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Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on February 7, 2018 at the 12th Annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. Though the event is over and the winners have been announced, we are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.

These are their stories.

Marissa Smith is a junior at IUPUI studying journalism and public relations. She serves as the communications intern for local nonprofit Indiana Futsal, writing articles, managing social media content, and assisting with the coordination of the organization’s many events.

How the IMPACT Awards Indirectly ‘Impacted’ Me
In addition to having started my campus job just over a year ago, it has also been roughly a year since I began my internship with locally-based nonprofit Indiana Futsal! What originally began as temporary internship for a sport I’d never heard of before (Oops) has flourished into a yearlong position I’m highly grateful for.

Today I attended the Indiana INTERNnet IMPACT Awards Luncheon as a nominee for Intern of the Year due to my time spent with Indiana Futsal. Though I did not take home the title of Intern of Year, I enjoyed seeing how many other great organizations in Indiana aid professional and economic development by providing internship programs for high school, college, and non-traditional students.

Though I liked the luncheon, the real honor was knowing that I have made an “impact.” I highly value workplace environments where every level of employee is able to effect change in their organization. I’m very fortunate that I have had multiple roles where that was true, but the growth I have sustained from feeling like a leader at Indiana Futsal is unique to that organization and its team.

My role with this organization was unique from the start, where a casual interview with my now-supervisor turned into a conversation on issues affecting local communities, such as gentrification. Honest conversations like that haven’t stopped since last February (most of our staff meetings end up dissolving in laughter from the frankness of the well-developed friendships we all share). I’ve learned what’s its like to work with people rather than for them, and the value in that.

I’ve also gained more confidence in my abilities as a young professional. There is a lot of rhetoric out there that can convince young people like myself that we are not to be taken seriously until we have a four-year degree. Though I’m still a year away from earning one of those, I think the impact I’ve made at Indiana Futsal proves that idea wrong.

I’m not just a college student. I’m a young professional with a well-rounded background in public relations, journalism, event coordination, and advertising — and I plan to keep making an IMPACT in my community, wherever that leads me.

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