Written by: Claire Brumback, Public Affairs Intern
On June 6, my first day with Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), I painted a house. Yes, you read that correctly. I painted a house. Outside. In 90 degree heat. On my first day. I quickly learned that my leaders were not kidding with their "other duties as assigned" part of the job description. Being with the Public Affairs Department here at IPL entails a lot of work, including writing reports, attending community events, volunteering, and–yes–even painting houses.
I worked at a store in Circle Center Mall for a long time before I started working here, so I thought I was used to a fast-paced environment, but the people here in Public Affairs take it to a new level. One day at work, I put together the morning communication report, attended the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration Corporate Luncheon, toured Keep Indianapolis Beautiful's (KIB) IPL Project GreenSpace Parks, and worked the IPL booth at Summer Celebration that evening. And that's just all in a day's work. That was a long day for me, but that's just a normal day for any other Public Affairs employee. I am convinced the people in this department are superheroes. Or they put at least three shots of espresso in their morning coffee. Even after working with them for three months, I'm still not sure which one it is.
My favorite day working here was the day I just mentioned. I was asked to go to a corporate luncheon with people like Dionne Warwick, Jim Brown, Chuck Pagano and Reggie Wayne. All these people I had only seen on TV were sitting four tables away from me. How in the world did this happen?! I also got the chance to meet some of our customers and community partners throughout the day. I really was able to see how prominent we are in the community.
In addition to that hectic day, I helped with the ribbon cutting ceremony for the IPL Advancion® Energy Storage Array Facility on July 12. The team put me in charge of the RSVPs for the event. It's reassuring to know that they trust me enough to give me such an important job to do. Did I mention that this battery storage facility is the first of its kind in the country? And I got to see the facility and be part of it. How cool is that?
This summer I also had the chance to volunteer for IPL Day in the Parks in Martinsville, which is my hometown. My new-found painting skills came in handy this day, because I helped paint a shelter house at the park (these people do a lot of painting!). In addition to painting, I also did an interview with the local radio station about how we help the community, so my journalism degree came in handy that afternoon as well. This company has a huge impact on the communities we serve, and this is one of my favorite parts of my whole experience here. Not only did I impact my new community in Indianapolis, but I also made an impact in my hometown.
I've had an internship before, but this one is different. I feel important here. I feel like my work matters and that I'm making a difference. And, I've never been asked to go on a coffee run like interns at other companies. Of course, the team I work with is magnificent. They always make me feel appreciated; they thank me, buy me coffee (I owe you guys!), and praise me when I do a good job. Maybe I'm biased, but I'm convinced I work with the best team in the company.
The internship program as a whole has been great, too. We've had intern meetings, networking events, and we even went to an Indian's game one afternoon (in the suite!). Even as a college graduate, this program has been helpful to me. It helps with resume building, networking skills, and self promotion. It really helps introduce you to the corporate world without just throwing you into it.
I have loved every minute of my time here at IPL. My mother also works for the company at a different location, and I'm so thankful that she told me about the internship opportunity at the downtown office (thanks, Mom!). I learned new skills to add to my resume (like painting), had great opportunities, and met some amazing people within the company and the community during my time here. Who knows, maybe I'll stick around here for a little while longer.