Luther College junior Cole Jensen of West Des Moines, Iowa spent January Term of 2019 helping customers to familiarize themselves with technology at Shottenkirk Chevrolet in Waukee, Iowa.
Jensen, son of Craig and Tammy Jensen of West Des Moines, Iowa, is a 2016 graduate of Waukee High School. He plans to graduate in 2020 with a degree in English.
During his internship, Jensen's responsibilities were focused on helping customers to familiarize themselves with the technology in the vehicles that they were looking to buy, or had recently purchased.
This experience allowed Jensen to not only learn about the environment around him, but also about himself as a person. He says, "The biggest thing that I learned about myself is that I am far more patient than I thought I was. I realized this when I was able to successfully help some customers that may not understand new technology as well as others."
Majoring in English helped Jensen in this experience by giving him greater skills in writing at a more professional level and communicating with others more efficiently. "I have become more comfortable and confident in my communication skills with customers and coworkers. I definitely see being an English major as an advantage in the motor industry! There really isn't a major that is most ideal for this kind of business (most people assume a management major would be best). But the way I see it, having the skills to communicate and write at a high level will get you a lot farther in this kind of business."
Looking into this profession has given Jensen insight into what working in the motor industry is really like. He was able to get firsthand experience with the amount work that it takes to be successful in such a profession. "It is a field that the harder you work, the more money you will make. It's not a job that has consistent pay for sitting behind a desk."
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.