Katie Kuehn

Intern Name:  Katie Kuehn '15
Majors: Psychology and Communication
Intern Title/Name of Organization: Development and External Relations Intern, Washburn Center for Children

How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process? I found out about this position while researching for the annual MN Private Colleges Job & Internship Fair. I gave my resume to the recruiter at the fair and was contacted a few days later. I then went through two interviews, submitted writing samples, and provided references before I got the job.

What were some of the highlights? On top of my regular duties, I was a part of a couple committees while I worked at Washburn Center. One of the committees was for a large fundraising event; through this committee, I was able to connect with major donors and plan the logistics of an event that netted over $91,000. Another highlight of the job was that I was able to get media training from Don Shelby, a well-known news anchor and investigative journalist. It was great to learn the ins and outs of interviewing on television and how to stay composed under pressure.

What was a "typical day" like? What were some of your major responsibilities? I didn't have a typical day at Washburn Center, which was one of my favorite parts about it. On any given day I could be updating social media, writing stories for the website, contacting vendors for the fundraising event, meeting donors, brainstorming at committee meetings, sorting games, having media training, designing marketing materials, or participating in a tour of the new building.

What were some of the challenges of your internship? One challenge with the internship was that it was volunteer and I had to find a side job, but it was worth it for the experiences I gained. Another challenge was that it was often self-directed work and I had to make educated guesses about how to complete tasks; I enjoyed the problem solving aspect.

What did you learn? I learned how important it is to be able to utilize "soft skills" in a work setting. Being able to communicate effectively both in person and in writing is huge in the work place, and done right, it can help make awesome connections and open up future opportunities.

What advice would you give other students interested in internships? Get started looking for internships as soon as you can. They're a great way to get a taste of a job and see if it's something you want to go into in the future. Also make sure that you use the time to make strong connections to people you work with, those relationships could potentially lead to job opportunities after graduation.

(April 2015)