Growing to Help Others Grow

Professional development through Indiana INTERNnet

One of the three jobs I have this summer, I am currently the communications and special events intern at Indiana INTERNnet (IIN). If you’re unfamiliar with the organization, IIN strives to decrease “brain drain” in the state by connecting Indiana college students to internships. I was passionate about obtaining the internship because I have found several previous positions through the IIN database. I am a strong advocate for their services! It is also a great opportunity as a public relations student, because I am continuously writing blog posts, generating social media content and helping plan IIN’s biggest annual event, The IMPACT Awards.

While those aforementioned responsibilities are similar to the tasks I completed at other nonprofits, like Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, every thing I do at IIN has the added twist of enhancing career opportunities for my fellow students. As you’ll be able to tell if you take a look at my work from this summer, I conduct a lot of research on topics related to professional development as part of my internship.

To the typical college student, spending hours reading articles on cover letters, projected salaries and the benefits of networking likely sounds terribly boring. Being the person that I am, that’s not the case for me. I love many things about my internship at IIN, but learning about professional development is not something that I expected to enjoy so much. The articles that I read in order to write my IIN blogs are extremely helpful to me, as a young professional who’s known to be ambitious (Hence, the website title!). I enjoy absorbing as much knowledge as I can on certain topics and then simplifying everything I have learned into 1-2 page blog posts for other young professionals to read.

I am also developing a modified type of student advisory committee for the organization, with the goal of improving student outreach efforts across the state. Even though we’re still in the very early stages of creating this committee, I am very excited about the prospects of the program. With the autonomy I was fortunate enough to be given on this project, I created a vision for a student ambassador program that I think aligns perfectly with the overall mission of IIN. The idea is that not only will bringing in students to provide their perspective help enhance student outreach efforts at IIN – it will greatly benefit the student ambassadors as well by providing them with ample opportunities to build up their professional portfolios.

The career development research and creation of a student ambassador program are just two of the many things I do at IIN. I am also SUPER excited to announce I have been given the opportunity to write an article for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s BizVoice magazine. BizVoice is published six times a year and has a readership of over 15,000 people! This is a fantastic opportunity for me to add to my portfolio and sharpen up my (admittedly rusty) journalistic skills. Having just been in a briefing over the assigned topic today, I am still in the research phase of writing this article. More details to come!

I am only one month into this internship, but because of the responsibilities I have been given (and because of the initiative I have taken), I have learned so much. I already feel better equipped to enter the work force after graduation due to the opportunities I have had and the research that I have done. Through my work at IIN, I am grateful for the chance to help other students develop, too.

I can’t wait to see how the rest of this summer goes!


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