Indiana INTERNnet recently appointed Lori Danielson of Terre Haute-based GoTime Coaching as the new president of its board of directors. I sat down with Danielson to discuss her role and goals for the future.
Caitlyn Beck: Tell me a bit about who you are and what you do.
Lori Danielson: I started a small consulting practice, GoTime Coaching, about five years ago. My career has been built in the business world – marketing, finance and manufacturing. I really wanted to do something that would have a greater one-on-one impact with individuals and businesses. I’ve had a lot of fun. A lot of learning in the past five years.
CB: Was there something in particular that motivated you toward wanting to make an individual impact or has that always been a goal of yours?
LD: It was a combination of wanting a one-on-one impact, but also having more control over my time and my schedule. Based on where I was in my career, personally and professionally, it was a good time for me to try something different and go out on my own. It’s probably been the best five years of my career. I’ve had great customers and been exposed to a lot of new relationships. It’s been a blast.
CB: It’s always great to find something that you not only enjoy, but flourish in. And now you’re the president of the Indiana INTERNnet board! What are you hoping to accomplish during your time as board president?
LD: Education has always been a space where I have volunteered my time and my interests, and I really think people can advance whatever they want to accomplish through education. Work-based learning is an important component of that. Matching students or adult learners to the business community through internships can be an outstanding platform for people to grow, succeed and achieve what they’d like to do, as well as help business.
In terms of what I would like to accomplish, I’d like to continue and support the great work that’s been done over the last 19-plus years. Now we’ve achieved over 10,000 filled internships! (There’s been) a lot of great moments and a lot of great momentum across our regions and the state. I want to bring together more businesses and employees and elevate the importance of internships – and do that in a way that brings more businesses to the table.
Small businesses wear a lot of hats. I think we have an opportunity to help provide some guidance and some structure. That can help more and more small- and medium-sized businesses match to an intern and see the rewards of investing some time in internships and work-based learning. Just building upon the great momentum that we already have.
CB: We look forward to continuing that growth on behalf of small- and medium-sized employers in Indiana. What has been your most rewarding moment with Indiana INTERNnet?
LD: When I first came on as a new board member, which was a little over a year ago, I participated in reviewing the nominations for the IMPACT Awards. I read through around 60 nominations and got to read all of the wonderful accomplishments of the interns and how much they contributed to business. Doing that was so rewarding – to see the success that was coming out of some of these internships. It’s phenomenal! It’s a story that, as we tell it more, it will help those small- and medium-sized businesses understand that it’s worth a little bit of time and effort to have an internship strategy and a work-based learning strategy.
CB: Have you personally been involved in an internship? What do you think makes internships important?
LD: I have managed interns. Just recently, in working with one of my clients, we brought in 12 interns and really worked at having a great onboarding experience and training experience. It was extremely rewarding for the company and for those team members and those interns. I’ve also been involved in a lot of mentoring of high school and college students over the years. Supporting and helping new workers grow and exposing them to business and what their career could look like is something that’s really important to me. It’s that coaching piece of me coming out!
CB: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
LD: I just want to be a cheerleader and help promote the great opportunities that businesses have across the state. It will really help with attracting and retaining talent, filling one of our key needs in Indiana. Our work can set us apart as a state and help Indiana be successful for the long term.