Kankakee Valley REMC Intern, Zoe Yergler, began her internship nervously thinking she wasn’t prepared to be the first intern ever at the power company. Yet, after three months of working hands-on in a professional setting, Yergler feels that KV REMC gave her the confidence she needed to realize her potential and get started.
Yergler grew up in Kouts and attended LaCrosse High School until she graduated in 2016 and made her way to Ball State University. Since then, she has been studying all things marketing. She plans on completing her double major in journalism and telecommunication with a focus in professional writing when she graduates this December.
When asked where she found the internship, Yergler says it was kind of a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
“I heard of the internship through a friend who works here and was already looking for an internship for the summer. It kind of fell into my lap, and once I interviewed, it felt right,” said Yergler.
Her title of Marketing and Communications Intern encompasses a multitude of daily activities: photographing company events, creating promotional content, mining social media pages, writing newsletters and press releases, designing documents, and more. She discovers herself creating new content and stepping outside the box with each new task.
“I’m so grateful to my supervisors for teaching me new things and giving me the space to grow,” said Yergler. “By being the first [intern], I was able to help mold the program into what I feel would make for the most enriching and fun learning environment for future interns.”
In addition to all the projects she works on, Yergler finds the list to be endless for all that she has learned.
“I feel like this entire internship has totally sharpened all of my skills,” said Yergler. “I’ve gotten so much better at multitasking and time-management. I used to let having lots of tasks at hand stress me out and cloud my brain; now I feel like I do a better job at prioritizing what needs to get done.”
Like any new experience, the internship has allowed her to master skills like independence and creativity but has also given her a bit of a surprise along the way.
“What surprised me the most were my abilities. I was so worried that I wouldn’t have the skills or talent they needed to get each job done,” said Yergler. “Now in retrospect, I can see that the only thing I lacked was the confidence to get started. I surprise myself every time I create something or have a unique idea.”
Not only has the whole experience prepared Yergler perfectly for her future, but it has also brought her closer to her community thanks to the mission carried out by KV REMC. The work she helped to make possible restored her faith in companies as she saw how KV REMC genuinely cared about their customers.
“Kankakee Valley REMC taught me what it means to be truly community-centered,” she said. “From going above and beyond to sponsor and put on countless community events, to working through vicious weather to ensure electricity worked in thousands of homes across the area, KV REMC doesn’t do anything without their community in mind.”
When asked what she enjoyed most, Yergler shared that the creative freedom that KV REMC granted her made the internship better than anything she could have designed for herself. Yergler especially appreciates the great dynamic she shared with her supervisor Amanda Steeb, communications & marketing director at Kankakee Valley REMC.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to have the first intern join my department for the summer,” shared Steeb. “As a company, we have always had a strong focus on youth and education. The development of this internship program fits perfectly into our mission of providing valuable educational opportunities for youth.”
Steeb also detailed how Yergler’s enthusiastic personality was the perfect addition to their marketing department.
“She brought a different, fresh perspective to the communication and marketing projects she was a part of,” said Steeb. “I speak for all of the employees at the cooperative when I say that Zoe might have just started as an intern with KV REMC, but she ended being a dear friend to many.”
In the end, the internship worked out to be the perfect opportunity for Yergler to get her feet wet in a field that she is passionate about, while also learning more about herself and what she is capable of.
“It makes me feel so fulfilled, like I’m in the right field, doing the right work,” she said.
Where is she headed next? Now that’s the million-dollar question for any soon-to-be college graduate. For Yergler, being an intern at Kankakee Valley REMC has been an honor, but this is just the beginning.
“I don’t have any solidified plans yet, but stay tuned, I’ll get there,” said Yergler. “I feel that this internship has totally prepared me for whatever may come next, which is all I could have ever really asked for.”To read more about the work that Kankakee Valley REMC does for the community and how you can get involved, check out their website here.