As one of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation, Indianapolis’ city government oversees some of the most unique events and experiences a city can offer. From hosting the NCAA Final Four and Indianapolis 500 to liaising with the Indiana Senate, House and Supreme Court (just a few blocks over) to leading daily life in a big city, the Indianapolis city government handles it all. Harley Avery ‘23 (Political Science) chose the University of Indianapolis to seize the many opportunities that come with being a college student in the big city, and earned an internship in the Office of the Mayor that led to a part-time position.
Evansville-native Harley Avery traveled to Indianapolis nearly every weekend as part of her travel soccer team since she was in fifth grade, and, after experiencing the city first hand for so long, she knew that Indianapolis held the opportunities she needed on her path to becoming a lawyer. After earning multiple scholarships, Harley chose to attend UIndy and to major in political science with a concentration in pre-law.
Harley has certainly made the most of her time at UIndy. Harley has served as Vice President of the Pre-Law Student Association, Secretary of Janus Club, ran for President of Student Government, developed and managed the History and Political Science Department’s social media presence as a student worker, traveled to Europe as part of spring term, and is also currently interning with Indiana Humanities thanks to a connection with her faculty.
“I love everything about the political science department,” said Harley. “Our professors really push us to work hard towards our goals. They build real personal connections with us, and actually care about us and our success.”
In addition to her connections with her faculty members, Harley has also benefited from strong relationships with her fellow Greyhounds. In fact, Harley learned about the internship with the Mayor’s office from a fellow political science major who had successfully completed the internship previously.
In the fall of her junior year, Harley was one of six college students to be hired as interns in the office of Indianapolis mayor, Joe Hogsett. As a legislative intern, Harley worked with her colleagues and staff from various city departments through research projects and other administrative tasks.
But Harley knew she could do more.
“I went into the internship with the mindset that I wanted to do something more than that,” said Harley. “I’m a really hands-on person. So while I was an intern, I created a social media project like ‘a day in your life’ to advertise different job openings in city departments.”
During this project, Harley participated in two ride-alongs to highlight two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers, shadowed a building contractor as he traveled throughout the city, and interacted with some love-able animals alongside an animal care technician.
Harley’s supervisors recognized her initiative and creativity, and at the end of her internship, Harley was offered a part-time position with the Mayor’s communications and constituent services team. In this role, Harley continued to work with social media to share information about the Mayor and the city, in addition to helping the next class of interns and working with several city boards and commissions.
“I learned a lot on the communications team and I made a lot of really cool connections,” said Harley. “Everyone there was super helpful and wants you to succeed. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I got to have there.”
As Harley prepares to graduate this December, she reflects on her UIndy experience and offers the following advice for incoming students:
“I have two pieces of advice. One, enjoy these four years because they go by so fast. like you can stress about school and do your homework, but also go out in the city and make friends, go see the things that Indianapolis has to offer. Going to college is about more than just going to the library and doing your homework.
“My second piece of advice is to make connections with your professors. They truly care about you and want you to succeed. They’ll give you some of the best advice because they were in your shoes once.”
While Harley plans to enjoy a gap year following her graduation from UIndy, she plans to keep busy by studying for and sitting the LSAT in April in addition to getting married and enjoying her honeymoon.