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Johnny Slivka is an HR/Business Development Intern with Milliner & Associates. He will graduate from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business this year.

Johnny Slivka graphic

Following my senior year in high school, as some may say, I entered the real world. The first Saturday of the summer is where it all started.

My first day of work – not sports, not school – but real work. On this day instead of strapping up my cleats or tying my shoe laces, I was lacing up my boots and was ready to get after it. I was working as part of an installation crew planting trees. Some may not understand the process of planting a tree, but it’s very hard work. From digging the hole to moving the tree to cleaning up, it is all physically demanding.

Fast forward four years later and every day I can I’m lacing up my boots and planting, planting, planting. My schedule was simple – school Monday-Thursday and work Friday-Sunday. I had known for a while at this point this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I had recently begun researching internships with different companies around the Indianapolis area. I started sending out applications to different companies and shelling out my resume.

I wasn’t sure what to expect at all during this process until the day I received a call from Nicole Bieker. I engaged her interest enough to bring me in for an interview at Milliner & Associates! For me, this process is nothing like I’ve ever experienced in my life. No longer am I in my boots, a dirty shirt and jeans, but now I’m wearing a button-down with a tie, dress pants and shoes. I walked in as open-minded as possible. I knew this was my chance to make a good first impression, and I wanted this internship badly. I must have done something right because they offered me a summer position.

Comfort zone 2

This was not an easy decision for me. I was leaving a company that had employed me for close to five years, and that was very hard to do. On top of that, the employer was my father, and I had to tell him that I was leaving his company to explore other career options. Not only did I feel that I was leaving the company officially, but I was leaving my family and my comfort zone as well. This first step was only one of the small changes that were about to happen in my career path.

For advice, I would say that taking a leap from something that was routine to something that is absolutely new is always going to be challenging and intimidating in the beginning, but if the leap is something that will benefit you or bring you the change you need, then it’s always going to be worth it. New is never easy, but new is how you open up doors.

I am so happy that I chose the route to intern with this amazing company. During my short time here, I’ve made so many new connections, built strong relationships and have been able to put all my years of schooling into action. This internship has really changed my life, and I am forever grateful that I stepped outside my comfort zone and landed this position. I am so excited for my future because of what this short amount of time has already taught me.

Comfort zone 1

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