Decorah Internships

You don't need to leave Decorah to gain professional experience. Luther's strong relationship with our city's business community means that you can pursue a professional internship right in downtown! Read below to check out just a few of the internships Luther students have had in the Decorah community.

For more information about internship opportunities, visit the Career Center.

Daniel Dejapin

Daniel Dejapin Internship


When: January 2018
Where: Helping Services for Youth and Families
Social Work and Psychology

Daniel is a sophomore majoring in Social Work and Psychology. During January, Daniel interned with Helping Services for Youth and Families. The experience was rewarding and helped him to personally grow while in the field. Working with professionals made him realize how important social workers are in our community and in our society. All the staff encouraged him, but at the same time challenged him to push himself to the limits. This experience enlightened him about how our society challenges people that are struggling within their own environment.

Liam Fraser

Liam FraserWhen: Summer 2017
Where: Iowa Interfaith Power and Light in Decorah, Iowa
Major: Environmental Studies

Liam organized a clean energy tour around Decorah and promoted clean energy with the help of local leaders, during his summer internship with Iowa Interfaith Power and Light in Decorah, Iowa. Two local congregations hosted tour stops where Fraser helped highlight their efficiency and clean energy investments. He also organized meetings with local energy leaders to discuss possible involvement in the project. Liam learned how unifying the topic of energy can be in a small community like Decorah. "Everyone relies on energy to go about their days, so determining ways to improve efficiency often brings people together…[t]his internship allowed me to become more comfortable reaching out to various community members and marketing an event to a specific target audience," he said. Upon graduation, Liam will look into working for organizations such as Iowa Interfaith Power and Light or the Winneshiek Energy District. He believes developing community clean energy should be a national priority. The experience he has gained has inspired him to consider applying for graduate school.

Linnea Kephart

Internship picture of Linnea Kephart at Vesterheim. When: Summer 2016
Where: The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
Major: Music and Nordic Studies

Linnea spent her summer at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum working as the assistant to the head of the folk art classes. She helped manage classrooms and various projects such as making posters and translating Norwegian books. Vesterheim does a wonderful job educating Scandinavian trades by teaching classes such as rosemaling, wood carving, and Norwegian baking. Linnea quickly learned from the internship that little things matter, and how communication skills play a huge role in a successful organization. She loved that she gained hands-on experience with Norwegian traditions and learning more about her passion for Nordic Studies. Linnea is excited to pursue her career interest in these traditions by researching and keeping Norwegian traditions alive. 

Laura Thoms

Laura Thoms '16When: January 2016
Where: Dry Run Studio, Decorah, IA
Major: Theatre

For her internship with Dry Run Studio, Laura participated in meditation and daily discussions with her supervisor. Each day, Laura meditated in a different location on Luther’s campus or around the Decorah area. While at these sites, she would reflect on how ordinary life can be beneficial for creativity. These meditative observations helped her develop a deeper understanding of her own learning process. Through this, Laura was able to refine her creative discussions and process. She also kept a blog, where she was able to track how her ideas grew and became polished. The most rewarding part of the internship was learning how meditation and reflection can heighten creativity. In relation to her theatre major, Laura plans to uses these new tools to further her artistic development.

Belal Krayem

Belal Krayem When: January 2016
Where: DECO Products, Decorah, IA
Majors: Accounting and Data Science

In January, Belal interned at DECO Products, a company that specializes in zinc die casting. As a data analyst, he gathered sales department data from previous years and filtered, organized, and visualized the data sets using Excel and other programs. He was exposed to different working environments by touring the plant and the manufacturing area to understand the data better. Belal improved his multitasking and interpersonal communication skills by working on many different projects. In addition to the unlimited access to free coffee, he enjoyed getting off campus and getting a taste of the real world. He found that interpreting big data into graphs and simple terms for managers is incredibly important. Because of this, he is extremely excited about the high demand of his newly-added Data Science major. Belal believes he personally grew through this experience and feels more prepared for life after graduation.

Solveig Nelson


When: January 2016
Humane Society of Northeast Iowa, Decorah, IA

The Humane Society of Northeast Iowa helps abused, neglected, abandoned, and unwanted companion animals in the five-county area of Northeast Iowa. They have numerous services including dog and cat rescue, fostering and adoption services, and humane education. Solveig worked on weekly projects as the fundraising intern. She implemented fundraisers in elementary schools and researched grants that the humane society could apply for. She learned a lot about independent work and time management, as she did all of the work on her own on campus. She volunteered at the shelter two days a week, which Solveig said was the most rewarding part of her internship because she knew that she helped someone other than herself that day. She was able to see how happy the people and the animals were when someone adopted them. The projects she worked on pertained to her management major because she learned a lot about researching and how non-profit companies are different than for-profit companies. This internship solidified Solveig’s interest in working in the non-profit field after she graduates.

Kristin Anderson

Interned at inspire(d) magazine over January 2016When: January 2016
Inspire(d) Magazine, Decorah, IA

Kristin had the opportunity to intern with the local magazine, Inspire(d), as a graphic designer. Some of the tasks included copy editing blog posts, managing the web page, and developing her own graphics for blog posts. She also had a paper project to work on where she created a kaleidocycle with paper and designed a step-by-step ad on how to recreate it. This experience made Kristin realize that she enjoys the nitty gritty of design work. She also improved her visual communication skills because now she can't help but analyze and deconstruct images. Additionally, she learned a lot about self-management because she worked on campus and met up with her supervisor every few days. This gave her the knowledge of what it takes to own her own graphic design business some day. She was also inspired to start her own web page and submit her art to galleries.

Matt Chlebek

Internship Story

When: January 2016
Open Decorah, Decorah, IA

Open Decorah is a business that strengthens Decorah’s community by providing a co-working environment to work, gather, share, and learn. Matt gained new experience in sales, social media, and marketing. He found new ways to manage online websites, learned more about using blogs for marketing, learned how to build the brand through consistent messaging, and assisted in the development and implementation of systems to better serve clients. For him, the most rewarding part was to see the progress the company made as people joined and became interested while he was there. Matt discovered through this J-term that if he applies himself, he can accomplish any task at hand!  

Robert Starr

Robert Starr working with students at North Winneshiek Middle School to build a Lego robot for FLL.When: Fall 2015
Where: North Winneshiek Middle School, Decorah, Iowa
Major: Chemistry (Secondary Education)

In fall of 2015, Robert got the opportunity to spend three months at North Winneshiek Middle School. There he helped coach students in a FIRST Lego League (FLL) team to build a Lego robot that would compete to perform a series of assigned tasks. When they finished, Robert also arranged a meeting with another FLL team to practice. During his time, he enjoyed watching the personal growth of the students. Working together towards a common goal allowed students to become both leaders and contributors. Robert discovered the importance of shaping his expectations to reflect students' abilities, and developed effective communication strategies while encouraging students to persevere. Despite the significant amount of preparation involved, it was worth every second to Robert and the students he helped. He intends to involve the FLL program at the school he teaches at in the future.