Internships have always been highly encouraged for students. They provide experience in the field students hope to go into after college. For some students, the thought of finding and landing an internship can be intimidating. Thanks to the Carlson Internship Program finding a good internship just got easier.
The program is managed through the Franken Leadership Center. Sandi Altena is the director of the Franken Leadership Center. As manager of the Carlson Internship Program, she creates leadership initiatives and works with faculty to incorporate academic service-learning opportunities into courses.
Jim Franken was the president and CEO of Interstates Companies and Harbor Group located in Sioux Center. He was a highly successful businessman and involved at Northwestern. Following his death in 2001, Franken’s family and friends donated $500,000 to establish the Franken Servant Leadership Program at NW.
Recently, another alumnus of NW, Todd Carlson (’89), donated additional funds to establish the Carlson Internship Program. The Carlson Internship Program is housed within the Franken Leadership Center.
This past summer was the first summer that students from NW participated in the Carlson Internship Program. Altena has developed relationships with different companies that the program is affiliated with companies such as: DuPont Pioneer, Premier Bank, L’Arche, Exemplar Genetics and many more.
“There is a key person in each of the companies that we partner with that has a certain relationship with NW, whether they are alums, or have some special relationship to the college,” Altena said.
The application process is easy to manage through NW.
“I talk to faculty, and I ask them to recommend their most highly-motivated students, someone who they believe would be successful in an internship experience,” Altena said.
Altena said students should know how important internships are to be competitive in the job market. The Franken Leadership Center does most of the legwork to help students get internships.
To apply, students must have a 3.0 GPA, a high letter of recommendation from a faculty member and represent NW well.
The internships are fulltime, paid and a minimum of eight weeks.
“They’re a phenomenal experience because of who we’re partnering with,” Altena said.
Students looking to apply for internships will only be competing against other NW students. Altena said this is a major advantage.
“It’s an internal competition for a Carlson internship, not a competition from someone in New York or Harvard to get that internship,” Altena said. “You would be competing with someone that goes to NW.”
Tukker Bogaard had a Carlson internship this past summer working with Storm Lake Capital in the Detroit area.
“What I enjoyed most about the program was the direct hands on experience I got in the business world,” Bogaard said. “I was working directly for partners of the firm, which gave me the opportunity for mentoring from an experienced investor, and also exposed me to board meetings and investor meetings that a typical internship may not provide.
The internship gave Bogaard an idea of what the world of business is really like.
“Throughout the internship I was able to learn a lot of details about what makes a business function well,” Bogaard said. “And it gave me a better perspective on what business risks looks like, and how business owners can manage their risk.”
To see what Carlson Internships are available for the summer of 2015 , go to MyNWC to the academics tab, click on the Franken Leadership center, and click the Carlson internship tab. If you’re interested, contact Sandi Altena in the Ramaker Center soon.