Shelby Scott, ’14, happily admits that working at Ball Corporation’s Edmund F. Ball Technology & Innovation Center (BTIC) in Colorado solidified her interest in a career in public relations.
During her 2011 summer-long internship with the Fortune 500 company in Broomfield, Colorado, she worked on a variety of projects, including helping connect the firm’s various manufacturing plants through an intranet and later designing a graphics guidelines book for the printing of aluminum beverage cans.
“No two days were alike, since I was given opportunities to actively participate and see firsthand how many different aspects of the business work together,” says the public relations major who hails from Colorado and is enrolled in Ball State’s Honors College. “I thoroughly enjoyed going to the office to see what my next project would be.”
“The internship allowed me to learn better time management skills and how to communicate with people of all ages. These skills will be very useful in my classes when working with fellow students and faculty and even more so when I go out into the professional world."
As part of the internship program, Scott spent countless hours at Ball’s North American packaging headquarters, the BTIC, and even at a nearby Ball beverage can manufacturing plant in Golden, Colorado.
“My final project allowed me to develop my own 16-ounce beverage can. I created the design around an organization that encompasses two of my favorite things—community service and auto racing. The can incorporates the logo for Victory Junction, a NASCAR-themed camp for children with serious medical conditions and disabilities.”
Born at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana, and raised not far from current Ball Corporation headquarters in Broomfield, Scott has strong connections to the company and Ball State. Her mother has been employed with the firm for nearly 25 years, moving with the company to Colorado when it relocated in the 1998 from downtown Muncie. And both of Scott’s parents are Ball State graduates.
Ball Corporation, originally Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, was founded more than a century ago by five Ball brothers—young New York industrialists who moved to Muncie looking to expand their glass container business. They later purchased the land and buildings of a defunct educational institution and donated them to the State of Indiana. This gift became the Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division, which opened in 1918 to meet Indiana’s need for more and better teachers. The small school evolved into Ball State University.
Ball Corporation no longer produces its well-known glass home-canning jars. Today the company is the largest producer of recyclable beverage cans in the world and is a supplier of high quality metal packaging for beverage, food, and household products customers. It also is a leader in aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government.
“My mother and I like to joke that we are a Ball family through and through. When I saw the internship opportunities on the Ball Corporation website it made perfect sense to apply for one of the positions. I have to say I've had some pretty great opportunities thanks to what the Ball family started years ago,” Scott says.
She credits Richard Shoemaker, public relations sequence director and journalism instructor, for boosting her initial interest in public relations.
"Prof. Shoemaker is really a great mentor to me. He taught my journalism course during my freshman year, which was the first class where I truly felt I was in my element. His class made me even more certain that I wanted to pursue public relations as a career and that I had made the right decision in choosing Ball State's College of Communication, Information, and Media," she says.
"I really appreciate how much Prof. Shoemaker cares about his students. He was always saying in class how we students were the reason he teaches, I could tell that his biggest goal is to see us succeed and to help us continue to improve upon our skills. I can't wait to have him as a professor for another one of my classes. I know that there's still a lot that I have left to learn from him."
Shoemaker believes that Scott’s internship will play a strong role in her development as a PR professional.
“Shelby’s future employer will be fortunate to have an experienced ‘junior’ pro,” he says. “Shelby is one of the reasons I teach. She challenges herself as well as me to be the best. She doesn’t wait for things to come; she goes out and seeks opportunities.”