Skip to main content


2020-21 LSB Community Fellows
Hannah Curtis
Hannah Curtis
2020-2021 Fellow
San Jose Office of Economic Development - Business Development Intern

Economics Major and Environmental Studies Minor 
Home Town:  Portland, Oregon

What were your responsibilities at your internship with the San Jose Office of Economic Development?
During my time as a business development intern at the San Jose Office of Economic Development, the main project I worked on was the storefront grant assistance program. Mainly my time was spent on the storefront grant program because it requires a lot of daily work. In total, I assisted twenty businesses on their grant application and process. These businesses included a vet clinic, coffee shops, restaurants, insurance agencies, and a children's theater. I worked with them from the initial introduction of what the grants were, to the end when they received their reimbursement. It was a lot of fun meeting with so many business owners and hearing their stories. I also worked on a project updating the city’s project development map, which is how the city tracks potential and ongoing construction development around the city. This was my first experience using GIS tools, so it was a very exciting opportunity for me!

In what ways do you think you made positive contributions to the San Jose Office of Economic Development?I think the most positive and important contribution I was able to make to the Office of Economic Development was my meetings and presentations that I had with members of the Mayor’s office about the storefront grant assistance program. After my supervisor, Sal Alvarez, and I conducted these meetings with them, the budget for the grant program was increased at the next city budget meeting. We were so excited when this happened! This means that many more San Jose businesses will have access to the grants and it will continue to have a positive impact on the community.

What would you recommend to LSB students who want to make a difference in the community?
There are many ways that people can get involved with the community to enact positive change. As a Santa Clara University student, I would recommend people to even just go out into the surrounding community and interact with the people. Sometimes, we can get sucked into campus culture and be very stuck in the Santa Clara bubble. But it only takes a few minutes to walk or drive to go explore the beautiful surrounding community. The Leavey School of Business and the university itself has many opportunities for students to get involved and either work or volunteer for organizations. I recommend students to take advantage of that and enjoy those opportunities while they can.