a fellow, my goal is to be a value add to the same community that has been of value to me. A clear example would be San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. I have been able to indulge in the delicious food at their market, so it is heartwarming to see that I could be helping the businesses in the market succeed and stay supported economically through working with the OED. I am super grateful for the opportunity to be a fellow this year, and am excited to continue working with the OED this year to create a tangible impact on my community.