Interns are an integral part of GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis’s operations and programs! They genuinely are rockstars. However, you may be wondering, what kind of internship does GiGi’s Playhouse have, and can it coincide with your current major? The answer is we offer a variety of internships, and YES, we believe every degree has a place here at GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis. Currently, we have two interns; Cassie, a Social Work major, and Christian, a Human Services major. Let’s hear how Cassie and Christian connected with our Playhouse.
Cassie. I go to IUPUI. My main goal is to graduate. Then, after that, is to find a career in a path that will make me happy. I am in social work, so a good goal for me right now is to find a course that will make me happy for years to come.
Christian. I am a senior at Purdue University. My goal with this internship is to get hands-on experience working with individuals with Down Syndrome. By getting that hands-on experience, I will feel more prepared for my future work. I know it will not happen right after I graduate, but I have another goal to own/run a non-profit organization for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Q. What is your favorite program to be a part of?
Cassie. EPIC! I feel the love in this program. They get excited to see me each week, and I look forward to each new adventure.
Christian. Dance! I enjoy watching them dance, smile, and laugh. Even better, I love being able to dance with them. Even though it is only an hour program, it is a pleasure to interact with them and learn the dances they will be performing.
Q. If someone were to ask you about what you do at GiGi’s Playhouse as an intern, what would you say?
Cassie. I assist with programs, connect with the families, and watch and admire each participant give their best. Each week is different, so what I do is typically the same but comes with new challenges and excitement every time I walk into the Playhouse.
Christian. At GiGi’s Playhouse, every week comes with new excitement; programs are at the same time each week, but always something different! During the programs, I interact with the participants by having some one-on-one time or doing activities with them as a group. For most of the programs, we create lesson plans. For example, this month, we wrote lessons following a “Charlotte’s Web” theme for E.P.I.C. Additionally, we have been learning about marketing in social media, stewardship through our two events, and more.
Q. How do you think GiGi’s Playhouse is helping you with your career path?
Cassie. I have always known I wanted to work with individuals with disabilities but did not know for sure that it would become my career. GiGi’s Playhouse has confirmed that I want to work with individuals with all abilities and disabilities in my field. Connecting with participants with Down syndrome has made me more comfortable, as most of the students I have worked with in the past were on the spectrum.
Christian. Throughout these seven weeks I have been interning, I realized how much I enjoy working in this industry. GiGi’s Playhouse has given me confidence and a better vision of what I want to do once I graduate.
Q. If you were to give advice to a future intern, what would you say?
Cassie. You are going to make mistakes but use them as learning opportunities. And ASK questions, the staff at GiGi’s Playhouse is there to help you ensure success in your future. Getting this internship was nerve-racking as I didn’t know what to expect, as I am sure you may feel as well, but give it time to feel the GiGi’s Magic.
Christian. To a future intern, in my opinion, there’s never a bad day in the Playhouse unless you come with a negative mindset. You never know how the participant’s attitudes will be; some walk into the Playhouse with a positive mindset even when others do not. Do not let that affect your attitude. Give your best of all every day.