Alexandria Ritzman and Kelly Ohlin, both juniors in apparel, merchandising, and design, are interning this summer at O, The Oprah Magazine in New York City. Contributed photo.

Summer internships provide springboard to careers

At least 345 College of Human Sciences students are putting their learning into practice this summer and gaining valuable work experience through internships in Iowa and across the globe.

Carlie Howard and Telicia Bunch
Carlie Howard interns at Draper James where alumna Telicia Bunch is manager of technical design

More than 100 apparel, merchandising, and design students secured internships this summer, many in New York City. Six athletic training students are interning with the National Football League. And several graduate students in human development and family studies acquired prestigious internships in Washington, D.C.

“Internships are springboards to career positions,” said Ann Thye, an academic adviser and internship coordinator in apparel, merchandising, and design.

Internships, student teaching placements, and other practicums play a key role in the student experience at Iowa State University. The experiences allow theory and practice to work together to support student learning. In human sciences, they also provide students the opportunity to apply their passion for helping people and improving lives in real-world settings.

Fourteen of the College of Human Sciences’ 15 academic majors require internships or student teaching. Many students secure additional internships to gain even more experience within their field, going beyond what is required and leading to a more successful job-seeking experience upon graduation.

Apparel students across the globe

Apparel, merchandising, and design students secured internships this summer in places ranging from Iowa to California, Florida, Texas, and Seoul, South Korea. Thirty of them are in New York City.

Carlie Howard is interning at Draper James, featuring designer clothes and women’s Southern clothing by actress Reese Witherspoon. Telicia Bunch, a 1998 Iowa State graduate in apparel, merchandising, and design, is manager of technical design there and reached out for an Iowa State intern.

“It’s a nice show of how alums make a difference,” Thye said.

Alyssa Priebe and Jessica Dyer
Alyssa Priebe at Woman's Day and Jessica Dyer at Redbook

Six apparel, merchandising, and design students are interning with Hearst magazines.

Juniors Kelly Ohlin and Alexandria Ritzman are at O, The Oprah Magazine, while seniors Nathan Thelen and Christina Wolf are at Esquire. Senior Jessica Dyer is an advertising and sales intern at Redbook, while recent graduate Alyssa Priebe is interning at Woman’s Day.

“I got assigned a project to write about our 80th birthday issue,” Priebe said. “I'll be interviewing our editor-in-chief and several other people in the organization. I’m so excited. I didn’t think I’d be writing this summer at all!”

Senior Sydney Cline is an intern with Kleinfeld Bridal, the site of the “Say Yes to the Dress” reality TV show. The company recently hired 2017 Iowa State graduate Morgan McCullough after she interned there.

Experiences in kinesiology and health

Iowa State continues its strong tradition of serving as athletic training interns with the National Football League.

Mason Finn
Mason Finn interns with the Dallas Cowboys

Jake Pszanka is interning this summer with the Los Angeles Rams, while Daniel Shultz is with the Indianapolis Colts, Alec Nichols with the Kansas City Chiefs, Logan Battreal with the Phoenix Cardinals, TJ Thurmond with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Mason Finn with the Dallas Cowboys.

“This is my second year with the Dallas Cowboys as an internship,” Finn said. “My main duties include injury prevention and injury rehabilitation for these athletes. It's a lot of late nights and early mornings, but it's so worth it. Thankfully, my education here at Iowa State from my preceptors has prepared for the challenges and responsibilities that I encounter in the NFL.”

Michael Montgomery, who graduated last year, is working with the Kansas City Chiefs as a second-year, all-season-long intern. He is there with Evan Craft, who was a graduate assistant athletic trainer with Iowa State for two years and is now a full-time assistant athletic trainer with the Chiefs.

“So we have three ISU ties to the Chiefs this summer,” said Mary Meier, director of Iowa State’s athletic training program.

Catherine-Claire "CeCe" Hester
Catherine-Claire "CeCe" Hester interns with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in Wisconsin

Recent graduate Catherine-Claire “CeCe” Hester is interning with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, serving as the assistant athletic trainer for the Drum Corps International World Class Band in Madison, Wisconsin.

An additional 52 kinesiology and health students in either the exercise science or community and public health option secured internships this summer.

Dalton Stowers, a senior in kinesiology and health, is interning at The Fountains of Melbourne in Florida, a senior living community with independent and assisted living. And Iowa State volleyball player Suzanne Horner, a senior in kinesiology and health, is interning at The Marsh: A Center for Balance and Fitness in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

HDFS students intern in nation’s capital

Several graduate students in human development and family studies secured prestigious internships this summer in Washington, D.C.

Jesse Jurgenson
Jesse Jurgenson interns with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Financial Education

Jesse Jurgenson, a doctoral student whose research focus is financial counseling and planning, accepted a highly competitive internship with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Financial Education. He is spending 12 weeks working closely with staff and researchers focusing on financial educational initiatives, conducting research to better inform stakeholders and decision makers, and engaging with consumers to better understand their needs.

“I’m passionate about empowering consumers to make responsible and informed financial decisions,” he said. “My desire is to produce evidence-based, impactful research which improves the economic lives of individuals and families.”

Chloe Steffensmeier is interning with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, which aims to design, improve, and sustain state systems delivering home- and community-based services and supports for older adults and individuals with disabilities. She received the internship through the National Association of Social Insurance, and the Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in Disability Policy.

Steffensmeier will help plan and implement the National Home- and Community-Based Services Conference scheduled for Aug. 27-31, analyze data through the National Core Indicators of Aging and Disability, and learn about the HCBS waiver.

And Hardeep Obhi, who is seeking her doctorate in gerontology, is interning with the Office on Aging at the American Psychological Association this summer.

New internship opportunities

About 40 students in food science and culinary food science secured internships this summer. Taylor Dulaney, a senior in culinary food science, just completed an internship with Disney. She’s believed to be the first Iowa State student in food science and human nutrition to do so.

Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Experience
Ten undergraduates are participating in the Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Experience

Nutritional science senior Benjamin Dralle and pre-dietetics sophomore Morgan Schonert are among 10 undergraduate students performing interdisciplinary research this summer with faculty mentors to address solutions for local food systems and childhood obesity. 

The new program, Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Experience, is led by Shannon Coleman, an assistant professor and state extension specialist in food science and human nutrition. It’s funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Ninety-seven event management students are interning in areas ranging from wedding planning to event venues, chambers of commerce, golf courses, historic homes, florists, and sports. Some are interns on campus with Iowa State’s athletics marketing, in the Department of Residence, and with Reiman Gardens.

Andrew Cubit
Andrew Cubit interns at Las Vegas Sands Corp, working with The Venetian and The Palazzo

Mary Coy, a senior in event management, is an intern at White Willow Events. Iowa State alumna Taylor Boesen started the Des Moines wedding and event consulting company in January 2013. That year, the idea for the company captured first place for a new business startup idea at the College of Human Sciences Entrepreneurship Showcase. Internship coordinator Rita McClain said the company has become a great place for interns.

And 27 hospitality management students are completing internships for credit this summer. A few of the newer opportunities include Andrew Cubit’s internship with Las Vegas Sands Corp working with The Venetian and The Palazzo resort hotels and casinos, Rebekka Boehne’s internship with Wyndham Vacation Rentals in Florida, and Meredith Markowitz’s internship with Beach Point Club in New York.

Extension and outreach internships

Closer to home, two Iowa State students are interning with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach’s Heddleson Internship Program this summer. The internships provide them with hands-on experience related to their programs of study and prepare them for a career in extension or community outreach.

Emily Elliott, a senior majoring in nutritional science, is in Clay County teaching local residents about nutrition during community and county events. She plans to host a nutrition and health day with the Clay County 4-H Youth Council and older 4-H’ers in the county, and share nutrition information at the Clay County Fair.

And Margaret O’Connor, a graduate student in human development and family studies, is working with five eastern Iowa counties. Her internship includes implementing the Wellness and Independence through Nutrition program in that area and helping to facilitate the Buy. Eat. Live Healthy program, which educates Iowans about growing, using, and storing fresh produce.

Leah Brooke
Rising Star Intern Leah Brooke doing a gardening workshop with kids in northwest Iowa

Leah Brooke, a senior in dietetics, and Emily Bormann, a senior in family and consumer sciences education and studies, are among this summer’s 15 Rising Star Interns. The paid internships introduce students to careers available in ISU Extension and Outreach. Under the supervision of regional directors and staff, teams of three work with not-for-profit organizations, local food systems, families, agencies, and/or communities and economic development in five regions of the state.

In northwest Iowa, Rising Star Interns are focusing this summer on local foods and youth. They’ve conducted a gardening workshop for kids and also have events scheduled at libraries, farmers markets, and county fairs. Interns in other regions are helping a hotel implement a business plan, updating a county fair’s landscape plan, and helping Iowa towns implement revitalization plans.

Sixty percent of College of Human Sciences students with internships are receiving financial compensation from their employers this summer, according to the college’s career services office.

Students who are not receiving compensation for required internships are eligible to apply for financial help. The College of Human Sciences has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships over the past two years to assist students gaining work experience through unpaid internships and student teaching experiences. The next scholarship application deadline is July 28 for fall 2017 experiences.