This summer, Juniors Ian DeBoer and Mackenzie Waltemath were two of many Hastings College students who participated in summer internships in 2019. Interns worked all over the country and the world in places such as Pinnacle Bank in Hastings, Peters & Nolan LLC in Colorado, Mayfair High School Football in California and ICD International Business School in Paris. These were just a few of the organizations and businesses students chose to be involved with.
Waltemath chose to intern at United Way of South Central Nebraska, a global nonprofit organization with a chapter located in Hastings, Nebraska.
During mock interviews on career day last year, Waltemath met with Jodi Graves, the executive director of United Way. Waltemath was the first intern this organization ever had, so it was a new experience for everyone.
“It was really new to me because I had never worked in an office before. It was a business setting I had never been in, and I really liked it,” Waltemath said.
During her time there, Waltemath was tasked with starting the Student United Way at HC, which met last Monday for the first time. She was excited to start something she felt important.
“That’s something that I learned through this internship — that I can do a lot more than I thought. They would give me a task I’d never done before, but I did it and I did it perfectly fine,” Waltemath said.
She explained that this experience made her open to working at nonprofit organizations in the future, which she had never thought of before.
DeBoer, a Wildlife Biology major, chose to work at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska, knowing that working with animals is what he wants to do. He chose Lincoln Zoo to get a more in-depth and personal experience, since the establishment is smaller in size compared to other zoos. DeBoer interned with the Animal Kingdom building in their animal care department. He made sure the animals were enriched, making sure they were comfortable, happy and healthy.
“I was helping every day to clean the animal enclosures, wash them, see if they were acting different than normal, which by the end became quite simple to do, because you were used to what they should be doing and understood what their mannerisms were. I loved it,” DeBoer said.
Waltemath and DeBoer both felt they grew from their experiences this summer as interns.
“It helped me get a lot of job ties, so I have people who understand my own abilities and would be able to vouch for me in the field,” DeBoer said.
Waltemath also recommended that students take advantage of internship opportunities while they’re at HC.
“You’re doing something for your community. It’s bigger than just you, and you get to work with a bunch of really cool people,” Waltemath said. “So, yes, do internships.”