Kenyari Keith transitioned from graduate assistant to project coordinator for the business education and events department and the Wellness Council of Indiana at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of IUPUI, receiving her master of science in event tourism in December 2017 and bachelor of arts in journalism with a concentration in public relations in May 2016.
Indiana INTERNnet: How did your graduate assistant experience prepare you for your current role?
Kenyari Keith: As a graduate assistant (GA), I developed several skills that I now use in my full-time role. As a GA, I assisted with the planning and execution of both on-site and off-site conferences and special events. I assisted our business education and events team in several areas such as speaker coordination, marketing, contracting and budgeting. I worked as the lead planner for Best Places to Work 2017 and the 2017 Environmental Conference. I even had the chance to build mobile apps for conference attendees and work on an emergency plan for our department. I was also able to become familiar with my team. I feel like I’ve graduated with much more than a master’s degree; I’ve graduated into my career with experience to offer my employer.
IIN: What was your most memorable moment?
Keith: I enjoyed working on all of the Chamber’s conferences and special events last year. My most memorable moment was working on-site at the 2017 Annual Dinner where Peyton Manning was the guest speaker.
IIN: Could you describe your previous internships?
Keith: Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to intern for a variety of great organizations and businesses. Prior to joining the Chamber, I was an events intern for Raybourn Group International and a public information specialist intern for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
IIN: Do you have advice for current interns or graduate students?
Keith: Interns: Take risks and be shameless about learning! If you’re curious about multiple fields, try to intern in each one before you graduate to find out what is right for you. If time will allow you to, do more than what is required for your curriculum.
Graduate assistants: Make your studies work for you now! Don’t wait until after graduate school to start applying what you’re learning. It’s likely that your professors/instructors are experts in the field that you’re working in. When you’re in class or doing research, ask questions that will help you in your professional role as a graduate assistant.
IIN: How do you view the value of internships?
Keith: Internships and graduate assistantship programs are invaluable. Each experience is an opportunity to learn about yourself on a professional and personal level.