Internships and Hands-On Learning
At Augustana University, students have the opportunity to apply principles of business through practical experience in the Sioux Falls community or other locations across the country. Internships provide students with the experience they need to begin a successful career in business and help them consider whether they prefer working in small or large businesses or even starting their own business.
Following are descriptions of recent student internships, including roles and duties, as well as tips on how to find the best internship.
For the fall semester, I interned at Avera Health Plans in the Finance department. Avera gave me many fantastic opportunities to apply what I have learned in the classroom to real world situations. I started as an Accounts Payable Clerk, but worked my way up to a Financial Analyst.
— James Jennings
I gained knowledge of managing a range of events including wedding, corporate and other special events throughout the semester. I helped market and advertise these events, all the while learning more about the wine industry and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
— Stacey Bautista
The City of Mendota Heights hired me to run the tennis program. I was able to better understand the parks and recreation function of city government through responsibility for an array of duties including: understanding how relationships are formed within the community, learning how to set and manage a budget, working to promote the parks and recreation programs, responding to citizen inquiries about the program, learning about staff recruitment and the appropriate management of employees, and obtaining organizational skills for managing the physical operations of the summer programs.
— Meredith Lawrence
As an intern for the City of Sioux Falls Community Development & the Public Parking department, I was able to experience working for the city government and apply concepts I have learned through both business administration and government courses. I was able to sit on a number of meetings including preparations for the budget, event preparation for an employee 5K, the Public Parking Board meetings, as well as attend a press conference. I researched residential parking permit policies across the nation and examined areas of the City Of Sioux Falls to see if one would be a good fit. I researched and took steps towards the implementation of Passport, a mobile payment app, in the downtown area. This project led me to setting up conference calls, previewing a contract, looking at current city ordinances, and learning in depth about the RFP and purchasing process at the municipal level. I was able to work with people in various departments throughout the City as well as other cities’ parking departments and outside vendors.
— Caroline Renner
“I think Augustana does a wonderful job of helping students find and get placed in internships. Not only do advisors want their students to find an internship, but they want their students to find an internship that really sparks their interests. Augustana has been extremely helpful in finding a career that suits me.”
Julie Anderson ‘16
Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to have had a very fun and educational internship at DJ Jer Events and Lighting Design. As a student interested in business and marketing, this internship was a perfect fit. I learned so much about the many aspects of a small business and also gained and improved my personal and professional skills. Some of the tasks I was given over the 3 month period were to develop the main website and the social media sites, create email campaigns, do graphic design, blogging, and other office management duties. I am extremely happy with the experience I had and know that everything I learned will be useful and benefit me in a future career in marketing.
— Jessa Richards
DJ Jer Events and Lighting Design was an amazing marketing internship experience. I received an array of projects from designing t-shirts to writing blog posts to editing videos. I grew exponentially in my skills throughout the semester and loved that every day was different. Jeremy was a wonderful supervisor. If anyone is looking for a internship with tons of hands-on experience, I would recommend DJ Jer Events and Lighting Design.
— Sara Byre
This experience offered an introduction to banking by putting me in various departments of the bank including Agriculture Loans, Real Estate Loans, Teller, Loan Processing, and Wealth Management. I got hands on experience with banking professionals in a small town atmosphere and was exposed to customer service, financial statement analysis, and accurate data entry. Also, I made key connections with respected professionals in the community and built up quality networking for future career opportunities. I gained thorough exposure to banking functions and quality face-to-face time by attending various employee meetings.
— Clay Kopplin
My internship at Great Western Bank was filled with great experiences that will help me down the road in my banking career. I learned about how the face of the organization works on a day to day basis. I would highly recommend anyone to consider an internship with this organization.
— Jason Werner
The work at Hoel Holdings exposed me to a variety of marketing techniques and relevant information under the supervision of Sebastian Hoel. After completing the required 160 hours of work I feel much better prepared to enter the job market and hopefully run my own business in the future. The internship touched upon varied fields of work, including html coding, content creation, customer service and big data analysis. With more than 150 websites the company is heavily involved in the Norwegian affiliate industry and offered a great learning experience.
— Lars Linstad
An internship is designed for a student to gain experience, understanding and explore the in’s and out’s of a business to figure out professionally where they will fit in and how. I gained this knowledge and much more while undertaking my summer internship. I had the opportunity to put myself in the shoes of a salesman, as well as a manager, while creating lasting knowledge and skills at HOM Furniture in Coon Rapids, MN. Here I was given the chance to deal with customers on a daily basis and create relationships with people in a business setting that allowed me to get the full experienceI wanted from my internship. This internship was geared to give me my freedom and go out in the sales world to complete the personal goals. These personal goals would allow me to mature into the businessman I wanted to be, and also understand myself and where I am at in a business environment. The experience was a huge stepping-stone a positive direction for my business career and I am excited to see what the future holds.
— Patrick O'Donnell
“I'm very supportive and impressed by the internship program at Augie. This experience has taught me a lot about my own skills and has caused me to reflect on my management style and ways that I can better myself. I also appreciate the requirement to write as it is an important skill for employers to see.”
Paige Schwitters ‘16
This summer I had the privilege to work with the Life, Health and Employee Benefits team at Howalt + McDowell. I worked on many projects, varying from researching employee benefit enrollment platforms and learning how they function on the employer and employee side, to working with spreadsheets to come up with specific lists for tracking group size to ensure that Howalt is covering the basics when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. I was also able to participate in various meetings and work along side people within the company on different projects. This summer has been a great learning experience to what goes on behind the scenes in the insurance world. I am so grateful for this internship and for hands on learning of the ins and outs of insurance at an insurance brokerage firm.
— Yolanda Clark
This summer I had the opportunity to work as an event planning/coordinating and marketing intern at the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society. This organization is a non-profit that strives to raise awareness of Jazz and Blues to the community. My internship consisted of many different responsibilities, including editing/sending out letters to parties involved in Jazz Fest, assisting in registration and check in for Jazz camp, and setting up/working Jazz Fest. The week of Jazz Fest, I found, was the week that I learned the most. I was able to get a behind the scenes look at the efforts that go into making Jazz Fest run smoothly and how many people are needed for this to happen. I had the opportunity to shadow and work at almost every area of the event. This internship was very beneficial in helping me learn more about event planning and coordinating such a large and respected event.
— Sara Wallenberg
My internship at Konica Minolta in Bloomington, MN, gave me a great understanding of the necessities to thrive in a sale driven business. I gained invaluable knowledge about the information management industry, specifically enterprise content, technology optimization and cloud services. My duties included assisting two major account executives with phone calls, setting up appointments, client spreadsheets, working on multiple campaigns and accompanying them on several client assessment visits. I would encourage any student interested in a sales career to consider applying for this internship.
— Alex Richter
I experienced the fast-paced advertising industry first-hand through my internship at Lawrence & Schiller this summer. Serving as an account service intern, I engaged in the many functions of the agency and assisted in the management of client accounts. Whether I was participating in a client call, writing content for a client’s website, or helping to develop a campaign, I always felt that I was contributing and ultimately satisfying client needs. My internship this summer helped me to translate my knowledge from the classroom into a real-world experience, and I am confident that it will allow me to stand out in front of future employers.
— Paige Schwitters
During a nine-week period I had the chance to play the role of fashion expert in one of the top fashion department retailers; Nordstrom. I was selected as part of the 10% of applicants who would be given the chance to experience a nationally known corporation at first hand. As a retail management intern in Portland, OR, I was a part of management meetings, training classes and able to attend meet-and-greets with some of the top performers. I was lucky enough to be working the day that Blake Nordstrom was walking the downtown store and personally introduced myself. He is quite tall, has a firm handshake, and the warmest greeting. Within the quick passing of weeks I have learned more about becoming a good leader and opportunities I may personally improve on than anyone could have prepared me for. I gained hands-on experience working in the jewelry department on the sales floor, shared my knowledge and excitement about the latest in fashion, and helped to provide exceptional customer service while being a team player. If I could say one thing to an aspiring retail intern it would be that you are nothing without your team.
— Mikayla Becker
“The process of getting the internship was very easy, which I greatly appreciated, and writing short journals was a nice way to keep track of ongoing events.”
James Jennings ‘16
My experience working as a marketing intern at Plains Commerce Bank was definitely a hands-on experience. I was treated as if I was one of the marketing officers myself. During this internship, I worked with two other marketing officers, Chelsey Hunnel and Abby McCann. I learned a lot about the realities of in-house marketing and how to communicate to several different types of markets. I learned a lot about how to use Adobe design products including: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Some of the projects that I worked on for Plains Commerce Bank were creating traditional advertising for newspapers, designing marketing materials for the several different banking departments, as well as creating content for our mortgage banker Facebook pages. One of the things that I also enjoyed about this internship was the employees that I met. They were very kind and welcoming. They also loved celebrating Fridays, birthdays, and holidays with treats and refreshments.
— Katie Connor
This summer I was fortunate enough to do my summer internship with Stryker Orthopedics, a medical sales company in Sioux Falls. I worked under sales managers, operations managers, and sales representatives throughout the two and a half months that I was with Stryker and they treated me as more of an employee than an intern, which I really enjoyed. One of the things I was responsible for during my internship was the distribution of inventory for procedures. Our sales representatives would schedule surgeries and it was my job to make sure the products got prepared and placed in the correct spots at the hospitals before the procedure and then reported updates to the operations managers. During my internship I shadowed reps as they went out in the field to sell product to doctors, as well as put on promotional events for surgeons to help promote their own individual practice. My favorite part by far was when I went with the reps when they went into surgery. I saw hip replacements, knee replacements, bone fractures, and knee revisions. It was great to see both the reps and surgeons in action and see how all of the pieces of the process come together. I think how I learned the most from during my internship was just asking the reps questions and for their opinions. These guys have been in the field for a long time and have a lot of good experience and advice to give.
— Patrick Fiala
My internship with The Event Company not only gave me experience in event planning, but also allowed me to experience the business world of Sioux Falls. I was able to perform a variety of tasks, including researching event ideas, sitting in on client meetings, and setting up and working at several events throughout the semester. There are so many things I gained from this experience, but this internship really helped me improve on my organization and communication skills, both of which are very valuable in the business field. I could not have asked for a better internship experience and I recommend any student looking for a great learning experience and the opportunity to meet many people in the Sioux Falls business community to apply for an internship at The Event Company.
— Anna Bruflat
An internship with The Event Company is one like no other. Throughout the semester, I was presented with numerous opportunities. From planning events to working with clients, venues, and vendors to attending events, this internship provided the complete event planning experience. Working with The Event Company enabled me to meet new people and make new connections. I was able to take part in many large events such as Live2Lead Sioux Falls, Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, Dancing with the Sioux Falls Stars, and the Feisty Fighters’ Sparkle and Shine, to name a few. This internship was the perfect mix of work and play. Although hours were long and the work seemed excessive, the final product always prevailed.
— Julie Anderson
Uptown Events is a great one-stop event shopping place that will provide everything needed for all kind of events. As a marketing intern at Uptown Events, I have had the opportunity to see how wonderful people here are. They are very creative, hard-working, and helpful towards their clients. During my internship, I have also learned a lot about event planning process and it’s amazing to see the vendors’ awesome work being displayed at the studio. Just stopping by the studio will lighten your day since every corner is so nicely decorated and looks super artsy!
— Linh Pham
“AU is extremely helpful and flexible with setting this up and helping me establish my goals and expectations.”
Jackson Rynda ‘16
This summer, I had the opportunity to be a Wish Fulfillment Specialist and Marketing/PR Intern at Wish of a Lifetime in Denver, CO. Wish of a Lifetime has a mission to grant life-enriching wishes to deserving senior citizens who, for some reason or another, have not been able to experience these lifelong wishes because of medical, financial, or even organizational hindrances. The goal is to change an entire generations view on aging. Over the summer, I was assigned about 7 wishes, one of which was actually granted during my time this summer. I also had the opportunity to help build a new website, edit wish stories, and witness the launch of a new campaign after an entire office creative workshop. My internship with Wish of a Lifetime really opened my eyes to the nonprofit sector as a career choice, and helped me realize the importance of believing in the mission of any organization or company that I will work for in the future.
— Jessica Madson
The internship with Younkers of Bon-Ton Store, Inc. was very fun but also professional. Supervisors were very helpful in providing tasks as well as lessons after each task. I had a chance to work with various departments of the store and see how they cooperate. It is an internship to be considered for students who are Business Majors, and are especially interested in retail industry or corporate environment.
— Anh Nguyen