I had the opportunity to attend Indiana INTERNnet’s IMPACT Awards this past week. It was a little crazy, because I was the only person in the room that I knew. Nonetheless I jumped right in, headfirst. I went to my assigned seat and starting talking to the people at my table.
The IMPACT Awards are given to employers, career development professionals, and interns who have gone above and beyond their call of duty. For employers, an IMPACT Award means that you’ve developed a good program that focuses on teaching interns valuable skills for their future in the workplace. For interns, an IMPACT Award means you went above and beyond the expectations that were set in front of you through your internship. As a career development professional, an IMPACT Award shows that you encourage students and workforce coalitions in a marked and impactful way. It was great to see the best and brightest of Indiana’s interns, employers and career development professionals get recognized for what they do.
Anyone attending the awards ceremony had the pleasure of hearing Tamika Catchings, former WNBA player, talk about “Scoring Big with Your Career.” She was funny, charming and had some great things to say… Like how we should be open to new opportunities. Tamika never wanted to move to Indiana and play for the Indiana Fever, but the opportunity presented itself and she not only said “yes”, she put her entire heart and soul into her career. The opportunity gave her a chance to develop a passion for something she never thought she would be passionate about; public speaking.
“Go above and beyond the call of duty” … I get chills remembering how Tamika said that. Every day in her basketball career, Tamika was the first person in the gym and the last out. Every day, for years. Every day, she asked herself why they want her. Not the next guy or girl to come along… her. I think this concept really applies to everyone. Every day, we should be asking ourselves why our employers, clients, friends, want us, specifically, us. To set ourselves apart, we need to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Never. Stop. Learning. As a student, this was a hard one to hear. I’m learning so much right now that I think my head has grown three sizes from the time I started at IUPUI. But Tamika has a good point. If we’re getting smarter little by little, every day, in a year we’ll have improved significantly. Learn how you can be better at your job, learn about networking, learn about knitting… your choice. Just never stop learning. Added bonus: continued learning exercises your brain to keep it fresh and healthy as you age.
On the last note, Tamika said “what’s the point if we don’t enjoy what we’re doing?” I think a lot of us can use this as advice. Life’s too short to not enjoy it. Start getting excited about the little things and soon you’re going to be loving life!
Data entry? When can I start??
Morning meetings?? Heck yeah, let’s go!
Sales call? Sign me up!
I’m cleaning up the files today? Can’t wait!
All in all, it was a wonderful event and congratulations to the employers, career development professionals and interns who were nominated. Also, congratulations to anyone who was in the room to hear Tamika speak.
But there’s one more story to be told in this blog. When I walked up to get a picture with Tamika after her presentation, I handed her my business card fully expecting her to throw it in her bag and forget about it. Little did I realize that when I got to my desk on Monday and logged on to my email, I would have a message from her wanting to connect with me! How many 19-year-olds can say that they got an email from an Olympic gold medalist?? Few, I think. This really shows you what kind of person Tamika is. On my business card, it shows my title of ‘intern’, and she still reached out to me… I didn’t have to reach out to her.
Very cool. I give much appreciation to the Indiana INTERNnet for hosting the luncheon, and Milliner and Associates for providing me with the opportunity to go.