Hi! My name is Sydney Heile and this summer I interned with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. KIB is a non-profit organization based in Indianapolis dedicated to
engaging with the Indianapolis community to create vibrant public places and helping people and nature thrive. This is to say they plant and maintaining GreenSpaces, Pocket Parks, trees, gardens, and other public spaces to make them more beautiful so the community is healthier and more connected.
I was a PR/marketing intern for the non-profit and my responsibilities included everything from managing a new campaign’s social media and blog, It’s My City, to helping plan and organize KIB’s largest fundraiser coming this September, THRIVE.
I started the application process in early November, and it took until about March to hear back and get interviews/resumes/transcripts all sorted out. My interviews included two phone calls, one coffee meet-up, and multiple emails back and forth. To be perfectly honest, my summer schedule was pretty hectic so choosing the internship that afforded me the most flexibility was key and KIB gave me the freedom I needed.
The most important thing I’ve learned from the whole application process and the internship as a whole is as simple as this: take the risk and put yourself out there.
Whether you have a question about what an acronym means from a meeting you attended or you’ve finished a task early and would rather not sit and twiddle your thumbs, it’s up to you to make the most of your internship. How much you put in is how much you’re going to get out and I can’t stress enough how important it is to take advantage of the opportunities you’re given. Internship programs are developed for you growth and the company’s continued success, but there is only so much your boss/mentor/supervisor can do to help you learn along the way.
And let me tell you, there is always so much to learn. While we have great professors at IU, the things you took notes on in class will make so much more sense in practice. To give you an example, when I took R321 with Professor Yang he lectured on the importance of having good employee relations because they are a huge factor of how good/bad an organization’s reputation can be. I saw this first hand at KIB. Because we are a smaller non-profit in Indianapolis with such a niche ‘market,’ one of our biggest publics were internal. The city knew about us from our projects, but they had a fondness and appreciation for our work because our employees and volunteer coordinators and all other KIB affiliated persons were so passionate and kind when working. They really helped give our organization a human face.