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Jordan Patterson - 10/15/2015

The journey Alex Eaton embarked on after his sophomore year of college has come full circle.

A recent Indiana University graduate, Eaton utilized Indiana INTERNnet to apply for an internship position at Pete the Planner, a small financial wellness company based in Indianapolis. It was founded by Peter Dunn, an author, radio personality and financial expert.

Today, Eaton has transitioned into his new full-time role as the director of eLearning. While his job primarily involves marketing Pete the Planner’s online platforms, he wears many hats.

“I’m reaching out to prospective clients and starting the sales process. I’m running the actual product demos all the way to helping sign them on as clients, and I’m working with them once they are clients,” Eaton explains.

“We (at Pete the Planner) are four people, so I also help produce Dunn’s radio show with WIBC and help market our podcast that we run. There are a lot of different things going on.”

As part of a small staff, Eaton has his hands in a number of projects, often delving into new assignments without prior experience. He says his internship prepared him for that challenge.

His internship involved producing and co-hosting Dunn’s radio show, researching statistical data and editing Dunn’s book Mock Retirement. Eaton even built an online retirement savings calculator, for which he taught himself programming within the span of his internship.

“Having a boss like Pete makes it less scary than (taking risks) would be (otherwise) because he told me straight up, ‘You’re going to be doing a lot of stuff you’ve never done before. There will be failure involved. Don’t let it bother you and just keep trucking through it,’ ” Eaton recalls.

He says no matter what career you’re in, encountering uncomfortable situations is inevitable.

“Look for those situations,” Eaton encourages. “If you can find more situations where you don’t know what you’re doing, that means you are growing and learning.”

Eaton, who was nominated for a 2014 Intern of the Year award for his work at Pete the Planner, also recommends looking specifically for problems your boss encounters and trying to solve them.

“If you can become the type of intern that is more than a time saver and is actually solving problems for a company, that’s something that can be meaningful and can help you get more consideration for a full-time position,” Eaton stresses.

Now that Eaton has returned to Pete the Planner, he’s eager to get more involved in the Indianapolis community.

“It felt natural to stay (in Indiana),” Eaton concludes. “I’ve lived here my whole life, but I’ve really gotten involved more and it’s become more of my home. There’s something special going on here with all the success of the companies in the Indy area, and it’s a testament to the type of people we have here. It’s a very close-knit community that I really enjoy.”