This blog was written as part of my internship with Indiana INTERNnet and was originally published here.
More than 75 interns from companies in the Indianapolis area gathered at the historic Fountain Square Theatre building last Friday to take advantage of Indy Intern Connect. Our second intern engagement event of the summer was a casual evening event, hosted by the Indy Chamber. Attendees had an opportunity to network with Indianapolis business leaders and fellow interns while enjoying free drinks, duckpin bowling and a view of the city skyline from the Rooftop Garden.
A welcoming host, the long-time owner of the Fountain Square Theatre, Linton Calvert, shared the story of the building with the crowd. Originally built in 1928, the building has paid host to many types of businesses and witnessed the surrounding neighborhood continuously change. Never the less, it stands tall today after being restored by Calvert and is a landmark of Indianapolis.
It was a truly fitting venue for the night, which was all about encouraging interns who are not native to Indianapolis to see what the city has to offer. Karissa Hulse, the Director of Development and Operations for IndyHub, emphasized this message by speaking of her organization’s opportunities to get involved around the city. Their upcoming event, IndyVolved, is designed to connect young professionals with volunteer opportunities and strengthen individuals’ connections to the community.
Aside from the opening remarks, attendees split their time between the fourth-floor duckpin bowling alley and the rooftop lounge, enjoying food and beverages on behalf of the Indy Chamber. Efrain Alvarado, an IUPUI alum, was happy to share a little piece of the city with attendees who were unfamiliar with Indianapolis, “[I was] so glad to get to meet people from different parts of the country all here doing internships in downtown Indy.”
These types of events, while more casual than most professional development sessions, are particularly important for building a sense of community among young professionals. Building relationships with business leaders and fellow interns not only benefits the attendees themselves but strengthens Indianapolis’s network of professionals overall.
Networking can feel particularly intimidating, but as with anything, practice makes perfect. For this reason, Indiana INTERNnet is pleased to host multiple networking opportunities this year and help interns from both Indianapolis and around the country build their professional toolkit.