2019-20 Mentor Profiles

View only: Mentor Profiles with Homestay Available

Business/Sales   Computer/Technical   Youth/Education
Environmental   Government   Health Care/Medical Services
Law/Criminal Justice   Science/Research   Social Services/Non-Profit



Amber Walling, 2004
English Major
Church of Saint Joseph
St. Joseph, MN

Business Administrator

Homestay available

This experience will allow you to get a taste for work in a parish setting. You will have the opportunity to see day-to-day tasks completed in my role, observe meetings with parish councils, explore relationship building with parishioners and interview other members of the parish staff. See how a small group of employees coordinates a volunteer work-force to create a vibrant parish community!


Jack Cummings, 2018
Political Science 
Cushman & Wakefield
Minneapolis, MN


Through this mentorship program, the student will have the opportunity to become immersed in commercial real estate, and specifically, office transactions in the Twin Cities. This is a highly competitive industry so the student will have exposure to work in a “go-getter” atmosphere. The diverse skills acquired through a liberal arts education help combat the many nuances faced in the CRE industry.


Joe Effertz, 1999
Global Business Leadership/Management 
Black Forest
Owatonna, MN


Homestay available

Students would be exposed to all aspects of a medium sized business and its 45 employees.  From Manufacturing, Accounting, Distribution, Sales/Marketing, HR, you would be able to witness the value of a liberal arts education to critical think through issues and draw upon the breadth of the CSB/SJU education.  Black Forest is a corporate recognition jewelry manufacturing and providing of a wide range of employee recognition programs.


Missy Frigaard, 1998
Art, French Studies
U. S. Bancorp
St. Paul, MN

Vice President, Practice Management Consultant

I would provide the opportunity to learn about Practice Management Consulting as well as employee training and development work within our Wealth Management division. We can discuss how to develop both your personal development goals as well as business and strategic goals. Topics for additional learning would be personal/behavioral finance, investment basics and consultative sales. The student would have the opportunity to meet with different leaders within our Wealth Management division. My career path ranged from non-profit to for-profit and we can talk about how a liberal arts education can provide a great foundation for a variety of careers.


Tom Gottwalt, 1982
TCF Financial Corp.
Minnetonka, MN

Director of Tax

Homestay available

Shadowing a senior finance leader, students will get a sense of various aspects of business involved in a publicly traded regional bank. Witness liberal arts skills I leverage, including: reading technical documents with discernment, writing to inform and persuade, and presenting to educate, inform and win approvals. I enjoy working at the intersection of business, economics, and taxation and am constantly using my interpersonal and networking skills to accomplish various objectives and save my company tax dollars.


Gary Harala, 2019
US Bank
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Financial Analyst

Homestay available

Through this shadowing experience, a student will get to experience the day to day life of a Financial Analyst at a Fortune 500 Company, U.S. Bank. During the experience, I hope to provide a platform where a student can observe projects, meet with team members, listen in on meetings, and ask questions!


Ellie Hinrichs, 2018
Target Corporation
Minneapolis, MN

Executive Team Leader

Homestay available

By shadowing the life of an Executive Team Lead you will get to explore the fast paced, guest centric retailer currently dominating retail market share. At Target, you are a true business owner and you will get to experience and utilize your talents to make the best decisions for everyday and long-term operations. We will coach and lead a team of 50 consultants through daily tasks while understanding the financial, operational and visual elements of the store.


Jason Hirsch, 2001
Church and Dwight
Minneapolis, MN

Vice President Sales

Homestay available

Shadowing a senior sales leader, students will get a sense of various aspects of business involved in a publicly traded company in driving the day to day business and strategy. From working with other internal leaders to the sales team to customers, I am constantly using my interpersonal and networking skills to accomplish various objectives both internally and externally.


Scott Kohls, 1988

US Bank
Minneapolis, MN

Sr. Vice President, Credit Risk Management

Homestay available

Credit Risk Management determines the risk appetite for the bank. Our internal business line partners may propose changes to underwriting or account management thresholds, but Credit Risk provides guidance or recommendations before granting the final approvals. If you would like to explore how a bank determines who gets approved (or declined) for loans, or how banks manage losses, this externship is for you.


Tim Mayer, 2000
Kraus-Anderson Companies
Minneapolis, MN

Director, Talent Acquisition

I hope to provide an overview and understanding of how a mid-size company's Human Resources Department attracts, develops, and engages it's most valuable asset: it's people. In addition, I hope provide some exposure to the exciting and fast-paced world of large scale commercial construction.


Morgan Merritt, 2018
Global Business Leadership
Afton, MN

Project Manager

Experience retail through a different lens by exploring the process of managing the designing, engineering, producing and installing retail environments like Best Buy, Target, Toro, Pottery Barn, Home Depot, and many more. As a CSBSJU graduate, I also hope to provide insight on the resources and connections we have at our fingertips as Bennies and Johnnies.


Lisa Pope, 1983
Partners 4 Design
Minneapolis, MN

Kitchen and Bath Designer, AKBD

At Partners 4 Design, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a day-in-the-life of a designer. No one day is alike, but you will experience and observe all aspects of the design/build process from meeting with clients, writing proposals, designing concepts, selecting product and finishes, on-site visits, and construction. It is an excellent chance to learn how a small business runs and the skills needed for future success to include: marketing/sales/communication/ project management and design.


Kayla Ruikkie, 2007
Montevideo, MN / Plymouth, MN

Legal Counsel        

Homestay available

Learn the ins and outs of a group of family-owned businesses from multiple perspectives. The companies include a corporate holding company, a large equipment manufacturing and engineering company, and an electronics company.  You will have an opportunity to shadow and learn from a number of executives (legal counsel, CFO, Operations VP, Presidents, etc…) across all the companies in an effort to give you as broad an experience as possible.


Megan Russell, 2018
Canteen One
Golden Valley, MN

National Accounts Coordinator

Homestay available

As a recent graduate myself, I hope you will join me in the exciting world of national account management within the food and hospitality industry. Our time will be spent visiting clients of mine who are Fortune 500 companies around the twin cities, touring our warehouse facility full of new and innovative snacks and beverages, and learning what it's like to manage national contracts in different time zones.


Mike Sidders, 1987
Lakeshirts – Blue 84
Detroit Lakes, MN

Head of Marketing

Homestay available

Visit a manufacturing gem – a $100 million dollar resort and collegiate apparel manufacturer known for incredible artwork and the best garments in the industry (in fact, if your favorite tee or hoodie is something you picked up on vacation or in the bookstore, odds are good it's one of ours).  You'll be exposed to the company soup to nuts, from senior leadership to the production floor, with an emphasis on marketing and creative.  You’ll also get a chance to see first hand one of the most incredible business cultures you will encounter in your professional life.  Come see why we say “Life’s Better in a T-shirt!”


John Wessinger, 1998
Verata Health
Minneapolis, MN

Marketing Manager

Work alongside a marketing manager at a venture-backed start-up in the healthcare industry.  Learn what it’s like to work in a fast-paced environment with leaders in tech innovation. Complete marketing projects that support sales, attend meetings with the leadership team and do work that contributes to the success of a growing organization.


Corie Barry, 1997
Accounting Management
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Richfield, MN


You will have the chance to shadow a Fortune 100 CEO and get a first-hand glimpse into the cross-functional teamwork that fills her days. I promise no two days are alike and you will see the myriad ways that your liberal arts education (ALL OF IT) is used in a corporate leadership role, including exposure to the many functions that come together to make a $43 Billion retailer work.


Matt Holton, 2006
Minneapolis, MN


Come see what it is like to work for a fast-growing global technology company based out of the Twin Cities. During your visit at Jamf you will have the opportunity to shadow multiple different departments including:  Sales, Marketing, Finance, Engineering etc. and see how they work together. 


Sabrina Schultz, 2017
Global Business Leadership
Bloomington, Minnesota

Major Accounts District Manager

Homestay available

Students will have the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work for a Fortune 500 company in sales. They will have the opportunity to go out on sales calls, see my day to day activities, interview multiple people in higher positions and the opportunity to leverage my connections to meet other business professionals in the Minneapolis area.


Rob Spiczka, 2013
Communication, Spanish/Hispanic Studies
Polaris Industries
Medina, MN

Dealer Sales Manager

Homestay available

Join me for a chance to dive head first into the PowerSports industry learn the ins and outs from both an OEM Manufacturer and Dealership lens. I will tailor the experience to the student to ensure they are able to understand how to leverage a Liberal Arts degree in a corporate and channel environment.



Linnea Finney, 1997
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
St. Paul, MN

Sr. Director - Information Systems

Let’s talk about your interests and experiences and we’ll create an experience where you can learn more about the company and career paths we offer. I was a Business major but I work in IT, so you never know where your degree may take you. I am hoping to connect you to other CSB/SJU graduates who work with me as well.

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Mary Gondringer, 2014
Education/El Ed. English
Upsala Area Schools
Upsala, MN

English Teacher

Homestay available

Students will have the opportunity to learn how a liberal arts degree will positively affect their future by joining me in my English classroom and learning about the variety aspects of the English major. Their experience will be driven by what they, as a current student and future professional, want and need to learn.

Joel Loecken

Joel Loecken, 1990
St. Thomas Academy
Mendota Heights, MN


Homestay available

I would like to provide an experience in which you can explore two things — pastoral ministry and religious education! Network with my connections in youth ministry, as well as explore the joys of teaching in a Catholic junior high and high school.

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Brandon Baker, 2009
Three Rivers Park District
Maple Grove, MN

Interpretive Naturalist

Participate in experiential education in the woods. Come see what makes doing environmental education in a nature center unique, from working with school groups, to handling live animals, creating a podcast, using RPG's to teach ecology, and even making maple syrup.



Bree Allen, 2010
Nicollet County Health and Human Services
St. Peter, MN

Public Health Manager

Homestay available

Experience the varied and rewarding roles and responsibilities of a local public health department from disease prevention and control to emergency preparedness. See how your liberal arts education can prepare you for a fulfilling career working upstream to keep communities healthy.


Frida Alvarez, 2017
Peace Studies
State of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN

Diversity Recruiter/Equal Opportunity Officer

Homestay available

Join me to learn what it’s like to work for a State agency. As a compliance officer and recruiter, every day is different.


Maggie Gregg, 2012
United States Army
Camp Ripley, Little Falls, Minnesota

1st Lt - Logistics Captain, Company Commander

A rare, first-hand look behind the gates of Minnesota's largest military instillation. Learn the ins and outs from both a strategic and operator level of running everything from tanks and trucks to getting a unit across the world to serve our nation.


Brette Hjelle, 1999
Political Science
City of Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN

Deputy Director, Public Works

This is a unique opportunity to see what it is like to work in Minneapolis City Hall, ranging from policy making to government administration to politics. You’ll have a chance to see what is involved in running an 1,100 person department while at the same time working closely with policy makers, other city departments, and a wide range of external partners.


Anne Kilzer, 1997
Association of Minnesota Counties - Hennepin County
Minneapolis, MN

Assistant Director of Workforce Development

Homestay available

Interested in a career in public service? Come explore the wide variety of opportunities within Minnesota's largest county. As both an employer and a service provider, Hennepin County is on the forefront of implementing creative strategies around diversity and inclusion, resident prosperity and community partnerships. Lines of business within the County include everything from accounting to zoning... so no matter your background and interests we'll introduce you to elected officials and leaders who are responsible for ensuring public resources are invested in the most strategic ways possible.


Vic Moore, 1972
Political Science
Franzen & Moore
Woodbury, MN


With over 46 years of experience in politics and public policy, I hope to provide my mentee with a variety of exposures to and options for work in Government at the state, local and federal levels, as well as governmental relations with corporations, law firms and trade associations.  Part of the mentoring will include three days at the Capitol during the 2020 legislative session, with opportunities to connect with Johnnie and Bennie alums and other professionals in public policy.

Nolan Wall

Nolan Wall, 2005
Political Science
City of Vadnais Heights
Vadnais Heights, MN

Planning/Community Development Director

Local government offers a variety of fascinating careers across multiple disciplines with the goal of serving the public. This experience would allow for insight into how the public sector works and could include a variety of interviews and introductions to others in related fields in the CSB/SJU network. Interested applicants would likely have a strong interest in urban/regional planning and/or a career within the public sector.

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Health Care/Medical Services


Kenny Bechtold, 2005
St. Cloud, MN

Director of Operations

I would be able to expose students to a very diverse and well-established healthcare organization, giving the opportunity to experience both clinical and operational work. I can also offer experience from a wide array of career choices I have made that have allowed me to grow and achieve success by applying transferrable skills to diverse opportunities.


Megan Laraway, 2019
UnitedHealth Group
Minnetonka, MN

Medicare & Retirement Telesales Agent

Homestay available

Students will have the opportunity to see inside how one small division of a HUGE corporation can lead to a major business success. Follow me to UnitedHealthcare to see how a Medicare & Retirement Telesales Portfolio agent tackles a day on the job and how the different corporations of UHC, Optum and UHG come together to make healthcare smart, savvy and intellectual.


Megan Sneddon, 2012
Sanford Health
Fargo, ND

HR Representative/Recruiter

Homestay available

Sanford Health is a progressively growing healthcare system! This job shadow experience will offer a glimpse to Human Resources and talent acquisition including working with hiring leaders, full cycle recruitment, engaging potential candidates in job opportunities, and customer service. If you are interested in management, human resources, marketing, communication, healthcare, etc., this mentorship will provide a unique, professional experience for your growth and development.


Annie Toninato, 2015
Global Business Leadership
UnitedHealth Group
Eden Prairie, MN

Implementation Manager

For anyone looking to explore an area of healthcare (either from a professional standpoint or a business standpoint), join me to learn what it’s like to work in the healthcare field – which is way more than it may seem. I’m hoping to connect with a student and show them what I do, how vast and complex my industry is, and things they are learning currently in the classroom and how it may transfer over into their career one day.


Caroline Wolden, 2009
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
St. Louis Park, MN

Emergency Room RN

Homestay available

I work in a busy, often unpredictable emergency department. While I am an RN, I spend my days working alongside doctors, other nurses, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, EMTs, phlebotomy/lab, health unit coordinators, and registration. If you’re interested in healthcare, can handle a fast-paced unpredictable environment, and want to see how a bunch of medical disciplines work alongside one another, this is an awesome opportunity. In addition to shadowing, there will be opportunity to meet with management, the training coordinator, and the trauma coordinator if you’re interested!

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Law/Criminal Justice


Tom Brever, 1975
Foster & Brever, PLLC
St. Anthony, MN


Homestay available

I would have the student follow throughout the day. This will involve meetings; phone conferences, and sometimes court. They will experience the real life of a lawyer.


Nick Leonard, 1995
Sapientia Law Group
Minneapolis, MN


Experience working in a medium-sized law firm in downtown Minneapolis. We were awarded the top law firm for Diversity and Inclusion this year by Minnesota Lawyer. You will be able to observe law in action.



Claire Daughters, 2017
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

Researcher 2

Students joining me would be able to get an up-close and personal look at what it means to be a research scientist. From running complex experiments, meeting with esteemed colleagues, and using the high level critical thinking skills acquired from the liberal arts experience at CSB/SJU. You'll see first hand how the skills you're learning in the lab and classroom can be applied directly to a career in a large and influential research institution.

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Social Services/Non-Profit


Val Jones, 1994
French Studies
College of Saint Benedict
St. Joseph, MN 

Executive Director of Alumnae Relations

Homestay available

Looking through a liberal arts lens, a job shadow experience with me will offer insight and opportunity to explore volunteer management, project management, and fundraising in the nonprofit sector generally, and the higher education sector specifically. Mentorship will offer a strengths-based approach to your talents and skills as well as an emphasis on making the case for how those talents and skills are transferable to all the different jobs and work you’ll do throughout your life.


Chelsea Parker, 2012
Peace Studies
Minnesota Orchestra
Minneapolis, MN

Manager of Business Analytics

A visit to the Minnesota Orchestra will provide a view into the wide range of opportunities in a fairly large nonprofit arts organization. As a Manager of Business Analytics, my role is to work closely with many different teams to inform their business decisions in a highly collaborative environment. This would be a great opportunity for anyone interested in nonprofits, arts, fundraising, communications, marketing, or making the transition from a liberal arts degree into the wonderful world of data and analytics!


Sarah Ober, 2015
Children’s Cancer Research Fund
Edina, MN

Senior Events Coordinator

Homestay available

Children's Cancer Research Fund is a nonprofit organization based in Edina that funds groundbreaking research at the University of Minnesota and around the country. We have four Bennies on staff who are eager to welcome you and teach you about our work in various departments including events, marketing and donor relations/development - all centered around fundraising. Depending on your goals, our fellow team members would be more than happy to sit down with you and share more about their career path and work as well.


Emily Orr, 2010
Reach for Resources Inc.
Minnetonka, MN

Director of Adaptive Recreation & Inclusion

Come experience a few days in a small non-profit organization.  Learn about the non-profit world and the options available to you after graduation.  Students who come to Reach for Resources will experience both administrative and program work in a recreation setting for children and/or adults with disabilities. Talk with other professionals, take on small projects, observe a typical day, and get out in the community and work with individuals.


Carliene Quist, 2007
Peace Studies
Saint John’s University  
Collegeville, MN

Assistant Director of Admissions (Representative)

The CSB/SJU Admission Office offers SEAM participant a "behind-the-scenes" introduction to your collegiate institution's enrollment practices. Among an Admission staff comprising predominantly CSB/SJU graduates, this SEAM experience provides insights into marketing, recruitment territory management, outreach and communication strategies for prospective students and their parents(s)/family, campus visit evaluation, and more, all while both applying and promoting the value of the liberal arts – especially including the 5 CSB/SJU Institutional Learning Goals.


Jeff Smith, 1999
Spanish/Hispanic Studies, English
Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, MN

Development Officer

Many people who consider a career in the non-profit sector think only of doing direct service. This is certainly a big part of non-profit work but there are many other facets of non-profits such as fundraising/major gifts work. Students will have a chance to experience a day in the life of a major gifts officer at Minnesota Public Radio. If that is not exciting enough, students will get an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes at MPR (started at SJU in 1967) and meet other SJU/CSB alumni working at MPR.


Kenny Turck, 1989
Crow River Family Services, LLC
Willmar, MN


Homestay available

Learn about resiliency informed practice utilizing experiential exercises in youth development and children’s mental health. DIRT GROUP is a resiliency informed children’s mental health application based in social and emotional learning in the context of a gardening, farming, foods, and creative arts project. Beyond the trauma, applied theory and neuroscience in practice.


Travis Zimmerman, 1994
Minnesota Historical Society
Onamia, MN

Site Manager, Mille Lacs Indian Museum

A student experience at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum would allow that student to explore the role that diversity and inclusion plays in a non-profit statewide organization like the Minnesota Historical Society. Learning about American Indians, more specifically, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the work that the museum does to give a voice to communities that are underrepresented and whose narrative is often absent, will create a greater awareness and understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the work we do and in our daily lives.


Maddy Zinken, 2019
Pathways 4 Youth
Saint Cloud, MN

Community Engagement Coordinator

Homestay available

Did you know that on any given night, over 100 youth are experiencing homelessness in the Saint Cloud area? Students will gain a new perspective of the non-profit industry by networking with area leaders during public speaking events, attending high-level event opportunities, and learn how to be a spokesperson for your organizations’ mission. Pathways 4 Youth’s mission is to create a world in which all youth will feel safe, valued, and supported while reaching their full potential. If you would like to explore how nonprofits in our area operate, how to network and gain support from area leaders, and how to use your liberal arts education in different/new ways, this externship is for you.

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