Indianapolis-based Fortune 500 companies Roche and Eli Lilly and Company, along with the city’s other top global companies and economic development organizations, are working together to attract and retain emerging talent in an innovative and collaborative way. While companies traditionally compete for talent, Indyfluence brings corporate leaders together to demonstrate the appeal of starting a life and career in Indianapolis to emerging talent.
Indyfluence is a comprehensive four-week, in-person program consisting of workshops, mentorship, and philanthropic opportunities delivered to more than 600 interns from at least 32 states and 23 countries. The program was the first of its kind in the country when it began in 2019, and it evolved to incorporate virtual programming when the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020. This will be the first year Indyfluence is fully in-person again for all interns.
In 2019, the last time the program was held in person, over 50 percent of the approximately 500 Indyfluence interns took a job and started their careers in Indianapolis. This percentage is more than the 36 percent number of interns who noted they were “highly likely” to take a job in Indianapolis when surveyed prior to participating in the program.
In 2020, the retention rate still remained strong despite many interns having to work remotely due to the pandemic and never getting to live or work in Indy. Virtual Indyfluence programming allowed them to envision life in Indy after graduation. Around 200 graduates, or nearly 40 percent of interns, who participated in Indyfluence chose to start their careers in Indianapolis.
This year, participants will connect face-to-face with fellow interns working for different companies, city leaders, and changemakers through events and workshops under the programs’ three pillars: Meet Indy, Learn from Indy, and Give Back to Indy.
Meet Indy: Interns will experience what it’s like to live in the Indianapolis region through weekly blog content and newsletters, daily social media posts, and events like:
Learn from Indy: Participants will discover personal and professional growth opportunities through workshops hosted by participating companies covering relevant topics, including:
Give Back to Indy: The group will be invited to participate in community service projects and engage in an interactive, collective impact grant experience resulting in a gift of $14,000 to a local nonprofit of their choosing.
Learn more about the program at www.indyfluence.com.
“Indyfluence’s success demonstrates Indianapolis’ unmatched ability to bring together corporate and civic leaders for the betterment of our entire community,” Julie Dunlap, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and Sr. Vice President of Talent at Lilly. “We have these bright interns coming to us from all over the world for an amazing career opportunity, and it’s our goal for them to want to stay here after graduation. The Indyfluence partnership has provided an innovative way to showcase all the reasons they should want to do that, ensuring a strong talent pipeline and growth for Lilly and Indianapolis.”
A study conducted by Visit Indy and SMARI Research to determine which factors Gen Z workers look for in a city, those that clearly rose to the top included cost of living, housing and rental costs, and job opportunities. Indyfluence showcases the cost of living benefits of Indianapolis and Central Indiana including through a “Buying a Home by 25” workshop by real estate leader Century 21, while the other participating companies focus on the job opportunities and career growth potential.
Gen Z’s focus on work-life integration is also addressed by Indyfluence, with the programming demonstrating the ease of living in the region, diversity of urban and suburban neighborhood options, food and culture scene, entertainment options, nonprofit young professional boards, and more.
Workshop topics and city tours will also address topics of interest to emerging talent such as diversity, equity and inclusion; making a difference; building face-to-face relationships with peers and mentors; and addressing the “soft skills gap” exacerbated by the remote and virtual learning of the pandemic with in-person work and networking events.
“Alongside other corporate leaders in Indianapolis, we remain committed as ever to attracting the best talent to our region,” said Bridget Boyle, vice president and head of people and culture for Roche. “Indyfluence allows us to focus on showcasing our company to our interns, while also connecting them more directly with the Indianapolis community, which we know is important. Indyfluence gives these emerging leaders access to the incredible people, resources and opportunities that our city offers.”
Indyfluence sponsors include Roche, Lilly, OneAmerica, and Century21. Programming partners include INNOVATIVE, IndyHub, Indy Chamber, and Ascend Indiana.