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  • Sharon Sherpa

How the Emerging Leaders Internship Led Me to Avenue

The Emerging Leaders Internship Program (also known as ELI). ELI matches hundreds of underrepresented college students with paid internship opportunities with local Portland companies. Their mission is to “create and empower leaders in Portland-area companies who reflect the rich and growing diversity of their community. Our programs and initiatives are designed to remove barriers to access and establish talent pipelines to foster a stronger, more inclusive Portland.” ELI also hosts workshops throughout the summer for it’s interns and connects us to mentors that are experienced in our field of interest.

My name is Sharon Sherpa, and I am joining Avenue’s team as a Digital Marketing Intern through the Emerging Leaders Internship program this summer! I am currently an incoming third-year student at the University of Oregon, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, while pursuing my minors in Japanese and Multimedia.


During the early stages of participating in the ELI program, I had to complete three phases that helped me prepare for my interview with Avenue. The first phase consisted of the application process and getting selected to participate in the program. Next, I was assigned to be in a group with other potential ELI interns and completed mock interviews with Portland professionals, who later gave me feedback on my mock interview. Finally, during the last phase I was matched with three local Portland companies that I had to complete interviews with to determine my internship placement for the summer! Through this recruitment process, I was able to grow many valuable interview skills that helped me prepare for my final interview with Avenue.


After accepting an interview offer with Avenue, I read through the internship job description that was provided and did some background research on Avenue in order to gain more insight on the agency. As I was reading through Avenue’s mission on the website, I learned that Avenue carried a lot of the same values I had and wanted in a company. As someone who is very passionate about creating an equitable environment for historically underrepresented people with diverse backgrounds, Avenue’s commitment to diversity was something I really appreciated. Along with Avenue’s mission to support purpose-driven companies that are creating a positive global impact.

Avenue was the first company I interviewed with and after speaking with Anna Madill, Founder and CEO of Avenue, I immediately knew that I wanted to intern here this summer. Fast forward a couple of months later, and I have completed my first couple weeks of my Digital Marketing Internship and during my time here I also learned that Audrey Weatherhead, Project Manager and Digital Specialist at Avenue, also participated in the Emerging Leaders Internship program before landing her current job at Avenue! I am beyond grateful to the Emerging Leaders Internship Program for connecting me and hundreds of other students across Oregon to amazing companies that are working towards creating a more equitable future. I am so excited to be a part of Avenue’s amazing team this summer, and am thankful that I get to be working with an agency that truly puts effort into cultivating positive social change in the community.