Welcome 2021 Regional Partnership Interns

June 3rd, 2021

Collin Kinniry

Get to Know the Regional Partnership's 2021 Interns

Collin Kinniry

Major & College: Politics, Philosophy, Economics (PPE) & Rhetoric at Wabash College

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

1. Why did you choose to attend your college or university?

Wabash College is a place where I knew I would have the ability to differentiate myself through a vigorous environment that challenges me to explore new ideas and involve myself with critical societal issues. Wabash’s mission is to uphold students to “think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely. For all students, the mission is instilled through coursework and the climate outside of the classroom that guides people to become leaders in society. I examine and experience all four facets of the mission, which continually pushes me to improve. Through the liberal arts curriculum, I engage with a multitude of thought processes that allow me to tackle real-world challenges through different modes of thought.

2. What do you love most about your school or major?

I love that my PPE major provides a framework for me to engage with problems through three major lenses. In nearly all academic and professional challenges, I have learned that the first answer is not always the best. By examining things in a political, economic, and philosophical manner, it is amazing to see how many unique solutions can arise. Also, I believe the three topics are quite interdependent. Outside of the classroom, it is almost guaranteed that political, economic, and philosophical perspectives will interact and rely on one another to formalize decisions. With this in mind, I appreciate the fact that I am able to grow in all three areas as I progress throughout my education.

3. Why are internships important for students?

Internships allow students to explore and engage with a professional realm that lets them to see where they might fit best. Having the ability to enter a professional climate provides students with a different perspective to examine their goals in the future. In an internship, students can see what they like and do not like. They can discover how their strengths guide them in their specific workplace climate. Once they discover these qualities, the student can reevaluate and refocus the rest of their educational and career pursuits. During the internship, however, it gives students a chance to develop and showcase their strengths for potential employers. Whether the connections are internal or external, an internship provides the means for students to expand their network and cement certain connections that could bolster their opportunities down the road.

4. Why did you want to intern at the Regional Partnership?

I wanted to intern at the Regional Partnership because I believe the work they do is paramount to improving the quality of life for people in Northeast Indiana. I valued their mission and objectives, and I believe there is no better place to take part in a process that benefits the lives of so many NE Hoosiers now and in the future. Having the opportunity to take a seat in the office and participate in a sliver of their life-changing work was more than what I could ask for this summer. Ultimately, the work they do day-in-and-day-out is critical to providing more jobs and improving lifestyles across the region. With this internship, I believe my knack to tackle problems head-on through a varied, systematic approach would benefit the Partnership. I have the opportunity to absorb and embrace some of the critical issues they face every day, which I knew would provide a tremendous way for me to grow personally and professionally.

5. What are you hoping to learn here?

I am hoping to learn all of the venerable approaches in which The Partnership achieves economic advancement in our region. While this might seem broad, I am beginning to understand that each sector of the Partnership uniquely contributes to the ultimate goal of improving Northeast Indiana. The Partnership would not function without the pool of talent and character that intertwines each department. I want to learn as many different perspectives from the entire Partnership to get a well-rounded understanding of their work. In addition, I am seeking to further understand the greater conceptual undertakings of economic development. Politicians, higher education, economic developers, and so many others contribute to developing Northeast Indiana. I am taking it upon myself to have a full outline of this process, so that I can contribute to pushing the development in the less major tasks I perform for the team.

6. How can businesses support interns?

Businesses can support interns by providing them opportunities to improve themselves through a focused, adaptable system. Not all interns are the same, so it is crucial to understand the strengths of each intern. On a smaller scale, businesses should know the strengths of each intern and design their work to give them the best chance to push their boundaries for success. It is important to challenge each intern in order for both the intern and business to benefit from the intern’s unique capabilities. More fundamentally, it is beneficial for the intern to expand their network and tackle as many objectives as possible. Allocating a smorgasbord of assignments will allow the intern to ascertain where their interest fit best.

Melissa García

Melissa García

Major & College: Marketing and Digital and Social Media Business Applications from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

1. Why did you choose to attend your college or university?

I choose to attend college out of town because you only get one college experience and I wanted to make the most of it. After receiving my acceptance letter into the world-renowned Kelley School of Business everything felt right. As a first-generation Latina, I felt guilty at first for not staying home for the next four years, but I am blessed to have followed the path that was right for me.

2. What do you love most about your school or major?

With Kelley being one of the best business schools in the nation, I love how I have been able to apply what I learn in the classroom to real life. From financial accounting to Microsoft Excel, I feel that I am very well-versed in not only understanding how to perform complex tasks but also how this knowledge is used in the professional world, whether it be completing a balance sheet or organizing data. I am very happy with my choice of being a Marketing major. I knew I wanted to do something in the world of business, but I did not want to sit in a cubicle all day doing the same thing five times a week. Marketing allows me to explore my creative brain while incorporating business aspects that include, but are not limited to, branding, customer relationship management, and search engine optimization.

3. Why are internships important for students?

Any internship experience is a great experience. Internships are important for students to understand what they like and do not like about the type or work and/or industry they will be working in throughout the summer. It is beneficial to intern within the area of study that a student is going to university for, but it is also interesting to note that a person’s major does not determine their occupation. Internships are great resume builders for the sake of future career plans, but they are also essential in building and practicing transferrable skills that can be applied to any role or occupation.

4. Why did you want to intern at the Regional Partnership?

I wanted to intern at the Regional Partnership because I saw it as an exceptional opportunity to make an impact in the very same community I grew up in and to expand my network within the great organizations and business leaders in the northeast Indiana region that the Partnership works with. Seeing the Partnership’s core values of Collaborate, Exceed Expectations, and Be Tenacious come alive during my first interaction with a member of the Team is what captivated me to learn more.

5. What are you hoping to learn here?

I am hoping to learn how to set and focus on short-term goals here. I am someone who likes to think big picture and who likes to aim for the end result right away. However, I have found myself going off track or feel disappointed when I do not see what I want to achieve right away. With the Partnership’s successes of previous long-term projects and its current Vision 2030, I hope to learn how to identify and celebrate achievements along the way in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

6. How can businesses support interns?

Businesses can support interns by providing high-quality internships. My manager here at the Partnership was who defined this for me, and I believe it is a program that should be implemented at every organization. By providing the essential job description, making sure it is posted for the public to see, and requiring an interview process is what helps a company hire the most qualified intern. Ensuring a project-based experience for interns is what also makes their experience of high-quality. Instead of making copies or going on coffee runs, a project-based experience is what will support an intern in their future endeavors; it gives them useful exposure to what a professional job can potentially look and feel like. Aside from the work aspect, businesses can further support their interns by providing them with a manager or mentor to touch base with, ask questions, and get advice. Including evaluations for the intern to see how they are doing is also a great support tool because it allows them to understand how they are doing, what they are doing wrong, and how they can improve instead of being left in the dark. Lastly, explaining an onboarding and offboarding plan to the intern is beneficial for them to not get thrown into an ocean of doubt and confusion. These are all aspects encompassed into a high-quality internship, and I am so thankful to have been taught such a program because I feel much more confident in myself and the Partnership.

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