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As my time with Indiana INTERNnet is coming to an end, I wanted to extend my genuine gratitude and share the best parts about my evolution as an intern with everyone! I’ve had such a rewarding and educational experience working with some of the best minds in Indiana’s workforce development and non-profit sectors. Indiana INTERNnet showed me not only how influential internship programs are for future students, but also showed me a deeper part of myself that values mentorship and personal development.

Diving into a new internship post-graduation was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. Unlike my peers from college, I didn’t graduate with a gleaming full-time offer from one of my favorite companies. I honestly wasn’t sure if that was what I wanted since I graduated college a semester early, and that was OK! But what I did have was a B.A. in Telecommunications and resume I was truly proud to talk about with any employer that came my way. Why was I so proud? Because I graduated with more than three years of internship experiences under my belt. Three years of working with unique and diverse companies that all strung together bits and pieces of my career path. As I reflect on the beginning of my internship experiences, I’ve realized that one thing was always there – Indiana INTERNnet.

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When I was a freshman at IU, I was the girl who dove into the campus culture and got involved any way I could. I joined the Alpha Xi Delta sorority which was filled with the most diverse and intelligent women I’ve ever met, joined the second largest student run organization in the country – a.k.a. THE Indiana University Dance Marathon – and I held numerous part-time jobs in the food industry along the way. Yet even with all my involvement, I knew I had to push myself to my fullest potential and do more. I decided to search for my first internship. And I did what we all do best when faced with a dilemma – I Googled it! The first search popped up a few internship sites here and there, but the one that caught my eye was Indiana INTERN.net (Thank you SEO! I learned how it was tailored to only internships offered in Indiana, which I loved!) I played around with the website, made a student profile, and began searching for new opportunities within the media/tech/entertainment industry. From then on out, I fell in love with internships and the intern experience as a whole.

Can you believe how many amazing and valuable internship programs are here in the state of Indiana? If you can’t, just hear my story. I was lucky enough to intern with the Indy Hostel, an indie hotel-esque establishment in the SoBro neighborhood of Broad Ripple, where I met travelers from around the world and worked on their annual Indy Folk Fest. Thanks to Indiana INTERNnet, they connected me with their property manager, and I had an amazing summer that year as their intern. The next summer, I found an internship actually hosted by Indiana INTERNnet as a Marketing Intern. To my dismay, I wasn’t accepted into their program. Instead of beating myself up about it, I took the advice from my interviewers who encouraged me to go out and find another internship to build more experience. It was a blessing in disguise because my next internship that summer was with Do317.com – the Indy affiliate of the DoStuff Media network. Thanks to Indiana INTERNnet, I managed their rejection in a positive way and had another incredibly rewarding experience with Do317 and the Indy music scene.

All of these experiences brought me to where I am today. After my internship with Do317, I finished my collegiate career with some amazing achievements and built long lasting relationships within my industry. Now it was time for the grand finale. When I graduated college, I immediately went to my favorite job board, Indiana INTERNnet, to catch a glimpse of opportunities and internships offered in Indy. To my surprise, I saw Indiana INTERNnet was hiring another Marketing Intern for their organization. After being rejected once already, I applied again to the same internship and thought, “There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.” And guess what? I was accepted! I’ve been a part of Indiana INTERNnet and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce since May and I’ve loved every bit of it. The staff was friendly and welcoming from day one, which is so important for a new intern to feel. I expected to leave my internship with wonderful references and experiences. But my absolute favorite thing was how I made true friends along the way. I am forever grateful for that.

Needless to say, my story shows that when you apply hard-work, dedication, perseverance, and grit to your internship and job search, you will stumble upon some of the most amazing mentors and experiences that will propel you closer and closer to your career goals. You will evolve into a trusted and experienced young professional. Indiana INTERNnet was always there, as a resource, as a motivational tool, and later as another important piece to my resume. Whatever industry you choose, never underestimate the value of internships and the foundations you lay. Those foundations will hold you up higher and higher with each experience, and on those very foundations, you will build your dreams.

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