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An Intern’s Perspective: Rediscovering Indy Through Indyfluence

Posted by: Julia Sifferlen
Posted: August 17, 2020
Categories: Professional Development, YP Perspectives, IndyHub

Name: Julia Sifferlen

University and Major/Program: DePauw University, Communication Major

Year-In-School: Rising Senior

Company you worked at this summer: INNOVATIVE

A leader in Indy that you met through Indyfluence that you’d like to sit down with for coffee? Through the daily 5@5 interviews, I got to speak with Holly Enneking, the VP of Marketing at Lev. I would love to sit down for coffee with her and learn more about her experiences as a female tech leader in Indy. 

Your connection to Indianapolis: I’ve lived in Zionsville, right outside of Indianapolis, my whole life! 

—-

I know I am not alone when I say that I did not expect to spend this entire summer living at my childhood home navigating how to effectively “intern from home”. Luckily, as my summer is wrapping up, I am happy to report that I would not have traded the experience for anything.

This summer at Innovative I worked directly under Nicole Halper, the Director of Creative Strategy. I was able to involve myself in all steps of the creative process of an agency. My biggest project was actually working on exactly what this post is about: Indyfluence! If you’re not familiar, Indyfluence was a virtual, month-long event for interns working at Indianapolis companies that allows them to MEET Indy, LEARN FROM Indy, and GIVE BACK to Indy – regardless of whether or not they were physically able to be here! 

Pivoting an event involving 550 interns, 8 sponsor companies, 5 programming partners, and 3 nonprofit organizations to completely online truly does take a village. I was able to take the lead on a lot of social media content and even curate my own web series, Julia Joins In! Through all of the programming and planning, I interacted with so many leaders throughout the Indianapolis area. I was able to have a really unique vantage point where I was partaking in Indyfluence as an intern while also simultaneously working behind-the-scenes pushing out content. 

As an Indyfluence participant, I honestly did not expect to learn all that much or change the way I viewed our city. I’ve lived in the Indy area my whole life, and I thought I pretty much had it figured out. Biggest Children’s Museum in the world, shrimp cocktail sauce at St. Elmo’s that makes your eyes well up… yeah, yeah, I knew all the staples. However, when I actually started to conduct research for various content and attended some of the events, I was shocked by how much I didn’t know. I’ve discovered countless restaurants, venues, and networking opportunities that I had no idea existed in my backyard my whole life! 

Out of all the panels, interviews with young professionals, and Instagram takeovers, one common denominator remained the focal point of everyone’s case for Indianapolis: the people. Everyone stressed the power of the Indy network and the willingness that people have to help others out, regardless of their age. But even more powerful than these words was the social proof! After every 5@5 interview I conducted with leaders in Indianapolis, every single one followed up with me afterwards and told me if I ever wanted to chat more or pick their brain about their career paths, they would love to talk with me. No questions asked! Every one of these accomplished professionals went out of their way to offer their assistance for ME. I couldn’t believe it. 

So, if you’re a born-and-raised Hoosier who thinks they have this city figured out, I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and spend the time discovering how much this city has to offer. If you’re anything like me, you will definitely find something new. 

Julia Sifferlen is a rising senior at DePauw University. She’s majoring in Communications and is the General Manager of her campus’ television station, D3TV. Previously, she’s interned for NBC Sports Chicago and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon before interning here in Indianapolis at INNOVATIVE. She loves discovering new restaurants, working out (not in that order), and late night television! 

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