Alec Rowan, MiM ’23
Intern at the 500 Festival
Indianapolis, Indiana

Where are you interning and what are your responsibilities? 
I’m interning at the 500 Festival which is a non-profit organization that puts on the Festival Mini Marathon and the 500 Festival Parade. My role at the 500 Festival is titled ‘Logistics Coordinator’ which means I handle all affairs that take place in the warehouse including producing “load lists” which I then use to load box trucks in preparations for event days, working with vendors on sponsorship activation pieces to ensure a positive customer experience, and handling all deliveries, drop offs, and pick-ups that involve our warehouse inventory. 

During each of our races I am directly responsible for each “pit station” along our running course. It is my job to accurately load “pit station” box trucks to ensure the volunteers that work each station are able to efficiently give water and Gatorade to our runners. For our Mini Marathon, I led a group of eight hired laborers in correctly loading over 20 box trucks. Unloading these box trucks in an organized manner is also my responsibility which requires effective planning and leadership. 

How does this experience relate to your major?
My MiM degree prepared me well for this role. I am a better self-starter and can manage activities with little to no direction. I have also become a better manager and feel I have been a successful leader of projects and people with the activities I have taken on at the 500 Festival.

What do you like most about your internship?
I enjoy the people I work with at the 500 Festival. The staff members are a great group of people who have an active interest in developing interns. The interns themselves are all excited to be involved in the 500 Festival and show it by working long hours—early mornings and late nights.

What has surprised you the most about this experience?
I was surprised at the 500 Festival’s ability to put on some of the most iconic and highly rated events in the United States. There are 22 people working at the 500 Festival—11 staff members and 11 interns. After seeing the 20,000 runners complete our Mini Marathon, I was astonished that a group of 22 was able to put on such a complex and high-profile event for the Indianapolis community.  

What advice would you give another student who may be looking for an internship?
Taking a chance on an internship opportunity you might not think is for you can pay off in ways you never expected. I have formed great relationships and new skills through my experience with the 500 Festival that I know I would not have gained otherwise.