Internship Stories

Allie Martin

Allie Martin

When: Summer 2016
Where: CliftonLarsonAllen, Minneapolis, MN
Major: Accounting and Political Science

Allie was an intern in CliftonLarsonAllen's (CLA) Public Sector Group doing audit and tax work for various clients including charter schools, non-profit organizations, churches, and colleges. She gained many practical auditing skills and learned how to work in a team in a professional environment. Allie found that she enjoys auditing because it is like telling a story. And by becoming familiar with the client's financial information, she is able to understand her clients better and uncover pieces of their stories. It was especially rewarding to find meaning in what she was doing through understanding the mission of the various organizations she was working with. Allie enjoyed working for CLA because she was able to use her accounting skills but also find a purpose in what she was doing through her clients, which is something she will need to feel fulfilled in a job.

Megan McCready

Megan McCready

When: Summer 2016
Where: RSM US LLP, Minneapolis, MN
Major: Accounting and Economics

Megan was an audit intern on the commercial team for RSM US LLP. Each week she was assigned to a different client to perform an audit procedure on employee benefit plans. She acquired communication skills through her interaction with both client contacts and teams on each of her engagements. She learned how important time management was when juggling multiple clients at the same time. Megan enjoyed using the skills she learned from her classes and feels that Luther sets its students up for success. The accounting field is demanding and ever-changing, and she is fascinated by the fast-paced environment. Through her experience with RSM, she gained a deeper understanding of herself and the career she is looking for.

Brooke Stauffer

Brooke Stauffer (right)

When: Summer 2016
Where: Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA
Major: Accounting and Management

Brooke interned at Rockwell Collins, a company that designs, produces, and supports innovative solutions for customers in aerospace and defense. Her main project was to make a dynamic calendar for the Annual Operating Plan using Excel Macros and writing basic code to create the calendar that recognizes dates and deadlines. The project allowed her to gain insight into the entire operating plan at Rockwell Collins, and how each department depends on others to run smoothly. She was also able to job shadowmany different positions. She realized that an accounting major would enable her to have many career options, even within the same company. Brooke learned how important communication is in the workplace, and if you aren’t sure about something, it is perfectly fine to ask questions!

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.

Gabe Saemisch

Internship story.

When: January 2016
NaviHealth, Nashville, TN

NaviHealth provides post-acute care programs and management solutions that improve the quality of care during patients’ experiences. Gabe had the opportunity to intern at NaviHealth and gained valuable insight into the healthcare industry. He was able to work with people from many different areas of the business. He felt he was valuable to the NaviHealth corporation and the patients they were assisting in their recovery. Gabe is happy with his J-term experience because while he had fun, he also learned a lot and was able to help those in need!

Evan Seegmiller

Internship Story.When: January 2016
Evergreen Bank Group, Chicago, IL

Evan interned for the Evergreen Bank Group in Chicago, IL. The CFO directly assigned him projects that allowed him to work with employees from different areas of the bank. He learned how to manage his time as well as communicate with coworkers. Evan enjoyed the experience of working in a city as large as Chicago and enjoyed getting to know his coworkers, who became his good friends. During his time, he learned the importance of connections and having a team that works well together. Evan also realized this is the type of work environment he wants to be involved with in the future.

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!  

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Kara Maloney

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

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.

Patrick Larson

Patrick Larson at Handicap International in Washington D.C.When: January, 2015
Handicap International

As a non-profit based out of France with branches in multiple countries including the United States, Handicap International works to assist people with disabilities in developing countries, especially in areas that have undergone recent disasters. Last year alone, Handicap International helped over 2 million people in 59 countries. Over January, Patrick worked as an intern in Washington D.C., focusing primarily on marketing research and analysis and how their current strategies correlated with fundraising. Patrick works with social media at Luther, and he found it interesting to see how marketing can work at a higher ed level and for a non-profit organization. Since Handicap International is not as established as other non-profits, Patrick was able to witness notable gains in a short period of time. Although still very undecided about his future plans, Patrick found the work very interesting but realized a 9-5 office job may not be the best fit for him, preferring more hands-on work and personal interactions.

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.

Erika Balk

Erika Balk at Happy Llama Inc. in Lakewood, CO.When: January, 2015
Where: Happy Llama Inc.

This January, Erika had the opportunity to work at Happy Llama in Lakewood, Colorado. The company is a professional print and merchandise business that frequently partners with events and festivals in Denver to ensure their success through printed collateral. During her internship, Erika was in charge of developing a social media campaign for the business, helping re-format the entire website, initiating a hiring process, weighing in on Happy Llama events, researching market trends, and acting as a committee chair to the Mile High Young Professionals group. She really enjoyed managing the merchandise and seeing the end result of immense planning during the Bacon and Bourbon Festival in downtown Denver. Erika feels this internship has helped her reflect upon what she would like out of a job after graduation and taught her to balance work with personal goals.

Kayla Herman

Kayla HermanWhen: January, 2015
Evergreen Bank Group Headquarters

Evergreen Bank Group Headquarters is located in Evergreen Park, IL and acts as a community bank for its customers, while providing the security and resources of a national financial institution. Since the company has less than 100 total employees, there is a palpable sense of family in the workplace. Kayla had the opportunity to shadow the head of Human Resources, Jenny Voss, and work with the CFO, Jill, who are both sisters and Luther alumni. At Evergreen, Kayla’s tasks varied daily but she spent much of her time with employee insurance plans, taking a yearly audit of personnel information, and preparing worksheets and summaries for the Board of Directors meetings. She even had the opportunity to start and finish the 2014 Total Compensation Statements for all employees, reflecting how much they received from the bank in terms of wages, overtime, bonuses, and all types of insurance and taxes the bank contributes to, by making very individualized and detailed graphs and values. Overall, Kayla loved her internship and could easily see herself working at Evergreen. She is currently looking for jobs in the HR field and banking because of her experience.

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.

Casey Waterman

Internship - Casey Waterman

When: Fall, 2014
Where: Grass Run Farms

Grass Run Farms is a collaboration of family-run farms in the Upper Midwest, producing and marketing 100% grass-fed beef. Their mission is to make high-quality, affordable, pasture-based meats accessible to anyone interested in healthy food and community values. Casey was able to help assist the company’s mission with his internship this fall by focusing on wholesaling, marketing, website analysis and design, and sales. With his internship supervisor, Dan Bellrichard '01, Casey set up a wholesale system online for retailers to place orders and gain information about selling Grass Run Farms products in their stores. Not only has this internship increased his passion for marketing and operations, but Casey has enjoyed Grass Run Farms so much he hopes to be employed there someday!

Internship Stories Archive