Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on February 26, 2019 at the 13th 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.
Matt Kline is pursuing a degree in Marketing at Western Governors University and has been the Strategic Partnerships Intern at WGU Indiana for the past 18 months.
Indiana INTERNnet: What made you pursue a degree in Marketing Management?
MK: I am a student at Western Governors University pursuing my Bachelor’s in Marketing Management. I started out as a marketing minor but as I advanced through my degree, I realized how much I enjoyed my marketing classes and made the decision to change majors.
IIN: Describe your internship experience with WGU Indiana.
MK: My internship with WGU Indiana has been incredible. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a team that provides me with consistent opportunities to grow and develop, professionally. I have been given a wide variety of roles and responsibilities ranging from PR, account management, internal communication, event management, and managing WGU Indiana’s sponsorships for the last fiscal year. I have been able to contribute in ways I had never expected when first starting my internship, and I know that I have benefitted from this tremendously.
IIN: What were the hardest projects you were assigned?
MK: There are two projects that stand out as particularly challenging during my internship. This past summer WGU Indiana was a sponsor of the Indiana State Fair. This sponsorship provided us with a booth outside for each of the 17 days. In addition to taking on a large majority of the shifts, I was also tasked with organizing and managing the volunteer schedule. When it was all said and done, WGU Indiana staff members contributed a total of 408 volunteer hours. This was a time consuming and challenging task for many reasons, especially given that this was my first experience managing a volunteer-based event. I was able to look to members of my team for advice and support. I also owe our remote staff that volunteered a special thank you for their dedication. This past year at the fair WGU Indiana staff had more volunteers sign up than any of the previous years.
The second project that stands out was a sponsorship that WGU Indiana had with the Indy Eleven soccer team. This was my first experience designing, managing, and executing a major sponsorship from start to finish. I was quickly exposed to the variety of moving parts that come along with managing a deal of this size from start to finish. I had to adapt and learn on the go as I worked to determine WGU Indiana’s goals and outcomes that this sponsorship needed to meet, as well as operating within out budget for the project. It was a learning experience for me, and I had the support of my team at every turn, but it was by far one of the most challenging and successful projects of my internship.
IIN: Out of all your projects which one did you face the most obstacles with?
MK: The Indy Eleven sponsorship I mentioned before was my first experience developing a sponsorship package. I met with our Chancellor and PR manager to discuss what our priorities were, as well as our budget, and from there created a package that we felt would best promote WGU and effectively share our message. I was able to assist our PR Manager in the production of a commercial that highlighted a WGU Indiana alum who played for the team. This commercial ran in-stadium before each home game. The sponsorship also provided us with the opportunity to host their Military Appreciation game. Prior to the match, we were able to honor a current student whose husband is serving overseas in the military. After the match, the team held a jersey auction that helped raised money for a WGU Indiana scholarship. We also hosted over 100 of our remote employees at the match, and it was our highest attended event of 2018. I am so grateful to be on a team that has entrusted me with so many responsibilities.
IIN: What are your future and career goals?
MK: I plan to remain with WGU Indiana until the completion of my degree, but I am actively looking for full-time career opportunities. My goal is to find a job in sports sponsorships and marketing with a professional sports organization, preferably here in Indianapolis.
IIN: How has your nomination for IMPACT Awards impacted your life?
MK: I was honored to be nominated for the IMPACT Awards this year. It was rewarding to hear what my co-workers said about me and it was just an extension of the constant support I receive from them on a daily basis. I have been incredibly fortunate with the responsibilities I have been given, and seeing my hard work recognized in this way meant a lot to me.
Matt Kline with other members of the WGU Indiana team joined by Gov. Eric Holcomb at the Governor’s Residence for a special scholarship presentation.