Eiteljorg Insider: Finding Confidence in Transition
By: Brooke Sullivan, former Eiteljorg marketing intern and digital marketing specialist
Brooke Sullivan at the Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure 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 get over that fear quickly.
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 failure 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.
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 with 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.