Eiteljorg Insider: Finding Confidence in Transition

By: Brooke Sullivan, former Eiteljorg marketing intern and digital marketing specialist

Brooke Sullivan in the new Native American Galleries at the Eiteljorg

For me, the inevitable transition from university student to post-college member of the workforce was intimidating. Applying for an internship was a nerve-racking task — a task that I continually put off semester after semester. I was under the impression that perhaps just another semester of classes would prepare me enough to start that transition, but several semesters passed and I was still doubting myself.

However, as I was entering my final year at IUPUI, 2021-22, time was running out to start and complete an internship, and I had to quickly get over that fear.

Fast forward 18 months and I have just completed a year-long stint with the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art. I have spent my time working alongside the Eiteljorg’s marketing team, learning and growing as I transitioned from spring/summer intern to contracted digital marketing specialist. Having now worked with seasoned professionals who have graciously taken me under their wing, I want to reflect on my experience.

Looking back, it is hard to believe I got to this point. Having little to no confidence in myself or my education, I feared joining the workforce in any capacity. Even after accepting the offer to join the team as the marketing intern, I often contemplated backing out of fear of failing.

So, what have I learned during my time at the Eiteljorg? As I am now looking forward to the next steps of my career, I realized having confidence is key when it comes to succeeding. Confidence and an understanding that failing is a part of life are the key takeaways from my time at the museum.

Yes, I learned about the tools that public relations professionals use, social media tips and tricks, tips for news releases, and how to work in an office and remotely. I had the extreme pleasure of working through art sales, events, lectures and attending professional networking events.

Brooke Sullivan at the Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure at the Eiteljorg


What I now know is that while college does prepare you for your desired career, sometimes there is truly nothing more valuable than experience.

I know I have much more to learn in this field, and that everything is still a learning opportunity, but now I feel comfortable in that fact .And with that alone, my time with the Eiteljorg Museum was an invaluable experience that in some ways was worth more than all the classes I took combined.


Editor’s note:  Brooke Sullivan, a public relations major who recently graduated from IUPUI, served in 2022 as a marketing intern in the Eiteljorg Museum’s marketing and communications department, and later was a digital marketing specialist. She wrote this essay upon completing her one year with the museum. Internships with the Eiteljorg Museum provide valuable career-building opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and interns through their efforts help the museum complete its work. Check https://eiteljorg.org/join-our-team/ for museum internship openings.





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