Maggie Kohl

Software development intern at SayKid (Minneapolis-based startup)


Ryan Kinnucan

Name: Ryan Kinnucan
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Major: Computer science, with minor in economics 

How did you find the internship?
I found it via the Mac Daily, where there was a listing of internships for students. My boss, DeLonn, advertised SayKid there. He specifically wanted to hire Mac students as he had had good experiences with them before.

What did your daily schedule look like?
Usually we’d meet a couple of times a week as an internship “cohort” to discuss the      products we were working on and to get help/feedback from DeLonn. Outside of that, we mostly worked independently, coding our products on our own schedule or in teams of two.

What surprised you about the internship?
I was surprised by how much responsibility I was given with the product I was working on. Everyone really had their own thing that they created and they were all valuable contributions that we were making to the company. We were interns, but for all intents and purposes we were full software engineers.

What one thing did you learn that will stick with you?
I learned the difference between writing software and creating a product. In school we mostly just code software, creating games and the like. But in this internship I did far more than just program: I helped map the user experience, I strategized about marketing to customers; I thought about what would be most efficient and how my code would affect the user’s experience. Overall, I learned that to be a truly great engineer, you had to learn to make a product, not just software, and that will always stick with me.

How has this internship changed/cemented future plans?
It has given me an interest in getting into the startup field. It’s just so fascinating getting to be in a small startup company because you get to work on everything and you learn SO much. Just in my one internship with SayKid I worked on everything from designing/coding products, to working with APIs, to building out the company website, to setting up databases for them. You don’t get that same kind of experience at an established company because they already have enough gears to keep the machine running. But at a startup you get to be a part of just about everything. You’re trusted with more responsibility and you grow so much more than you would just working on a single product at a normal company.


Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul


Floyd Krom

Name: Floyd Krom
Hometown: Naaldwijk, Netherlands
Major: Economics
Internship: Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul

How did you find the internship?
I applied to several big consulting firms in the Twin Cities for a summer internship in my junior year. After I was rejected by some and waitlisted by others, I decided to create a list of small and mid-size management consulting firms in the Twin Cities and reached out to them to inquire about summer internship opportunities. Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) in St. Paul was one of the organizations on my list and after reaching out to them by phone and email, I was invited for an interview and ultimately offered an internship with them. NDC is a nonprofit, community development financial institution providing integrated business services so that entrepreneurs can start and grow businesses that enrich their economic and social fabric. Whether they are planning their first venture or have been in business for many years, NDC can help them from startup to expansion. NDC’s mission is to empower low-income entrepreneurs and community partners to transform their neighborhood economies from within.

What did your daily schedule look like?
I started my internship with NDC during the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year. I therefore had the privilege to work in the NDC office and meet all my coworkers and clients in person up to the moment that the pandemic hit the United States. The responsibilities that NDC gave me as an intern allowed me to assist with projects in many different departments and at the Midtown Global Market. 

When COVID-19 arrived in the United States and all NDC employees started to work from home, I also continued my internship virtually. As small independent business owners were and continue to be hit severely by this pandemic, my focus as an intern shifted from program development during the spring semester to loan and grant assistance going into my summer internship. Under the supervision of Bee Vang, deputy director of lending at NDC, and Perla May, director of lending at NDC, I assisted business owners to apply for a variety of loan and grant programs as well as other funding opportunities. As an intern at NDC, my daily schedule completely varied based on the day and the projects that I was working on. 

What surprised you about the internship?
What surprised me the most about this internship was the passion that I developed for community economic development. When I started my internship with NDC, I had never explored the field of community economic development and had very little knowledge about the impact of NDC in the Twin Cities and beyond. During my internship, I was able to see first-hand the importance of the work that NDC does for low-income entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities and the impact that they make on a daily basis to transform neighborhood economics from within. 

What one thing did you learn that will stick with you?
This past year has been a challenging time for small business owners and I have been truly inspired by the resiliency, passion, and positive spirit of our entrepreneurs and the fact that they will never give up. 

How has this internship changed/cemented future plans?
After I graduate in May, I will continue to work with the Neighborhood Development Center and Build from Within Alliance. Build from Within Alliance is a coalition of 10 local community development groups working across the United States to adopt and adapt an effective and comprehensive community economic development approach to develop low-income entrepreneurship. This approach integrates business planning training, high-risk lending, one-on-one technical assistance and incubator/real estate resources in dozens of neighborhoods from Anchorage, Alaska to Wilmington, Delaware. 


Maggie Kohl

Name: Maggie Kohl
Hometown: Hanover, New Hampshire
Major(s): Political Science and Linguistics
Internship: Tubman

How did you find this internship?
I met with Michael Porter in Career Development and explored different nonprofit legal organizations. I applied to Tubman along with a few other internships right before the pandemic was announced and got it!

What did your daily schedule look like?
Through the summer and the fall I was following the jail calendar. I would request police reports from law enforcement departments, read them and follow up with the victim to tell them about what to expect from the court process. I then completed Domestic No Contact Orders, if needed, and spoke with the state prosecutor about the victim’s input. I would attend court via Zoom and then connect with the victim after court with an update on how it went. This spring, I have been meeting with victims of domestic assault or harassment over the phone and writing Orders for Protection (restraining orders). I then file them and follow the status of the order (whether it has been served, whether the respondent requested a hearing, etc.) while keeping contact with the victim to answer any questions about the process and safety planning. 

What surprised you about the internship?
I was most surprised by how confusing the court system is to navigate if you don’t have any experience or expertise. At first it was very overwhelming for me, but as I got the hang of it I realized how important it is for people like me to support victims through the court process and help make everything easier to understand.

What will stick with you most about this experience?
Learning how to listen without judgement. A victim’s background has no weight on their truth and trauma. No one deserves to be assaulted or harassed, regardless of their history.

How has this internship changed/cemented future plans?
After this internship, I have fully decided that I want to take the LSAT and attend law school. The criminal justice system is something that I have been interested in for a long time, so it will definitely influence the career path I take following law school.


Great Plains Institute 

Rachel Percy

Name: Rachel Percy
Hometown: Brookline, Massachusetts
Major: Environmental Studies
Internship: Great Plains Institute 

How did you find this internship?
The Environmental Studies Department  coordinator sent out an email towards the end of fall break with a spreadsheet of possible Module 2 internships for environmental studies  students to complete.

What was your role?
I helped plan the four-day annual meeting for the Sustainable States Network (SSN), and the network coordinator is a staff member at Great Plains Institute (GPI).

What did your daily schedule look like?
I would meet with my supervisor two or three times for one-on-one Zoom meetings to discuss the projects I was working on as well as possible upcoming meetings to attend with individuals from GPI or SSN. The projects that I worked on included:

  • sending out a survey to member and potential member states to track their progress in the past year
  • creating a State Updates padlet to be used during the first session of the annual meeting
  • designing an infographic reflecting the survey data collected from all SSN members
  • creating a slide deck with information about multi-state initiatives
  • writing a blog post that acted as a post-meeting summary and personal reflection on my internship experience

What surprised you most about your internship?
Despite the recent lack of federal action on climate change, I was happily surprised to learn about a network of state organizations collaborating on sustainable community goals. Generally, I am surprised at how many career opportunities there are within the environmental studies field, which is comforting as I begin to think more seriously about my post-graduation plans. 

What one thing did you learn that will stick with you?
A few weeks into the internship I did some reflecting and realized that I felt like my time was not being well spent in planning meetings. I decided to communicate these feelings to my supervisor and offer other ways I could engage that would better support my learning objectives. I was hesitant at first about sending this email, but my supervisor actually said she appreciated that I was speaking up. It made me realize how important it is to advocate for yourself. By explaining what is not working for you and offering concrete suggestions for moving forward, you can improve your learning experience and earn respect along the way. 

How has this internship changed/cemented future plans?
I try to be someone who doesn’t plan their future too far out in advance. I am considering staying in the Twin Cities after graduation, so it is very comforting to know that I have these local contacts as I enter the professional field.




March 30 2021

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