A Day in the Life of the Development Intern

By Kathryn Cleary, Development Intern

“Making my way downtown, walking fast, logos pass, I’m work bound. Staring at the cross walk ahead, just making my way, making my way, through the crowd.”
This is the song that plays through my head every morning as I leave my parking garage and head into The Center, as the fall development intern. As strange as my little jingle may be, it oddly sums up what it’s like to be working in development! There are a few key things I have learned during my time here so far, observation, recognition, and execution. These three things are how my young college brain has organized the projects I work on here at The Center.

Let’s refer back to my jingle; everyday hundreds of people call the downtown Indianapolis area their home from 9am till 5pm. These are the people surrounding me as I make my way into to work, and these are the people who make up the various companies and organizations whom The Center seeks to know. So as I am walking to work, I like to observe. I like to observe where people are going, what they are talking about, and how they seem to act. Are they similar to me? Do they have the same interests that I do? All questions that one might ask. This is the observation stage of the development intern’s day.

Moving on, so it’s 8:28am and you walk into The Center, café au lait in hand, ready for a full days’ worth of work. You mosey on over to your quaint desk with the picturesque view of downtown, switch over your comfortable casual shoes for your shiny work shoes, and begin to go through your email inbox. You find an email from your supervisor asking you to do some research on different organizations in the area whom might be suitable matches for The Center to receive a grant. You carefully scroll through the list of never ending organizations and occasionally pass a few familiar names. But why are these names familiar? Oh yes, because you pass by their logos detailed onto their office buildings every morning! (See, my jingle doesn’t seem so strange now does it). You recognize community organizations like Lilly, CICF, Citizens Energy, and IPL. You also recognize names like Faegre Baker Daniels and Katz Sapper Miller because you heard about them in former political science classes, but now you, yes you, because you are the development intern, have the task of discovering what these organizations and companies represent. So after spending a few days creating the largest spreadsheet you have ever seen in your life, your task becomes a little easier. Now it is time to recognize what organizations and companies are the best match for The Center. And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the recognition stage of the development intern’s day!

Congratulations, it’s almost 5pm which means it’s almost time to head home after a long and very tedious day. But the final thing left to cover is the execution stage of the development intern’s day. As an intern I sometimes think to myself, but I’m just an intern, what can I actually do? Nonsense, do you realize how many important emails you, smallish intern, are CCed on every day? Do you realize that your research and preparation will be used to catapult The Center into a successful 2015 year? There is no such thing as just an intern here at The Center. So before it’s time to leave the office, you are scheduled to attend a meeting with your supervisor and the Marketing and Communications Staff and intern the next day. Little do you know, however, is that during that meeting you, yes you, development intern, will have a say in what organizations The Center wishes to propose a future project to. Et voila! C’est ma vie!

I love being the Development Intern, because it gives me something to look forward to everyday that I work. From learning about grants, to doing research, to brainstorming about events, there is always something going on! I am so grateful for this opportunity, and have learned so much in a short period of time. Although it’s hard going from the college academic setting, wearing yoga pants and ponytails every day, being an intern with The Center is something that can’t be beat. Even if it does mean wearing professional clothing, every day that you work…

Thanks everyone! Happy Fall!