Fostering civil dialogue in the community, Luther College senior Elizabeth Wiebke spent the summer interning with the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Wiebke, daughter of David and Polly Wiebke of Owatonna, Minnesota, is a 2015 graduate of Owatonna High School. She plans to graduate from Luther in 2019 with a major in religion.
Over the summer months, Wiebke interned with the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, a small, non-profit organization that works to foster civil dialogue and build trust in their community. She took over for the office manager for a month, helped develop positions for future interns, created and posted social media assets and made website updates. Wiebke also participated in the developing and facilitating of focus groups that tested the desirability of an interfaith student center.
When she felt unprepared for a task, Wiebke discovered "that the best way to learn is just to do, and that oftentimes I am more capable I thought. I learned to think on my feet and adapt to new situations quickly and increased my professional communication skills immensely."
Before her internship, she "used to see a very small window of job opportunities for religion majors. But after stepping into the workforce for a summer, I have realized that there are many positions and organizations that could benefit from having an employee with a background in religious studies." She is excited to search for jobs that correlate with her major, possibly in the non-profit sector.
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 assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students also complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, 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.