Meet the 2024 Interns!

Meet the 2024 Interns!

Welcome 2024 500 Festival Interns!

The 500 Festival is proud to announce the new class of 2024 interns who will be representing and contributing to the various events in the coming months and throughout the Month of May! Each intern has unique talents that will ultimately lead to a more positive impact for all the festivities ahead. These 10 students are eager to dive into the Festival’s upcoming events and put in their best effort for the Indianapolis community.

While participating in the intern program, interns will experience a behind-the-scenes look at the famous Month of May in the heart of Indianapolis. This is an amazing opportunity for these students to be part of a professional team and contribute to something truly special.

To learn more about the 500 Festival Intern Program, visit: 500Festival.com/Intern

 

Name: Robert Ashabraner

School and Year: Washington State University, Senior

Intern Title: Youth Program Intern

Hometown: Puyallup, Washington

What do you like to do in your free time? Running and recreational sports

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I am hoping for networking opportunities, experience creating and coordinating youth program activities, and learning the internal operation of a large sport organization.

Career Goal: Some type of Youth Programs Director for a professional sports organization

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I am most looking forward to the Mobile Trips & Rookie Run!

 

                                                                               Name: Kelsen Bartley

School and Year: Ball State University, Senior

Intern Title: Mini-marathon Expo and Kid’s Day Intern

Hometown: Speedway, Indiana

What do you like to do in your free time? Play ultimate frisbee and video games with my friends.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? A new perspective on the field of event management and a challenging experience that can help me learn and grow!

Career Goal: Have a senior position with an event management company!

What 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to: I’m most excited for the Rookie Run so I can see how excited all the kids and their families become after seeing the vendors and entertainment we bring in!

 

Name: Gerald Bentley II

School and Year: University of Indianapolis, Senior

Intern Title: Ticketing and Customer Service Intern

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

What do you like to do in your free time? Hangout with friends and go to the gym.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I am looking forward to building a relationship with our customers and creating connections with the 500 Festival staff and interns.

Career Goal: My long-term goal is to become a sports agent.

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I am most looking forward to the AES 500 Festival Parade because it’s my first experience of the 500 Festival.

 

                                                                               Name: Dave Blankman

School and Year: Indiana University – Purdue University Columbus, Graduate

Intern Title: Event Operations Intern

Hometown: Greensburg, Indiana

What do you like to do in your free time? I love to go to sporting events, especially Colts and Reds. I also love listening to music and working out!

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I am excited for growth and opportunity in the competitive field of the sports industry.

Career Goal: Travel with a sports team or work for a concert venue.

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to all of the events! I can’t wait to see all our hard work pay off for all events this season!

 

Name: Ava Hoeppner

School and Year: Butler University, Junior

Intern Title: Communications Intern

Hometown: Leo, Indiana

What do you like to do in your free time? Spend time with my family and friends, traveling, and shopping.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I am looking forward to all the connections I will make from my time with the 500 Festival, as well as strengthening my communication skills. I am excited to see the impact that this internship will have on my future career and the impact that everyone’s hard work will have on the Indianapolis community!

Career Goal: I definitely want to work in something within the sports media world, but my main career goal is to be a sideline reporter!

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I am very excited for the AES 500 Festival Parade! I know it will be so special to see everyone’s hard work pay off and the excitement of the community celebrating the day before the Indy 500!

 

 

                                                                               Name: Ellen Kleyweg

School and Year: Butler University, Junior

Intern Title: Digital Marketing Intern

Hometown: La Grange, Illinois

What do you like to do in your free time? Spending time with my friends and family, swimming, traveling, and working out.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? During my time at the 500 Festival, I hope to gain experience on how to engage our audiences through different social and online platforms to attend our different races and events. I am also looking forward to working with my fellow interns and the different departments on how to create fun and memorable events in the Indianapolis community.

Career Goal: Marketing account manager

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? The Parade! Getting to help organize such a historical event for the city and see how it impacts the community by bringing the Indianapolis community together is something I am extremely excited for.

 

 

Name: Hannah Rollins

School and Year: Purdue University, Graduate

Intern Title: Kickoff to May, Parade, and Princess Program Intern

Hometown: Greenwood, Indiana

What do you like to do in your free time? I paint watercolor, love to travel, and watch Purdue basketball games in my free time.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I hope to meet some new people, network, and explore some of the opportunities my communication degree and athletics experience can open for me.

Career Goal: I have really enjoyed working in sporting events and athletics. I have been doing graphic design for a few years, and while I enjoy it, I wanted to explore more of the communication and operations side of things at this time in my career.

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I’m most looking forward to the Parade and seeing some of my behind-the-scenes work come to life there!

 

 

                                                                               Name: Alex Scrivener

School and Year: Indiana University, Senior

Intern Title: Sponsorship and Partnership Activation Intern

Hometown: San Diego, CA

What do you like to do in your free time? I am an avid supporter of IU athletics, especially basketball. You’ll always find me cheering on the Hoosiers whether in the stands or behind the TV. I also like to attend diverse and niche community events, regardless of if they align with my usual interests; I find allure in exploring the unfamiliar and engaging in unique experiences. I enjoy traveling for this same reason; whether it is across the globe or across the state, I love a new adventure. Snowboarding stands as my all-time favorite hobby and one I’ve gotten quite good at over the years. I truly treasure any opportunity to hit the slopes and try to make a trip out West at least once a year. I also find joy in collecting vintage clothes, where each garment carries a unique story and reflects my individuality. I make regular visits to local thrift stores in search of hidden gems and find solace in flipping through the racks. I also enjoy analyzing and critiquing films, making movie nights a common part of my week.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? I am super excited to be a part of the sponsorship team at the 500 Festival because I know I have the right skills to thrive in this sector of the events industry, and this position provides me with an amazing opportunity to absorb valuable knowledge from seasoned professionals as I embark on my career. Sponsorship is so captivating to me due to its dynamic nature, as it intrinsically collaborates with various in-house departments to fulfill the unique objectives of the diverse companies who are partnered with. The beauty lies in the fact that no two partnerships should ever be the same. This complexity demands critical thinking to tailor the best value based on both the event’s objectives and the distinct goals of each partner. My hope is to learn how to navigate this dynamic landscape while contributing meaningfully to the 500 Festival’s success and build a robust foundation of professional experience that will prepare me for my future career.

Career Goal: My ultimate career goal is centered around finding happiness in my work and securing a position within an organization that fills me with excitement every morning. I aspire to contribute meaningfully to the goals and values of this organization, creating a positive impact while deriving personal fulfillment from my daily contributions. Simultaneously, I am driven by a desire to be in a position that allows me to continue growing both professionally and personally. While seeking happiness, I also harbor high aspirations for advancement and continuous development within the field in which I ultimately end up.

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? Among the exciting lineup of events, the one I am most looking forward to is the AES 500 Festival Parade. I anticipate that it will be fun collaborating with our partners in bringing their creative visions to life with their float designs. I also know how much work goes into planning such a grand event and the satisfaction of watching it all unfold will undoubtedly make it a highlight of the 500 Festival for me.

 

 

Name: Sarah Shoffner

School and Year: University of Florida, Senior

Intern Title: Breakfast at the Brickyard and Post Race Party Intern

Hometown: Navarre, Florida

What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy immersing myself in sports, delving into in-depth analyses, and exploring statistics, especially from college athletics. Simultaneously, I am passionate about mentoring and coaching youth athletics, specializing in teaching defensive shifts and schemes while mentally conditioning athletes for both success and failure. Beyond coaching, I actively contribute to the world of sand volleyball by assisting in tournament directing when I am not personally competing. Additionally, I love honing my baking skills to create sweets and treats for my friends and family when I can.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? Through my internship at the 500 Festival, I aim to gain practical experience in internal operations and innovation within the athletic realm. I hope to streamline event operations, enhance engagement, foster the ability to drive strategic recruitment efforts and contribute to the successful execution of high-profile events. This internship provides a unique opportunity to integrate my passion for operational excellence with hands-on experience in athletic event management.

Career Goal: I aspire to contribute significantly to the innovation and efficiency of sports management. I aim to secure a dynamic position in internal operations within a team environment that embraces adaptation and innovation, allowing me to provide valuable analysis and propel teams and organizations toward new heights of success.

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I am particularly excited about the Breakfast at the Brickyard. Not only am I the intern directly involved with this event, but my passion for sports and motorsports aligns perfectly with the gathering of racing fans, business leaders, Indiana mayors, and our 500 Festival Princesses. This event provides a unique opportunity to immerse myself further in motorsports, gaining valuable insights from racing insiders, delving into the rich history, and promising future of racing. I look forward to contributing to the success of this event and utilizing it as a platform to further my understanding and impact in the sports industry.

 

 

                                                                                Name: Aliyah Smith

School and Year: Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, Senior

Intern Title: Volunteer Program Intern

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

What do you like to do in your free time? Hiking, listening to music, watching tv shows or movies.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship? There is a lot that I would like to get out of this internship, but one major one would be communication. I would like to better my written and oral communication with volunteers and other organization groups about various events. Another one would have to be getting the chance to figure out what career field I would want to go into; I am torn between two career fields.

Career Goal: Possibly a career in sports or events management

What 500 Festival event are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to all of them but if I had to choose, I would say the AES 500 Festival Parade or Breakfast at the Brickyard.

 

 

Name: Elias Twyman

School and Year:  Ball State University, Senior

Intern Title:  Mini-Marathon, Miler Series, and Memorial Service Intern

Hometown:  Indianapolis, Indiana

What do you like to do in your free time?  In my free time I like to listen to music, hang out with my friends, and watch/play sports.

What are you hoping to gain out of this internship?  I am hoping to gain a better understanding of how a major series of events are run, as well as learn more about the operational side of events. I also hope to gain meaningful connections and friendships as a young professional.

Career Goal:  I want to become a Manager of Events for a large sports corporation or work in skill development and operations for a collegiate or professional team.

What 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?  I am most looking forward to the OneAmerica Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 5k.