Aspiring restaurant owner and Luther senior Mitchell completes summer internship with Iron Grate BBQ

Thomas Mitchell, Luther College senior, completed a summer management internship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Iron Grate BBQ. He helped the restaurant move locations and in turn gained insight in restaurant ownership.

Mitchell, the son of Marty and Karen Mitchell of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 2014.

Mitchell's responsibilities at the restaurant varied, since he wanted to understand how to operate all facets of a restaurant. He cooked food, washed dishes, catered at weddings and worked in a food truck, helping complete all aspects of restaurant duties.

Helping Iron Grate BBQ move locations inspired him, as he wants to open his own restaurant, someday. The move gave Mitchell insight as to big and small decisions factoring into the opening of a restaurant. Mitchell and the owner, Aaron Patin, put hard work into the new location; painting the new restaurant and collecting new equipment for the move.

Mitchell learned owning a restaurant is more than just a 9 to 5 job… it's a lifestyle. Even outside business hours, there are always things to be worked on, and opportunities to be taken, to improve the restaurant.

He also learned from Patin-an owner should never give an employee a job they would not do themselves, as no job is beneath an owner; restaurants work best when everyone works together to make it run efficiently.

Mitchell believes this internship established several points of contact for him to get closer to his dream of opening a restaurant. He will return to Iron Grate BBQ after graduation and is excited to learn more about restaurant management.

Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program. Students also meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan that includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks.

An internship work supervisor also assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu