Internship Stories

Alexis Hove

Alexis Hove '18 completed an internship at Norway House in Minneapolis, MN.

When: January 2016
Norway House, Minneapolis, MN
Nordic Studies, Art

Over the month of January, Alexis completed an internship at Norway House, a nonprofit in Minneapolis that aims to bridge the gap between Americans and contemporary Norway. She had the chance to work in a gallery setting and gained customer service experience working at the front desk. She was also able to organize a Norway House event for staff and members. Additionally, Alexis aided in the planning of a mural that will be painted on the side of a new building. The mural will honor the victims of the terrorist attack in Oslo and Utøya in 2011. This internship was a perfect fit for Alexis, and she enjoyed the opportunity to work with so many people who shared her passions.

Hailee Feig

Hailee Feig.When: Summer 2015
Counseling Associates, LLC, Winona, MN

Over the summer, Hailee interned at Counseling Associates, LLC in Winona, Minnesota which offers counseling services for individuals. Hailee had the opportunity to observe several client sessions, including clinical hypnosis. She was responsible for attending consultations, asking questions of patients, and learning about private counseling practices. In this role, Hailee learned more about professional psychological processes. Witnessing the positive impact of counseling was one of the most rewarding parts of her internship. Hailee also feels that her new observations have prepared her for her future goal of becoming a marriage and family therapist. Overall, this experience gave Hailee a greater respect for people dealing with mental health issues.


Melody Elele

Melody EleleWhen: Summer 2014
Where:, Atlanta, Georgia
Economics is the world’s leading online fabric store that strives for great customer service and innovation. In the summer of 2014, Melody conducted studies on different associates and departments to help standardize the amount of time processes should take. She gathered and analyzed data from the warehouse and business intelligence software. Melody improved her Microsoft Excel and data analysis skills and developed managerial skills from working with associates and managers. She communicated work problems that associates faced with managers, learned about safety tips in a warehouse, and was exposed to different databases and business intelligence software. She loved the casual learning atmosphere of the work environment that encouraged creativity and leadership. Melody solidified her interest in management because it helped her realize how many opportunities there are for a new graduate with her knowledge and skills in the workplace.

Ivy Truong

Internship Story - Ivy TruongWhen: Summer 2015
Where: Abaco Machines in Paramount, CA

Over the summer, Ivy worked at Abaco Machines, a company that specializes in lifts for handling heavy equipment. As the accounting intern, she acquired technical and communication skills that helped her understand the real-world accounting experience. She utilized Quickbooks to create customized sales reports, communicated with customers about their invoices, reconciled freight bills and customers’ checks, and deposited checks into the appropriate banking accounts. After interning, Ivy feels more confident in using the skills she learned from her classes and is looking forward to working in accounting after graduation.

Emily Holm

Emily Holm smiles with a camper from Jerusalem during her internship at Kids4PeaceWhen: Summer 2015

During the summer of 2015, Emily worked in Seattle, WA with Kids4Peace. The camp gathers Christian, Jewish, and Muslim students from Jerusalem and the United States  for two weeks of dialogue and interfaith learning, believing that, “together, peace is possible”. As an intern, Emily spent most of her time facilitating conversations between campers and helping with interfaith sessions. She says the most rewarding part of her job was working with the kids. She especially enjoyed seeing the relationships between the Israeli, Palestinian, and American campers grow over time. This unique internship allowed Emily to mature as a religion major and use her skills from Luther to make a tangible difference in the world.

Christie Owens

Christie OwensWhen: Summer 2015
Where: The Painted Turtle
Major: Dance

Christie spent her summer working at The Painted Turtle, a Serious Fun camp in Lake Hughes, California. Founded by Paul Newman, Serious Fun camps provide programs for children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Christie taught a creative arts program and worked as a cabin counselor for girls and boys ages seven to sixteen. As a counselor, her daily activities included helping the kids with morning routines, getting ready for bed, eating, and having fun. With the creative arts program, Christie facilitated theatre games, warm-ups, improvisation, movement, dress-up, and imaginative play. Throughout the summer, Christie gained new medical knowledge about the campers’ illnesses while maintaining an energetic and positive outlook. The most rewarding part of her job was creating an atmosphere where the campers could forget their illnesses and just be kids. Christie’s studies at Luther thoroughly prepared her for the work. Her experiences on campus helped her to confidently teach theatre, yoga, music, and dance. She was fortunate enough to dance with kids of all abilities several times a day. She passionately believes that dance can be created by anybody and by adapting the dances to suit her campers’ needs, she gave the kids the opportunity to explore their own creative processes through dance.

Tyler Broadwell

Tyler BroadwellWhen: Summer 2015
Where: Department of Human Services
Major: Social Work

Over the summer, Tyler worked as an intern at the Department of Human Services in Decorah, checking in with foster parents to ensure that both the parents and children were receiving the services they needed and connecting them with new services when necessary. In the office, he learned how to effectively fill out court reports. While in the field, he applied the skills that he learned in the classroom to interact with the clients. His most rewarding experience throughout the internship was being able to play with children while out in the field. Through this opportunity, he realized how much foster parents do to provide and care for their children. Despite the struggles that his job entailed, he discovered the effectiveness of coping mechanisms for the families and the importance of forgiveness and self-advocating. Because of his clients, Tyler learned that he can do more than he believed to help others.

Hannah Kuehner

Hannah KuehnerWhen: Summer 2015
Where: Athletico Physical Therapy
Major: Health Promotion/Exercise Physiology

Hannah’s internship at Athletico Physical Therapy in Chicago, Illinois gave her invaluable experience to apply toward her future physical therapy career. Her role in the clinic was to assist patients in their rehabilitation activities, which included leading them through strength exercises, updating their charts, and setting up restorative modalities such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound. She gained many skills specific to physical therapy and learned how to multitask, adapt to new situations, use critical thinking to solve problems, and make quick decisions. Hannah’s classes at Luther provided her with an excellent foundation for this internship as she was able to apply her classroom knowledge to real-life situations. The most rewarding part of Hannah’s internship was helping alleviate patients’ pain. She loved interacting with patients and seeing how physical therapy helped them return to their daily lives. This experience showed Hannah that physical therapy is a holistic profession focused on treating the whole person, not just their body. She learned that compassion, positivity, and encouragement can make all the difference in someone’s life. Hannah now has a greater sense of purpose and is grateful to Athletico for giving her this opportunity.


Kyle Knudson

Kyle Knudson

When: Summer 2015
Where: Twin Fin Aquaponics
Major: Economics

Twin Fin Aquaponics is an innovative, urban farm startup company that focuses on food systems, financial resiliency, and working in communities. The company helps provide fresh fish and leafy greens year-round to local restaurants and residents. At Twin Fin, Kyle helped care for the fish, trim and harvest plants, and check the pH and nitrite levels in the water used to produce the foods. He learned more about the science behind aquaponics as well as aspects of fish care and plant cultivation. He said his internship helped him grow in self-discipline and made him realize that he works well experimenting and managing his own time. Kyle enjoyed having hands-on experience working with an aquaponics system and sees a future for himself working with aquaponics in sustainable food production.

Fabian Pop

Fabian PopWhen: Summer 2015
Where: National Bureau for Migrations
Major: International Studies

Fabian spent his summer as an intern at the National Bureau for Migrations in Guatemala. The National Bureau seeks to influence public policies promoting the rights of migrants and providing them with counseling. Fabian was responsible for monitoring Guatemalan media as well as conducting research on legislation related to migration. As an assistant to the Executive Director of the bureau, his daily tasks included attending forums, conferences, and staff trainings along with reading documents that helped him learn about migration on regional and global levels. Fabian not only gained a greater understanding of the responsibilities associated with managing information for an organization, but also learned how to form relationships with his colleagues to most effectively achieve his goals. Representing the organization at the forums and meetings was the most rewarding part of Fabian’s internship. The experience helped him realize he wants to work in the public sector after graduation. He believes that young people should take a leading role in tackling the world’s issues and hopes to contribute to solving the world’s social and economic problems.

Maggie Mae Sulentic

Maggie Mae SulenticWhen: Summer 2015
Where: St. Croix Festival Theatre
Major: Theatre

Maggie spent her summer playing the role of Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors at the St. Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin. Outside of her work onstage, Maggie taught performance classes to children in kindergarten through high school. She gained many new skills during her internship, including tips for rapid memorization and how to keep her body healthy and performance ready. From her classes, she learned new teaching methods and classroom-management skills. The most rewarding part of Maggie’s work with the Festival Theatre was inspiring her students through her performances. As a child, Maggie was given the gift of the arts by a role model in her life, and being able to return this gift to others was an amazing experience. Maggie’s internship helped her to discover what being a theatre professional entails. She also realized she can handle the difficulties of working in theatre and is more determined to make her dreams a reality.

Elaena Hoekstra

Elaena HoekstraWhen: Summer 2015
Where: SummerStage at Lapham Peak
Major: Theatre

Elaena spent her summer working as the marketing and publicity intern for SummerStage at Lapham Peak in Delafield, Wisconsin. She was responsible for developing weekly press releases, emails, and daily social media posts. Many of these responsibilities were new to Elaena, so she was able to develop and refine her skills in marketing and publicity. On the weekends, Elaena also worked as a house manager for SummerStage which helped her realize that she prefers working on the artistic side of theatre. She worked with volunteers, caterers, and performers to ensure each performance went smoothly. The most rewarding part of her internship was working with people older than her as she was able to practice voicing her opinions in a new setting. Working independently gave Elaena confidence in her abilities, but she ultimately discovered that she loves working with others.

Brian Paulsrud

Brian Paulsrud

When: Summer 2015
Gundersen Health System
Major: Management/Accounting

Gundersen Health System’s sustainability program, Envision, establishes and strengthens sustainability projects that can help lower organization costs and improve the health of communities. Past projects include innovative recycling and waste management systems along with programs to launch partnerships for renewable energy projects. At Gundersen's location in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Brian worked in the Business Operations department and shadowed the Sustainability, Project Management, Facility Operations, and Construction Engineering areas to learn more about their sustainability efforts. Brian developed skills that are useful in the healthcare administration field including exposure to production charts and trends, process improvement measures, value analysis, and leadership techniques. Brian appreciated building relationships with the leaders and managers within Gundersen’s organization. He learned several skills in his classes at Luther that he was able to use at his internship such as using Microsoft Excel, financial management equations, and managerial techniques. Overall, Brian’s internship led him to appreciate and understand the fast-paced environment of the healthcare industry and the care Gundersen has for the patients and communities they serve. 

Ian Macpherson

Ian Macpherson at his summer internship with the Rochester Honkers Baseball Club.When: Summer 2015
Where: Olmsted Medical Center (Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance) and Rochester Honkers Baseball Club
Major: Athletic Training

This past summer, Ian worked in the Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance division at the Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, working specifically with the Rochester Honkers Baseball Club. His work included getting athletes ready for practices and games, assisting with injury-prevention techniques, and coaching athletes during workouts on proper strength techniques. Additionally, he provided first aid during games and assisted the head athletic trainers with their day-to-day routines. He observed the management of an Athletic Performance facility and learned the importance of good working relationships with the coaching staff, players, and team management staff. He also learned new conditioning drills and strengthening lifts that he could use in his future. He found it rewarding to see the athletes get stronger throughout the summer. More importantly, he enjoyed providing pre-treatments to athletes knowing it would allow them to have a healthy season. He learned that in his future, he would like to work as an athletic trainer for a team. Outside of the internship, he learned valuable life skills like how to live independently. From making meals, buying food, and figuring out a work schedule, he found the summer to be a good test as to whether or not he is prepared to live on his own come graduation.

Anika Hansen

Anika HansenWhen: Summer 2015
Wisconsin Badger Camp
Major: Psychology

Anika spent the summer as an intern at the Wisconsin Badger Camp in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The camp seeks to serve people with developmental disabilities by providing them with quality outdoor recreational experiences. Anika’s role at camp varied throughout the summer. For several weeks, she was a main camp counselor, caring for campers and helping them participate in daily activities. She also spent time working as the equestrian director and the recreation director. This internship was a life-changing experience for Anika. She gained so much patience, compassion, and love for the campers she worked with and came to realize the importance of enjoying the little things in life. In regards to her psychology major, Anika feels more sure about the direction she is taking. She feels confident in her abilities to help people and is certain she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Lindsay Getschel

Lindsay Getschel When: Summer 2015
Center for International Policy
Major: Political Science

Lindsay spent her summer as an intern at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. She worked with two programs. One was the Win Without War coalition where she worked on advocacy. The other was the Arms & Security Project where she did long-term research on Pentagon spending that her supervisor then used to write articles. Lindsay was also given the opportunity to see many important speakers and watch Senate and House committee hearings. She learned a lot about working and writing in a professional setting. The most rewarding part of her internship was participating in something bigger than herself and working with others to create real change. Lindsay’s internship reinforced her decision to major in political science and helped her realize that her interests lie in issues related to international relations and foreign policy. On the whole, Lindsay thoroughly enjoyed her internship and hopes that she will one day be able to live and work in Washington, D.C.

Rachel Madryga

Rachel Madryga at her internshipWhen: Summer 2015
Where: Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall
Major: Biology/Art

Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts is known for having a rigorous internship process. Interns are expected to work June through August from 8 to 12 a.m.—with no weekends off—in order to perfect their design skills. Rachel's days began with a lecture that went until lunch. After lunch, she and the other interns would work in the studio until 6 p.m. and would receive an assignment that was to be completed that night. Although this was a daunting challenge, Rachel loved every moment of it. Through her internship, Rachel gained many skills such as model building, architectural drawing, representation styles, and site studies. This experience was valuable to her because it solidified her dream of going to graduate school to become an architect.

Lindsey Ryan

Lindsey Ryan at her internship with Second Harvest Heartland.When: Summer 2015
Where: Second Harvest Heartland
Major: Health

At Second Harvest Heartland, Lindsey worked for the Commodity Supplemental Foods Program (CSFP) as a farmer’s market intern. The CSFP works to provide healthy food for low-income individuals over the age of 60. Her job involved distributing food through the drive-thru, delivering farmer’s market coupons, and creating a recipe book. She learned a lot about what it takes to run a federally funded program, including the paperwork involved. She enjoyed working with dedicated supervisors and learned patience, acceptance, and the importance of doing what you love. Lindsey is a health and fitness promotion major and internship helped her understand the challenges of promoting health in low-income populations. She learned that there is no simple way to change someone’s lifestyle so it is important to be flexible. Overall, she is excited to enter a profession like this one day as she truly enjoyed the people she worked with and the environment.

Blaise Schaeffer and Michael Moore

Blaise Schaeffer & Michael Moore at the IBM competition in Manhattan with Mike Rhodin (Sr. Vice President, IBM Watson Group).When: Summer 2015
IBM Rochester
Majors: Computer Science/Health; Computer Science

During their internship at IBM, Blaise and Michael worked on developing an administrator’s console for the Watson Oncology Advisor along with three other undergraduate students. While working with a team, they refined their coding skills and learned that collaboration is an essential part of turning an idea into an end product. One of the highlights was during the last week of their internship when Michael, Blaise, and their team traveled to the IBM Manhattan office to take part in a national internship competition for IBM, a competition between almost 100 interns. Their team ending up winning the grand prize, a “Future of Watson” trophy and some IBM gear! Blaise says, “While talking to some of the executives at dinner that night, we were informed that we stood out because we were able to demonstrate our product to customers using their feedback to create the best user experience possible.” This internship gave both Blaise and Michael the confidence to take what they have learned in school and apply it to real world development and write production-quality code. In the end Blaise discovered that, “You have to find a place that values you as a person and has other bright, friendly minds to work with. You really have to love what you are doing every day and surround yourself with great people to find true enjoyment in your work!”

Kaitlin Thune

Kaitlin Thune's Internship StoryWhen: January, 2015
Tanager Place
Major: Psychology

Tanager Place is an inpatient clinic in Cedar Rapids for kids aged 5-17 who have behavioral disorders. As well as providing inpatient services, they have an outpatient clinic, school, program for research on autism, and an inpatient clinic for children with more severe developmental disabilities. Kaitlin spent all of her time in one of the cottages, helping with various activities and daily routines. Her main task was to get in the kids' living spaces and to learn what it might be like to live and work in an inpatient setting. The supervisors were impressed with Kaitlin’s work, commenting on how willing she was to help and listen to kids, especially if they were having a rough day. Before becoming an intern at Tanager Place, Kaitlin only knew she wanted to do some form of therapy. Now she is considering getting her masters in clinical social work and becoming a therapist for kids or a treatment counselor in an inpatient setting.

Ben Hermann

Learn about Ben Hermann and his internship with with O.R.A. Rock Valley Physical Therapy.When: January, 2015
Where: O.R.A. Rock Valley Physical Therapy
Major: Exercise Physiology/Athletic Training

Ben spent his internship this past January in Moline, Illinois working for a physical therapy company called O.R.A. Rock Valley Physical Therapy. There he shadowed Steve, the owner of the company, and other physical therapists as they helped patients through their different injuries. Ben's primary task was to observe Steve's interactions with patients and examine how he diagnosed and determined rehabilitation for the different injuries. In addition to shadowing, Ben was also given the opportunity to help some of the patients through their routines and exercises. He really enjoyed helping the patients in such a direct way because it gave him insight into what he will be doing later in life. One patient they saw had terrible sciatica pain and the doctors couldn't use surgery to repair it because of some other complications. Although Ben and the other physical therapists weren't able to help this man fully recover because of the severity of his sciatica, they were able to help reduce a lot of the pain. This showed Ben that he could really change a life by helping someone grapple with chronic pain and providing care in ways that other doctors couldn't. This experience only made Ben positive that this is what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Ben can't wait until he graduates from physical therapy school and can start helping people overcome their injuries.

Natalee Johnson

Natalee Johnson's internship with Fairview EbenezerWhen: January, 2014
Where: Fairview Ebenezer corporate offices and the Fountains of Hosanna
Major: Health

Fairview Ebenezer is a company linked with a hospital in Minneapolis that provides seniors with the proper living arrangements, whether that be assisted living, independent living, or memory care. While interning with Fairview Ebenezer, Natalee helped support their strong reputation of truly valuing their customers and providing appropriate care for their patients. Natalee's primary task involved working with the director of sales and outreach. Under the director, she was responsible for logging information, contacting potential clients, and talking with current clients to check on their interest and satisfaction levels with the facility. Natalee was also responsible for filing patient medical information, organizing paper work, and taking inventory of monitors in current residents' rooms. Along with these daily tasks, Natalee's major responsibility was to create a large spreadsheet that included all of the residents, type of care they were receiving, their room number, phone number, and type of room they were in. Working with Fairview Ebenezer made Natalee realize that it takes a lot of people to run a business efficiently and although she doesn't plan on working in a senior living facility in the future, this internship helped Natalee discover her passion for sales.

Laura Bosshard

Laura BosshardWhen: January, 2015
Where: OSI Physical Therapy, NovaCare Rehabilitation, HealthEast Home Care, and Woodwinds Hospital
Major: Athletic Training

During a recent J-Term, Laura interned with a variety of care facilities focusing on physical therapy. OSI Physical Therapy and NovaCare Rehabilitation, both outpatient physical therapy centers, work on long-term physical therapy plans for patients who have had surgery, as well as those with chronic pain. Laura also worked with HealthEast Home Care which sends a physical therapist (PT) directly to the home of patients. Often these patients were elderly or recovering from surgery and were not yet mobile enough to make it to an outpatient physical therapy clinic. At Woodwinds, the PT's worked with patients who were only one or two days out from surgery and had not left the hospital yet. During her internship Laura observed the work of the PT's and got to see the progression of various injury rehabilitation cases and methods. Her favorite part of this experience was getting to see the different stages that patients go through when recovering from an injury. It was always exciting and very rewarding to see the patients make progress from visit to visit. After graduating from Luther, Laura plans to attend graduate school in order to get her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Because of this internship, Laura knows that this is the right career path for her.

Anna Johnson

Internship Stories - Anna JohnsonWhen: Spring, 2015
Where: Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Major: Art

Anna is currently interning at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, a museum in Chicago, IL. She has been interning here since the start of the spring semester while studying off campus with Associated Colleges of the Midwest's Chicago Program. Intuit works to ​promote public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of intuitive and outsider art through a program of education, exhibition, collecting, and publishing. Intuitive and Outsider Art is defined by Intuit as the work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions. Day to day tasks vary greatly at Intuit, ranging from managing the store to putting contacts into the computer system. Anna spends most of her time helping with research on grants or artists. One of Anna’s most memorable tasks was curating a selection of five artworks from the current exhibit to be emphasized during Slow Art Day on April 11. This allowed visitors to spend time looking at artwork at a slow and leisurely pace. Anna also led a discussion afterward to talk about the experience with those who came to participate. Being at Intuit has really shown Anna that she is involved in the right field and has encouraged her to think about opening her own art gallery one day. Anna has a deep love of art and is excited to pursue and explore the career possibilities that it provides.

Holly Williams

Internship Stories - Holly WilliamsWhen: January, 2015
Where: Crave Dance Studio
Major: Dance/Management

Crave Dance Studio in Decorah, Iowa is dedicated to providing quality instruction that focuses on technique while fostering creativity and love of movement. In the classroom, Holly was given the opportunity to instruct children (ages 5-12) in hip-hop and adults in tap. On the administrative side, Holly organized and marketed a free "Stretch/Leaps/Turns" class, created a mock dance studio with start-up costs and a budget, and compiled a timeline of mental and physical abilities in young dancers. Holly hopes to open her own dance studio in the suburbs of Minneapolis within the next two years and is currently working on the business plan. Because of her formative internship at Crave Dance Studio, Holly feels prepared for all aspects of owning a dance studio and is excited to make her dream a reality.

Laura Turco

Internship Stories - Laura TurcoWhen: Fall, 2014
Where: Florence, Italy
Major: Art

Laura’s internship last fall, actually more of an apprenticeship, was with Rossella Lari, one of the most prominent art restorers in Florence, Italy. Rossella has a private studio that she and Laura used during their studio time on the artisan side of the city. Laura also made several trips to visit the studios of other types of restorers in Florence. She visited a gold and frame restorer, a musical instrument restorer, a fresco restorer (during which she climbed scaffolding to see a fresco restoration on the ceiling of Palazzo Vecchio), and a tapestry restorer. Laura also attended several conferences about restoration at the Museo Nove Cento. Rossella was also the curator of the Galleria dell’Accademia, the museum that houses Michelangelo’s famed statue of David. Rossella arranged a private meeting during which she and Laura spent intimate one-on-one time with the statue of David. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Laura learned specifically that she wants to focus on pictorial restoration, which focuses on the painted surface. During studio time, she got to try her hand at actual restoration on a collection of paintings by Lola Costa, a prominent artist of the Impressionist period. With these paintings, she repainted abrasions on the painted surface with watercolor, leveled off stucco on panel painting, and re-stretched canvases, just to mention a few of her tasks. Laura is aspiring to be an art restorer and now has connections in Florence, Italy, the center of restoration of the world. With these connections, she has the goal of attending the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, the most prestigious art restoration school in Italy. Her apprenticeship was truly one of the best experiences of her life and it occurred within the best experience in her life, her study aboard experience in Italy.
Photo credit: Niles George.

Paige Lobdell

Paige with one of her coworkers during her internship with KFAN.When: January, 2015
Where: iHeart Media
Major: Communication Studies

Last January, Paige worked for the iHeartMedia company in Minneapolis and specifically under the KFAN Sports Radio. This station covers Minnesota professional and collegiate athletics with four shows throughout the day, hosted by a variety of radio figures. At KFAN, Paige worked at the shows, such as the “Paul Allen Show,” and was in charge of greeting guests, answering fan call-ins, running prize giveaways, and setting up interviews. She also learned how to use editing software to cut audio clips and set each of them up for podcasting. In her spare time, Paige would sit in a recording studio and practice creating her own show. At the end of her internship, Paige was sent to the University of Minnesota to sit in on basketball or hockey press conferences and record the audio for future shows. Throughout her experience, Paige is most proud of her time on-air. She loved reading the vibes of the conversations and is proud to have both Paul Allen and Ben Leber compliment her voice and mention she has a bright future ahead. This internship gave her complete insight to the media world of radio, allowing her to compare it to other forms of media and decide which might be the right fit in the future.

Sheri Schwert

Sheri Schwert working at her internship with University of Illinois.When: January, 2015
Where: University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign
Major: Environmental Studies/Chemistry

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Institute (ISTC) is a research laboratory affiliated with, and funded by, the University of Illinois. While research ranges from biofuels to river effects, Sheri was mostly involved with a project that studied the viability of using charred waste biomass (i.e. tree woodchips, mown grass, and manure waste from farms) to fertilize fields while reducing carbon emissions. At the beginning of the internship, Sheri primarily used various data analysis machines, prepared samples of mown grass, and weighed samples. However, as she became more familiar with the project, Sheri prepared groundwater and wastewater for analysis with a liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer by filtering, suspending, nitrogen drying, and weighing the samples. Eventually, she was even trusted to edit one of the reports a doctor was about to publish. Although she worked on a variety of projects, Sheri was most involved with the biochar process. It was a very rewarding experience to learn its practical uses as fertilizer, feed supplement, water filtration, battery additions, and carbon sequestration, while minimizing the released carbon from decomposition after burning samples in specialized furnaces. Sheri’s internship has strengthened her belief that chemistry is a wonderful way of understanding the world, and plans to use her chemistry major to help the environment in the future. She may even add an environmental science major to her degree to continue her education in the field.

Nicole Lussier

Nicole Lussier at her internship with LA Opera.When: Summer, 2014
Where: Education and Community Engagement Department of Los Angeles Opera
Major: Economics

Last summer, Nicole was able to intern for the Education and Community Engagement Department of the Los Angeles Opera. Although she was able to work with a multitude of different programs, her favorite was the Community Circle Seating Program. This initiative worked to increase the amount of community members able to attend main-stage opera performances by granting orchestra level tickets to groups at the sharply discounted price of $9 per ticket. To make this project a success, Nicole communicated with leaders of non-profits, low-income senior centers, and various community groups in order to match each of them with an opera she thought might provide the most excitement and best experience. Apart from the Community Circle Seating Program, Nicole also appreciated working with different demographics and community groups within Los Angeles because she felt they provided a powerful and instructive experience. This internship has allowed Nicole to learn and practice skills in arts administration and strengthened her future aspirations to work within this field.

Carter Johnson

Carter Johnson at Gundersen Health System in Lacrosse, WI.When: January, 2015
Where: Gundersen Health System
Major: Biology

Gundersen Health System is recognized as a national leader in medical care with a series of satellite clinics throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. As a hospital, they have innovative policies relating to palliative care and a patient-centered approach to medicine. Over the month of January, Carter spent most of his days shadowing resident physicians as they rotated through their different services in the hospital and clinic at La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was also able to shadow physicians in any department he was interested in learning more about, such as pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatrics, palliative care, surgery, and many others. One of Carter’s favorite aspects of the internship was getting to teach sessions with his mentor, Dr. Kyla Lee, where he learned the basics of an EKG/ECG report, how to suture incisions, and an introduction to laparoscopic surgery techniques. Throughout his experience, Carter was amazed and inspired to witness every physician listen to and address the concerns of their patients and families, no matter the urgency of the situation. Leaving the internship with support from all of the physicians he collaborated with, Carter feels he has all the encouragement he needs to continue down the path of becoming a physician himself someday.

Lonn Iwashita

Lonn Iwashita headshot.When: January, 2015
Where: Kahala Nui
Major: Health

Kahala Nui is a vibrant retirement community in Honolulu, Hawaii that offers independent living, assisted living, and Life Care—a holistic approach to senior living that integrates a wellness-centered lifestyle with the peace of mind from an onsite continuum of career choices. The care center embraces an individualistic mindset, tailoring services to suit each resident’s needs. Lonn experienced all sides of the organization during his internship by helping manage the activities programs, filing papers for an upcoming survey and certification, collaborating with the nursing care staff to administer feeding assistance programs, and even took residents around the Kahala Nui grounds to get fresh air and hold conversations. Besides the relationships made with the staff and residents, Lonn felt the most rewarding part of his experience was the feeding assistance program because he got to witness the difference in each individual’s capacity to gain their required nutrients. As a health and fitness promotion major, Lonn believes his internship has provided him with an understanding of the industry, experience relevant to his future, and a look at what promoting health to the elderly in various ways can entail.


Deveny Miles

Denevy MilesWhen: January, 2015
Where: Dry Run Studio
Major: Biology/Dance

Deveny spent this past January as an intern with locally owned Dry Run Studio. She helped brainstorm, plan, and execute several artistic projects connected to Body of Water the interdisciplinary production performed at Luther College. The projects Deveny worked on varied from art installments around Decorah, to a participatory performance on campus and the planning of several educational workshops for different age groups, combining dance and biology. All of these projects were designed to raise awareness about local water issues and a general awareness of water usage. During her time with Dry Run Studios, Deveny was surprised how much thought, time, and work is put into the artistic process, from discussing many possibilities all the way through the execution of the final projects. She learned to collaborate with other artists, discussing and trying new ideas and concepts. She experienced the process of finding a venue for the finished projects, not only an available space, but the one that would showcase the project the best. Finally, the workshops that she helped develop showed her how the arts can inform and improve the understanding of other disciplines for people of all ages.

Jill Hess

Jill HessWhen: Spring, 2014
The National Portrait Gallery
Major: Art

Jill Hess spent her internship last spring with the National Portrait Gallery, a Smithsonian Museum compromised of the artwork of important people in history and culture. The majority of Jill’s tasks involved working with the Design and Production team on gallery maintenance, installation and tear-down, and other tasks to keep the department and museum running smoothly. Jill built a strong and positive work relationship with the staff and by the end of her internship was trusted to work independently on her own projects. After this formative experience in Washington D.C., Jill’s focus has been to return to the city because of its cultural and historical ties.  Jill is proud to have worked with an important collection in such an established museum and now wants to pursue museum work as a career.

Sarah Hermeier

Sarah Hermeier in front of the mermaid statue in Copenhagen.When: January, 2015
Where: CataCap
Major: Russian Studies/Accounting

For the month of January, Sarah interned at a private equity firm in Copenhagen, Denmark called CataCap. This organization purchases small Danish companies with potential for growth, builds them up as much as possible, and resells their purchase after about five years. Sarah’s internship involved two main projects. The first project was an analysis of which companies might benefit from being purchased by a private equity firm. Although Sarah does not speak or read Danish, she was able to navigate the financial reports and included over one hundred companies in her analysis work. The second project required her to research licensing companies since CataCap was considering buying one. It was new, unknown territory and they were unaware of how difficult it might be to resell. After her month abroad, Sarah is comfortable in a small business setting and feels working internationally has removed the fear from living in an unfamiliar setting with a future job placement.

Audrey Bird

Audrey Bird Internship StoryWhen: January, 2015
Where: Gingrich Productions
Major: Political Science

For her third internship in Washington, D.C., Audrey spent last January working with Gingrich Productions. This organization is a multimedia production company based in Arlington, Virginia that works on an array of political projects. As an intern, her main task was to conduct research for speeches, podcast interviews, and essays. Most of her time was dedicated to investigating Boko Haram and terrorism in Nigeria. By the end of the month Speaker Gingrich and Audrey had co-written an op-ed piece about her research that is now published online.  While in D.C., Audrey also had the opportunity to sit it on a number of closed-door meetings at the office and on Capitol Hill with the former Speaker of the House. Following her internship, Audrey has decided to return to D.C. after graduation and pursue a career that incorporates both business and politics.

Kalla Galyon

Headshot of Kalla Galyon at her Silver Tree internship.When: January, 2015
Where: Silver Tree Communications
Major: Communication Studies

Silver Tree is a marketing, advertising, and public relations agency located midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Kalla was challenged to jump into her J-term internship with both feet. She performed marketing research for a top-50 university, wrote copy for retail advertising, and conducted website analysis for a healthcare client, all in just a few short weeks. This was a "hybrid" internship, in which Kalla spent some time in Silver Tree's offices in Kenosha, but also spent much of her internship working online from her family home in Mount Prospect, Illinois. She came back to campus with a new understanding of the wide variety of tasks involved in communication work and a greater appreciation for the way her Luther courses emphasize learning to write in a variety of styles.

"I think it is just very interesting that there are so many media that we can write for, and how the dynamic and way that we write for each is vastly different than another," she reflected. "This is what I think makes writing so much fun."

Silver Tree president, Kate Colbert wrote, "I was very impressed by Kalla's level of energy and enthusiasm. She was always willing to take a new project, and exhibited the ability to quickly shift gears and priorities when needed."

Alyssa Wildenauer

Internship Story - Alyssa WildenauerWhen: January, 2015
Where: St. Croix Therapy
Major: Psychology

St. Croix Therapy in Hudson, Wisconsin is a clinic that offers therapeutic services to children and adults. As a non-profit whose mission is “reaching higher potential and creating new opportunities,” they incorporate therapeutic services with social and emotional interactions to improve the quality of life for children and adults. Since it was a volunteer based internship, Alyssa got to experience a wide variety of tasks such as shadowing staff, interacting with client sessions, and working on projects ranging from cleaning bathrooms to creating handouts for future interns. Her favorite part was interacting with clients and therapists, which helped build excitement for a possible future with occupational therapy. One key project Alyssa worked on during her internship was creating an example packet for future interns who wanted a letter of recommendation from St. Croix Therapy. By including a personal statement, resume, skills, and strengths, the organization can write a more direct and focused letter to benefit the intern. Overall, this experience helped Alyssa discover what it might be like to work in a clinical setting, making her feel more informed and prepared for the future.

Maria da Silva

Internship Story - Maria da SilvaWhen: January, 2015
Where: Timorese Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Environment
Major: Economics/Environmental Studies

Last January, Maria worked at the Timorese Government institution in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Environment in East Timor. The department’s work was divided into two parts based on the Environmental Awareness Treaty, focusing on East Timor’s carbon emission reduction goal and raising community awareness on the issues of climate change. As an environmental studies student, climate change was not a new subject for Maria. However, she was unfamiliar with the specific situation of East Timor so much of her internship was spent reading East Timor Environmental Law and comparing it with the Global Environmental Law set by the United Nations. During her internship, Maria put together a social service project on environmental concerns for children under 14 at an orphanage. It was challenging to simplify the information, but Maria was excited with the outcome because the children showed a greater understanding of the environment when it was finished. This internship gave Maria the opportunity to experience what it's like to work in her home country and confirmed her interest in environmental work as a possible future career.

Aime Karam

Internship Story - Aime KaramWhen: Fall, 2014
Where: Decorah Broadcasting
Major: Music

Decorah broadcasting is the oldest radio station in the area and has a wide listener demographic for their local stations on AM and FM radio. Aime spent her fall as an advertising and sales intern, teaming up with the sales staff to sell ad schedules in surrounding towns. Her main contributions included building account lists, researching prospective clients, designing marketing tools such as media kits and promotion kits, making sales calls, attending weekly meetings with the sales staff, and holding daily meetings with clients. Throughout her internship, Aime was proud to design a media kit because she felt creating effective marketing tools utilized her knowledge and it required an in-depth understanding of the brand and company. Aime feels this experience directly impacted her career path. She has recently accepted a job in Minneapolis as an account executive at a publishing company, and is confident the skills she learned from her internship will benefit the new position.

Emily England

Emily England at her Smithsonian internship.

When: Summer, 2014
Where: Smithsonian Institution
Major: History/Anthropology

As a double major in history and anthropology with a minor in museum studies, Emily was excited to be an intern for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most visited museums in the country and works to commemorate and preserve the history and progress of aerospace technology. Emily worked in the collections department, which is in the process of moving the entire collection to a new storage facility. Her main tasks involved updating the documentation of various artifacts, as well as cleaning and moving medium-sized artifacts such as aircraft engines. One especially memorable moment of Emily’s internship was when she got to survey the tools used for the Apollo Lunar Module, getting a behind the scenes tour of the NASM’s spacesuit storage holding Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit. Overall, this experience renewed her love of space history and provided Emily with valuable work experience to help with future grad school applications and a future career in museums.

Evan Sowder

Even Sowder with Rebecca Handler in New York for his photography internship.When: January, 2015
Where: Rebecca Handler Photography
Major: Art

Evan spent his January working with Rebecca Handler, a professional conceptual photographer based in New York City, by planning and carrying out photo shoots. His tasks included interacting with modeling agencies, assisting with light tests, and managing equipment. He also learned about the business functions of operating a photo studio and marketing to potential clients, and gained valuable experience in post-production techniques, including retouching images. Evan was excited to have the opportunity to learn from Rebecca and her staff and interact with other creatives (art directors, models, filmmakers, and make up artists) in New York City. This internship gave Evan a much clearer idea of what it takes to progress in this field, and strengthened his commitment to pursuing photography as a career. 

Lauren Welch

Lauren Welch holding a teddy bear from her internship at Children's Discovery Academy.When: December and January, 2015
Where: Children’s Discovery Academy of Early Learning
Major: Accounting/Management

Children’s Discovery Academy is a privately owned child care center in Minnesota. They believe in developing the whole child including social, emotional, cognitive, and physical elements. Lauren focused on the business side of Children’s Discovery Academy, allowing her to work alongside the director in the office and learn the financial aspects of an organization. During her internship, Lauren was responsible for answering questions from parents, recording and processing payments, revising classroom newsletters and calendars, scheduling events, and completing a daily check to make sure staffing was in order. She even found her Information Systems class at Luther was valuable when creating a new roster system because she could make the Excel document colorful, easy to ready, and build in equations to minimize inputs. Overall, Lauren found her experience incredibly rewarding and feels her business management and accounting major can impact almost any business. She hopes to experience in future jobs the same level of passion Children’s Discovery Academy employees have on a daily basis.

Meg Ostrem

Internship - Meg Ostrem

When: Fall, 2014
Where: Kinderhaus
Major: Management

Kinderhaus is a Waldorf-inspired, outdoor kindergarten and preschool in Decorah. As the Project Manager of the Kinderhaus Cookbook, Meg is responsible for creating a cookbook full of recipes collected from families and community members. She’s spent much of her internship editing, revising, and formatting recipes, contacting artists for illustrations, and working with the publisher. Meg’s experience helped her realize the many areas within management that can be pursued. She hadn’t considered project management as a career before, but after having a small taste of what it entails, Meg thinks it could be a possibility for her future. Once her internship is over, Meg is excited to hold a hard-copy of the cookbook and see the impact of her hard work.

After her internship with Kinderhaus, Meg was referred to GoodBlogs in Decorah and hired as a Conversion Manager, which is primarily comprised of two tasks. The first deals with collecting marketing strategy data, analyzing it, and sharing it with the affiliated companies. The second uses split testing to find effective marketing strategies and discover additional leads. Meg feels her internship helped prepare her for this position because of the network she made with community members leading her to the job, and the increased creativity she gained by working with various people and different perspectives.

Kara Maloney

Kara Maloney standing outside the Lanesboro Arts Center.When: January, 2015
Where: Lanesboro Arts
Major: Management/Art

This past January, Kara spent her time as an intern for Lanesboro Arts in Lanesboro, Minnesota. The business acts as a creative outlet and benefits the public by providing galleries, performing arts space, artist residencies, and educational outreach. Kara kept plenty busy over the month by helping with general administrative duties, such as mailings and filings, taking pictures for and adding information to their new website, creating an advertising email, researching past and potential grants, advertising and hosting two events, and organizing art supplies for educational classes. One project she spent a lot of time on was comparing the potential revenue and actual revenue created from the rented art lofts. Kara found it would be more cost efficient to turn one loft into an office space since it had such low rental sales, and developed a new way to market the other loft to encourage additional rentals. After her internship, Kara found the variety of tasks, constant use of creativity, and the teamwork required to make progress increased her excitement to work in a non-profit someday, preferably one that makes positive impacts on the community and the economy through art.

Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams in Oregon with a number of tiny houses.When: January, 2015
Where: Portland Alternative Designs
Major: Environmental Studies

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Portland Alternative Designs is a tiny-house consulting company that partners with companies such as Shelterwise (tiny-house design and construction) and Iron Eagle Trailers (custom trailers for tiny-house needs) to provide advice, run workshops, and educate anyone interested in living tiny. Throughout January, Jonathan was involved with a tiny-house mixer to showcase current projects, a building workshop discussing specific concerns for tiny-houses, visited Caravan (a tiny-house hotel), and attended an Airbnb presentation and forum. He found the entire experience incredibly interesting and especially enjoyed seeing first-hand how much progress the tiny-house movement has made since its origination in 2002. After his internship, Jonathan has brought his interest in tiny-houses to Luther by working with Stratis Giannakouros and the Luther Sustainability Department. On April 25th, he plans to organize a presentation, featuring local speakers and providing time for questions and audience interaction.

Tia Stenson

Tia Stenson at her State Historical Society of North Dakota internship.When: Summer, 2014
Where: State Historical Society of North Dakota
Major: Dance/Anthropology

During Tia's summer collections internship, she worked on a large inventory and collection assessment project for the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Working alongside another intern, they focused on a full inventory of a storage unit, with some objects not yet integrated into permanent storage that were held at the State Park of Fort Abraham Lincoln. Once collection items were inventoried, they were assessed for proper processing as museum holdings, equipment, or unwanted items. Working with the Historical Society’s collections committee, Tia helped to create a plan for processing the inventoried objects according to their planned disposition. Along with her own project she got to witness other aspects of the Historical Society as they developed their final plans for the installations of their new galleries. The internship inspired her to continue the interest of doing registration work as she enjoyed presenting objects the the collection committee for approval for integration into their collections. 

Kajsa Jones

Kajsa Jones head shot.When: January, 2015
Where: Springboard for the Arts and Nautilus Music-Theater
Major: Management

Kajsa spent her January assisting Springboard for the Arts, an artist resources organization that connects artists with communities, and Nautilus Music-Theater, a small music-theater company in the Twin Cities that creates original music, theater, and opera pieces, as well as innovative productions of existing work. Her involvement with Nautilus included observing an artistic team and filling the role of production assistant for a local performing arts production of “Fugitive Songs,” where she was a part of the rehearsals and performance. Putting up a production in three weeks was complex and difficult, but Kajsa found it very rewarding to be a part of the process. At Springboard, Kajsa helped monitor the Artist Resource Center, attended a resource fair, and worked with the company’s online Artists Services Directory to build a more efficient process for the community. The staff at both organizations helped Kajsa understand what possibilities are available for her as a future artist and administrator. She admires the people she worked with and feels many of the connections she made will continue to be strengthened in the future.

Bethany Noltner

Bethany Noltner internship story.When: January, 2015
Where: Orgel Wealth Management
Major: Management/Economics

Orgel Wealth Management (OWM) is a wealth management company that invests with mutual funds, helps clients build diverse portfolios, and provides financial planning guidance. Bethany spent a lot of her time shadowing and working with the partners of company, but also was given a project to work on from start to finish. OWM had an inadequate system in place for the music listened to by clients while on hold, so Bethany got to search for a company to hire, allowing her to make a variety of business decisions and build professional communication skills. She even presented all of her suggestions in packets to the partners of OWM to finish off the project. Working at OWM helped Bethany realize she was less interested in becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and felt that working as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) was a better fit because she enjoyed helping people discover what assets they have and how to plan for their financial goals in life. Spending the month with OWM helped Bethany learn a lot about herself made her realize she is more people-oriented than she previously thought.

Taylor Kaare

Taylor working with the archives of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.When: January, 2015
Where: Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
Major: History

The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the immigrant story and is known as one of the most comprehensive museums in the United States dedicated to a single immigrant group. For her museum studies internship, Taylor spent the month of January in the museum's archives working with the personal papers and music transcripts belonging to the late Sigvart Hofland, composer and former professor at Luther College. Taylor surveyed, processed, sorted, arranged, and digitally cataloged Hofland's collections for the museum archive in order to make it available for research and use. This was a fascinating experience that only furthered Taylor's interest in pursuing a professional career in archives and special collections.