The most exciting month of the year is right around the corner for Indianapolis, the Racing Capital of the World. Along with the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May is the accompanying 57-year-old tradition of the 500 Festival Princess Program - an ambassador, scholarship and professional development program for college-aged women. This year, 500 Festival Princesses will include Kelley School of Business Indianapolis sophomore Macy Nikirk.
“I became interested in the 500 Festival Princess while a friend and I watched the Miss Universe pageant,” remembers Macy, who had never participated in pageant prior. “She told me about the 500 Festival Princess Program and mentioned that this year was extra special since it’s the 100th running of the Indy 500. I went back to my apartment that evening, did my research on the program and applied that night.”
Macy was selected, along with 33 other women from across the state and 13 universities, to serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival. In addition to receiving a $1,000 scholarship from the 500 Festival, each woman will participate in the program’s personal and professional development initiatives and get involved in race festivities and outreach programs across the state, including visits to hospitals, schools and youth programs.
“I’m looking forward to serving as an ambassador for the 500 Festival, my hometown of Bedford, Ind., and IUPUI,” says Macy. “I’m also excited for the networking opportunities the 500 Festival Princess Program offers. It’d be unlikely that I’d meet some of the people I will be meeting through this program. Every event I attend is an opportunity to speak with professionals while promoting the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500.”
A marketing and supply chain management major, Macy is also the vice president of new membership for the Kelley School’s Women in Business (WIB) group. She says some of the skills she’s learned at Kelley were useful during the selection process for 500 Festival Princess.
“Before I earned an interview, I had to submit a cover letter and resume. Kelley’s career perspectives course taught me how to write a great cover letter and resume. I think I interviewed well during both of my interviews because of my experience in Women in Business,” she says. “Through WIB, I’ve developed professionally and become more confident in the business realm.”
Conversely, Macy feels that her experience thus far in the 500 Festival Princess Program has helped her grow in ways that will be valuable as she pursues her professional business goals.
“I’ve learned to be more aware of what I say to everyone I meet because people will always remember the first impression you made on them and how you made them feel,” she says. “I also learned the importance of supporting your colleagues. All of the princesses support one other and make the effort to attend each other’s outreach events so that no one is alone and each woman can feel confident. Both of these lessons will be beneficial in business.”
Look for future blog posts from Macy during the month of May.