The 500 Festival Internship Program allows students from all over the world to experience the thrilling Month of May in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. 11 interns, representing seven different universities, have been invited to join the 500 Festival team for the spring semester.

A team of hardworking and passionate students, the selected interns will experience all that the 500 Festival has to offer. Each intern will play a vital role in the planning, execution and celebration of all 500 Festival events to enrich lives and celebrate the Indianapolis 500.

Interns will also experience the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD. This unique program will give the interns an opportunity to engage, grow and learn from prominent professionals and community leaders.

Under the wing of a supervisor, each intern will work closely with 500 Festival staff members for an impactful and meaningful experience.

To learn more about the 500 Festival Intern Program, visit https://500festivalfoundation.com/college-programs/internship-program/overview/

 

Michael Hebb

Michael acts as the Event and Program Intern for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo and Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day. A senior at Ball State, he is studying sport administration. Michael wishes to one-day work within recreation at a community or collegiate level. He is also a fan of bowling with a high score of 289!

Name: Michael Hebb

School: Ball State University

Field of study: Sport administration

Intern Title: Event & Program Intern: 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo and Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kid’s Day

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

I am looking to get into event management, particularly within youth/amateur sports, so the Expo/Kids’ Day internship sounded perfect for me. Being from northwest Indiana, I am not very familiar within Indianapolis, so I am also hoping to learn a lot about the city.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I am hoping to develop my communication skills, expand my network and learn more about Indianapolis and the 500.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am really looking forward to the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo because of its new location in Lucas Oil Stadium.

 

Kathleen Messmer

Kathleen joins the 500 Festival as the Communications Intern. She represents Purdue University as a junior studying public relations and strategic communications with minors in anthropology and global studies. With a love for writing and creativity, she hopes to pursue a career as a public relations professional. A talk show junkie, Kathleen has been to The Tonight Show and high-fived Jimmy Fallon!

Name: Kathleen Messmer

School: Purdue University

Field of study: Public relations and strategic communication, minor in anthropology and global studies

Intern Title: Communications Intern

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

As a public relations student, I am looking to gain more experience in the PR/Communication field. I am a creative thinker and a hands-on learner and the fast-paced, fun environment of the 500 Festival seemed like a perfect fit.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

Through my internship experience, I hope to grow as a young professional, expand my writing skills and experience new opportunities in a new city.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

Though an Indiana native, I have never experienced the Month of May in Indianapolis. I am thrilled to experience each event and soak in all of the excitement and fun that surrounds the Indianapolis 500.

 

Connor Ray

Connor acts as the 500 Festival Youth Programming intern for the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by IU Health, 500 Festival KidsFit Program and Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run. Connor is studying sports management at the University of Indianapolis. He wishes to one-day work in community relations or programming and events. A testament to his love for football, he won a football state championship as an assistant coach at Lafayette Central Catholic High School!

Name: Connor Ray

School: University of Indianapolis

Field of study: Sports management

Intern Title: Festival Youth Programming: 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by IU Health, 500 Festival KidsFit Program and Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run Intern.

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

What sparked my interest in interning here at the 500 festival was getting able to work with such a highly respected organization while also learning about all the events that go on before the Indy 500. Growing up and being from Indianapolis, although I have lived here my whole life, I have never been to any of the events except the Indy 500.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

What I am hoping to learn from my internship is the importance of getting kids to be more active while also learning the rich history of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

The event I am most looking forward to while at the 500 Festival has to be the Rookie Run. The reason why I am most looking forward to this event the most is seeing little kids starting to take action in their life in towards becoming more active. With this we will also get to see countless kids smile, laugh and enjoy a wonderful day.

 

Ryan Cash 

Ryan serves the 500 Festival as the Event and Program Intern for the 2020 One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, and 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce. With degrees in marketing and finance, he recently graduated from Indiana State University and hopes to pursue a career creating enriching community events, as the 500 Festival does. Believe it or not, Ryan’s first concert was The Beach Boys!

Name: Ryan Cash

School: Indiana State University

Field of study: Marketing and finance

Intern Title: Event & Program Intern: One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, and 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce.

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

I saw the opportunity to be a part of the Month of May in Indianapolis. I’ve been lucky enough to live in the area for a few years and see firsthand the events that the Festival puts on and the impact it brings to the city. I jumped at the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making May such a special month full with excellent events.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I’m hoping to soak in as much information about putting on such popular and large events. I’m looking forward to shadowing Glenn as we begin to prepare the planning of the best half marathon in the country!

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to the Mini-Marathon. I’ve been a lifelong runner and being able to be a part of such a special event is something I’m looking forward to. It will be a lot of work but I know it will be worth it to watch thousands of people achieve their dream of completing the race that I was a part of planning.

 

Emily Humphrey

Emily uses her eye for design to act as the Graphic Design Intern for the 500 Festival. Emily graduated from Herron School of Art and Design IUPUI with a degree in Art Education and is pursuing a career as a graphic designer in downtown Indianapolis. Emily is basically famous after performing with Madonna and CeeLo Green in the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show!

Name: Emily Humphrey

School: Herron School of Art and Design IUPUI

Field of study: Art Education

Intern Title: Graphic Design Intern

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

I loved the idea of working in the heart of downtown Indianapolis and creating designs for events that are part of Indiana’s tradition and history.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I’ve never actually attended the Indianapolis 500, so I’m very excited to experience that. Professionally, I’m hoping to learn what the design process looks like in a business setting.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to the Mini-Marathon. The excitement and energy at races is always something I look forward to.

 

Madison Gates

With a love for events, Madison serves as the Event and Program Intern for the 2020 IPL 500 Festival Parade, 500 Festival Princess Program and 500 Festival Kickoff to May. Madison is studying tourism, event and sport management at IUPUI. She hopes to become an event coordinator, planning mega sporting events. A unique feature, Madison has two different colored eyes, one green and one brown!

Name: Madison Gates

School: IUPUI

Field of study: Tourism, event and sport management

Intern Title: Event & Program Intern: IPL 500 Festival Parade, 500 Festival Princess Program and 500 Festival Kickoff to May.

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

I have always had a love for events. In May of 2019 I worked at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but realized I wanted to be more involved in the events that take place leading up to race day. At IUPUI, the 500 Festival is a very well-known and respected organization and hearing all the great opportunities people have had with them made me want to join the team!

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I am hoping to learn the ins and outs of event management during this internship. You learn so much in school about events, but you can never fully understand them until you work to execute them yourself. I also can’t wait to experience how organizations throughout Indianapolis help each other in order to put on fantastic events!

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to the parade! I love downtown Indianapolis and I can’t wait to see everyone together at such a large event!

 

Casey Hays

Casey is the Event and Program Intern for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Post Race Party, Mini-Marathon Course Entertainment Program and 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc. A senior at Ball State, he is studying sport administration with a minor in management. Casey wishes to pursue management in collegiate or professional sports. Following his passion for sports, he also played rugby at Ball State!

Name: Casey Hays

School: Ball State

Field of study: Sport administration with a minor in management

Intern Title: Event & Program Intern: 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Post Race Party, Mini-Marathon Course Entertainment Program and 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc.

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

The wide range of opportunities to have a positive and lasting impact on Indianapolis and the surrounding communities is what initially sparked my interest in interning for the 500 Festival. Additionally, I wanted to be a part of a strong organizational culture, and based on my research, it was clear to me that a strong and positive culture existed within this organization.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

Through this internship I am hoping to enhance and strengthen my abilities to plan and manage large scale events. I have a decent amount of experience in event management, but I know that this internship will challenge me in new and exciting ways when it comes to event management and planning.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to Off the Grid. I am excited to plan, prepare and help manage such a unique event.

 

Jule Reiche

Jule traveled all the way from Germany to serve as the Operational Support Intern for the 500 Festival. She recently graduated with a degree in media and event management from HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Management. Jule hopes to continue traveling by working with an international organization to see different parts of the world. In fact, she has visited over 30 countries in her life!

Name: Jule Reiche

School: HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Management

Field of study: Media and event management

Intern Title: Operational Support Intern

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

My interest came from attending most of the events as a guest and being impressed by the amount and diversity of events that the 500 Festival organizes.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I am hoping to gain some hands-on experience in event operations and be part of one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to the 500 Festival Miler Series and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Trenton Johnson

Trenton joins the 500 Festival as the Customer Relations and Ticketing Intern. He attends the University of Indianapolis and studies sport management. With a dream of working for the Dallas Cowboys, Trenton is pursuing a career in event management for sports organizations. He is also a huge Taylor Swift fan and owns all of her albums!

Name: Trenton Johnson

School: University of Indianapolis

Field of study: Sport management

Intern Title: Customer Relations and Ticketing Intern

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

I have lived in Indianapolis almost my entire life, and I wanted to have a part in something that makes the city a great place to live in and brings the community together.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I look forward to experiencing all of the different small tasks that go into making everyone’s hard work come to life.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the IPL 500 Festival Parade because I have never witnessed it in person before.

 

Alyssa Burton

Alyssa serves as the Volunteer Program Intern for the 500 Festival. Studying tourism, sport and event management at IUPUI, Alyssa would love to land a career in the running industry. Her dream job would be to work for a world, major marathon organization such as Chicago Marathon or Boston Marathon. Alyssa loves volleyball, binge watching TV shows and trying new things!

Name: Alyssa Burton

School: IUPUI

Field of study: Tourism, sport and event management

Intern Title: Volunteer Program Intern

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

Running the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon sparked my interest in the 500 Festival. I love the energy and atmosphere the 500 Festival creates at their events, as well as everything they do for the community of Indianapolis. I’m so excited to be a part of it!

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

Throughout this internship, I’m hoping to learn the best way to engage the community to volunteer and make the experience so incredible they want to do it again! I also want to experience the positive impact 500 Festival has on the community through their events.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon!

 

Gabrielle Amstutz

Gabrielle joins the 500 Festival as the Strategic Partnerships and Activation Intern. Representing Butler University, Gabrielle is a junior studying marketing with hopes of pursuing a career in entertainment marketing. A proud Butler Bulldog, Gabrielle is also the proud owner of her own bulldog Phoebe!

Name: Gabrielle Amstutz

School: Butler University

Field of study: Marketing

Intern Title: Strategic Partnerships and Activation

What sparked your interest in interning with the 500 Festival?

I learned about the opportunity through an advertisement for the Princess Program, as well as a mentor at Butler, and thought it sounded like the perfect fit. As a lifelong Hoosier, the Indy 500 has always been an important part of my life. Interning with the 500 Festival seemed like an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow and learn with such a fantastic organization.

What are you hoping to learn/experience throughout this internship?

I’m hoping to explore my career field, build on my skills and learn as much as I can about strategic partnerships and activation.

Which 500 Festival Event are you most looking forward to?

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon! This year I have friends and family running for the first time and I’m excited to get to support them.