First Year, First Internship, And 11 Important Commandments


My first year in the Kelley School of Business opened my eyes to the business world that I cannot pull myself away from. Professor David E. Steele enlightened me to the addicting world of sales, marketing, management, networking, entrepreneurship, and the list continues. Mr. Steele could see my deep interest in his teachings, and knew my next move should be first-hand experience in a publicly held company. At one of Mr. Steele’s office hour sessions in the orange space, he asked me if I had experienced an internship. I told him I had not, and he suggested I seek an opportunity with Emmis Communications. After studying the company, step-by-step assistance from Mr. Steele, and a few interviews, I landed the job and spent my summer experiencing and participating in the world of Emmis Communications.

Many of the tasks I completed in the beginning of the internship revolved around the execution of the downtown fireworks display for the Fourth of July. Emmis has organized the event for four years, and it is officially named the Donatos Downtown Freedom Blast. Promotions Director Lauren Bielenberg was my main contact for all things DDFB, and as interns we were involved in the event planning aspects of the occasion. Lauren educated us on the necessary permits, rain date plans, road closures, and schedule coordination needed for the event. I had no idea the amount of outside forces working to accomplish the event. Much of the planning stays the same from year to year, but there is constant communication between Emmis and related parties to pull off DDFB.

On the day of the event, the interns, part-time staff, and other volunteer staff met at Emmis at 8 a.m. We were quickly briefed on our assigned tasks and walked from The Circle to the War Memorial. At the memorial we hung signage on temporary fencing to represent each radio station. Hank FM, WIBC, 1070 The Fan, and B105.7 were all represented at the event to appeal to multiple listener demographics, as well as expose Emmis radio. Other companies were represented in respected locations. For example, kids activities were sponsored by Royal Pin, the Colts provided the stage for the band Lemon Wheel, there was a military zone, and of course Donatos, which contributes greatly in funds and provided pizza. Although my role was minimal, the final product was extremely rewarding. Many factors had to fall into place, but Emmis has a trained hand in event planning.

Other aspects of my summer internship included shadowing several departments. I interviewed and shadowed multiple individuals to better understand each facet of the business. I shadowed Susan Frick in trafficking and she taught me the workings of advertising in radio. Susan taught me that if commercials are not aired at the requested time or frequency there are instances of "make goods." Susan described make goods as tools to correct instances of commercials not being played. For each time a commercial is not played when requested, some advertisers require two additional slots on the air. I also shadowed individuals in sales, engineering, account managing, human resources, and programming. Each session built on my current knowledge from classroom settings and made connections with real-world application.

My time with Emmis is concluding soon, and all of my experiences have kept my mind on business through the summer. As a first internship I feel it has been greatly helpful in learning the requirements of each department in a huge corporation. My biggest takeaway is how the entire staff has such a firm belief in the "Eleven Commandments" of Emmis Communications. I reviewed the 11 guidelines before I began my time with Emmis and saw instances of their application each day.

Emmis is an incredible company, run by incredible and talented individuals.