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Editor’s Note: Thomas P. Miller and Associates  (TPMA) is and Indianapolis-based company with a mission to align people, technology and initiatives to enhance the economic value of communities, educational institutions and companies. Former TPMA Intern Calli Duggins reflects on her internship and what she learned while at TPMA.  Duggins is now a graduate student at IUPUI.

Working with TPMA as an intern was a critical part of my professional development during my undergraduate work at Butler University.  Prior to this internship, I had interned at a large non-profit organization and a state government agency.  While both of those experiences were valuable because they introduced me into the work environment and helped me improve my interpersonal skills, TPMA afforded me an incredibly well-rounded experience.

The projects assigned to me in the first summer included the development of a new website for TPMA and the creation of community asset inventories to be used in TPMA’s asset mapping services.  Other smaller projects would come up from time to time, but with each project, I was able to develop a new skill or be exposed to a new tool used by workforce development experts.

I was also introduced to the work done by TPMA.  The firm exposed me to the ways in which economic development, workforce development, and education are intricately linked.  I learned of the shortcomings of focusing on just one area of development, but also the challenges communities face when they do want to move forward with a multi-facted approach to community or regional development.

High quality internship programs like my experience to TPMA are crucial to the recruitment and retainment of talent.  Developing a mutually beneficial internship program requires a well-thought-out approach of recruiting interns, creating intentional projects, and work evaluation methods.  TPMA is poised to help others develop similar programs.

Former interns, do you have a positive internship experience to share with undergraduate students or those who have never interned? What were the primary benefits for you?

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