Category: Internships

Technical Communication Internship, Michigan Tech Gardens

Whitney Johnson

When I applied for a student gardener position, I was overjoyed that I would get to spend all my time outside doing what I love to do while also taking classes and getting paid for my time.  It took me nearly a year to realize that what I was doing could be related to my Scientific and Technical Communication major based on the fact that the degree is incredibly broad and can be applied to a wide variety of situations.  The STC degree has allowed me to take bits and pieces of what I have learned in my classes and apply it to this internship.  This includes things such as design, spreadsheets, documentation, information organization, and prioritization. 

In this internship, I am mapping all 172 gardens across campus and documenting the plants in each one.  The objective is to create a page on Michigan Tech’s website where visitors can learn about the gardens and the overall ability to grow plants in a climate such as ours which, to some, may seem a bit difficult if not impossible.  The overall goal is to spread awareness and promote the creation of green spaces.  On the technical end, in addition to the garden mapping, I am revamping the garden department’s current method of chemical storage.  With this, I am reorganizing, documenting, creating spreadsheets, laying out safety procedures, and ensuring all OSHA standards are met.  This will be beneficial not only moving forward with day to day tasks but also with the overall training of new students.  I am thrilled that the work I am doing will be used for years to come.  It is not simply busywork, but instead, something that will help me progress in my career and also serve future employees in this role.

 I am realizing, while still in college and taking STC classes, that the skills I learn in school and apply in my working life are more concept-based than specific information/procedure based.  I am learning how to learn, and the STC program is putting me in the mindset to do that.  I know how to take in all sorts of seemingly unrelated information and connect them in ways that are unique and beneficial.  I think that this is a great opportunity for me to harness my skills in a real-world setting.  I entered this major because I was intrigued by the idea of being able to adapt to a work environment of my choosing and being able to take my work with me, not going where my work takes me. — Whitney Johnson, STC


Editing Intern, Portage Review Undergraduate Journal

When I was thinking about attending Michigan Tech some of the things I was excited about were the small class sizes and the opportunities that were available to me. I found these two things come together when, thanks to a small class size in my editing class, my professor reached out to me about an opportunity as an editorial intern with the Portage Review here on campus. 

I started my internship at the beginning of my second semester here at Michigan Tech and I was thrilled about the opportunity to work with graduate students and be a part of the school’s growing literary journal. So far, I’ve had the chance to write documentation, use WordPress, and edit blog posts. I have enjoyed learning new things and practicing my skills in my field. This internship has been a great opportunity I’m thankful for!

— Jayleen Rossi, STC


Design/Communications Intern, Visual and Performing Arts Department

My experience with my Humanities/VPA internship has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have been helping Professor Lisa Gordillo with an international art installation project, specifically I’ve been helping her design a model of the Mayan city Zaculeu, in Guatemala. She is planning on putting a temporary art installation at the site, so she wants a model to help plan what she will do for that instillation. Having a visual/physical representation of her site is very helpful to her process. I started working for her at the beginning of the 2018 Fall semester, and the position will continue until I graduate. It has been a truly fun and interesting experience. I have had the opportunity to practice my design abilities and frequently use equipment I have always wanted to play with. I have also learned so much about the fascinating Mayan culture, and Central America as a whole. This experience has improved my time management ability and help me experience a whole new culture. 

I don’t know where this internship will take me, but having international work experience will be great for my resume. If you are able to apply for an internship or research assistant position, go for it. It can only make your life and your academic experience more interesting, and having it on your resume is a huge advantage when you are looking for a job post-graduation. It is truly an amazing experience that I will never forget. 

— Zachary Marten, STC


Podcasting Internship, Portage Lake District Library

I managed to snag this internship at the Portage Lake District Library after talking to its director and Tech alum, Dillon Geshel, at a pre-career fair networking event last spring. I ended up talking to Dillon about an idea he’d mentioned toying with in the past: making a podcast. After playing with ideas for a while, we settled on a very broad “Keweenaw history and culture” topic.  

 My time at PLDL was very hard to describe.  The nature of my project didn’t require me to have regular working hours, but I still had to put in quite a bit of time to get things done.  I spent the first few weeks working in the library and the Tech archives trying to find topics and then write the first episode, a twenty-minute set of short stories about shipwrecks. 

When making the podcast, I had to dig up every bit of sound design knowledge I was taught in the two VPA classes I’ve taken. I wouldn’t have been able to make a professional piece without them.  Dillon gave me frequent feedback on what I’d been doing and was very positive about the whole thing; he seemed excited to have someone who could handle the technical aspects of podcasting.  

Having a background in STC wasn’t really essential for this internship, but it did make the initial stages much easier.  Because of the heavy emphasis on personal communication early on in the STC program, I was relaxed at the networking event and my first few days of work.  My early classes affirmed my confidence and let me start my work without too much stress. 

I would definitely recommend seeking out this internship.  It was heavily focused on my own growth as a professional, which really showed how genuine the program was.  You can tailor it to pretty much any humanities endeavor, and Dillon is always open to new ideas.

—Liam Andersen, STC


Technical Writer, Center for Technology and Training

When I first began at Michigan Tech, I was very daunted by the idea of presenting a portfolio in order to graduate, but my internship with the Center for Technology & Training in the Civil Engineering Department at Tech has given me many opportunities to work on meaningful projects that help build that portfolio.

As a technical writer intern, the projects I work on directly relate to my STC degree and are building confidence in my abilities as a technical writer while affirming my decision to pursue my major. My supervisor and all the full-time staff that work for the CTT are all super patient and extremely nice. It is also great to work with so many interns from all corners of the college because it allows me to learn from their skills and make connections.

This semester there are 12 interns working at the CTT, including three STC students, software-related majors, mechanical engineers, and civil engineers. All of us Humanities students have a comradery from working and taking classes together, although the projects we work on at our internship are very different from each other. The CTT seems to have endless amounts of work involving a spectrum of projects. I primarily work to design manuals, flyers, workbooks, presentations, and other teaching materials aimed towards educating local agencies and civil engineers on the latest research, information, and practices. I also write articles for The Bridge newsletter, which is distributed throughout the state. It is rewarding to see my writing and designs in print. 

The CTT is a great place to work because they know their workload is huge and that they need a strong team of interns in order to accomplish everything, so interns and the work they do are truly valued. This also means they are always looking for additional interns, so venture across to Dillman 309 and see what they’re all about like I did!

— Sarah Lindbeck, STC


Megan Hughes, Humanities Internship at Portage Lake District Library

Portage Lake District Library PuppyAfter spending a summer volunteering at a small-town library, I was lucky enough to get a fall internship at the Portage Lake District Library. As their first student intern, I was their test dummy for a lot of ideas that they wanted to try out, and every one of them was brilliant. I entered the internship with a decent amount of training under my belt, but still found myself leaving each day having learned something new about what goes into running a library.

I was led by the hand the first two weeks, which acted as my training period, but after that most of my work was self-reliant. I would check in with the staff supervisor to see where they needed me, and I would get to work. The major project I was involved in was that I organized a community learning event, doing everything from creating posters and press releases to hosting the event in the library’s community room. While I was in charge of developing the event, it was overseen by the staff supervisor and library director, both of whom were integral in the learning experience.

The event that I organized was centered around digital art software and equipment. Patrons were encouraged to test out programs that I and my co-presenter had installed on our laptops and explore an art medium that many people refrain from testing. The event came together well, and despite having only a small group of individuals attend the event, it was ultimately a great success.

This experience has heightened my interest in library science and offered me opportunities to work with the library community. Before this internship I found myself lost about what it is that I wanted to do with my life, but seeing how dedicated every staff member was to spreading the love of literature has made me realize that I too would love to share that passion with others. Being able to get hands-on experience with patrons and staff members, developing a community event, and seeing the impact that this small group of people had on the community as a whole was nothing short of amazing to me.


Tyler Morgan, Student Media Writer with Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends

Alumni HouseMy time as the Student Media Writer at Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends has been the most thorough and engaging experience I have been able to take on as a Scientific & Technical Communications major during my college career.  I’ve been able to experience much of what I have been craving for work as an undergrad whether it be content production, copyediting, interviewing professionals and Tech alum, or  becoming professionally ready with programs such as the Adobe Creative Suite, web development tools such as WordPress, or collaborative tools to work with others across the office.  I have been creating Alumni Profiles on the Michigan Tech website, creating social media content, and so much more.

It’s warm and cozy walking into what used to be the University President’shouse, now an office building.  The first floor is renovated into an incredibly welcoming room with couches, fireplace, and all.  The further you delve, the more you’ll see incredibly modern offices, standing desks, and hardworking Michigan Tech employees!

It’s here I’ve been able to grow my portfolio to its finest, meet and get to know professionals in my field, and make connections that’ll last a lifetime.


Noah Kozminski, Intern with Kijenzi

Noah Kozminski in a class with Kenyan studentsMy internship with Kijenzi—a group introducing 3-D printing for medical applications in rural Kenya—was less a formally established involvement, and more a reflection of ongoing efforts I started in summer 2017 and will continue in this summer. I had the opportunity to continue investing my time and energy in a project that I believe in, and to have some tangible return on that investment in the form of credits.

This internship led me to develop and fund a research project, develop a web presence and branding material, and be an integral part of an international interdisciplinary team. I’ve had extensive opportunities to develop my skills as a professional communicator with the variety of work I have been responsible for over the semester and beyond, giving me the hands-on experience necessary to learn a trade. Getting outside the classroom and working on client projects with real-world impacts is an invaluable experience, and I appreciated the chance to work with Kijenzi during the academic year, continuing my involvement in the organization while also advancing my degree at Michigan Tech.


Wynter Lindgren, Writing intern in University Marketing and Communications

Wynter Lindgren at Design Expo 2018If you want to know if you have a passion for something, you should gain experience in it. Thankfully, Michigan Tech’s University Marketing and Communications department, or UMC, was my opportunity. I spent the past two semesters working in the department as a student writer. I had come into it with no idea what I would gain, but left with some important lessons.

First: planning. Being a college student already requires balance, but put a job on top of that and you have someone in need of Google Calendar. After adding in time for interviews, writing, and meetings, my time soon became thin. Meeting deadlines and creating content I was proud of was crucial to me. If I didn’t make the time, then the words would be bland and unimaginative.

Then I moved into learning about communication. There are so many people within the UMC, from writers to editors to those that make the content accessible. Making sure people know your intentions and plan of attack clearly is important. While this was great to learn, I also found out that sometimes people just won’t answer you and there is nothing that you can do about it.

Lastly, I would say I gained much more respect for people in my field. Of course, not being a part of it before meant I never knew much, but I didn’t realize the amount of work put in. It opened my eyes for me to see that writing wasn’t something that anyone could do, but something people with passion could do. Those who helped make my writing better knew exactly where I was at and gave wonderful ideas to aid me. If it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure I would have continued to love writing. The UMC made me fall in love with being a writer all over again.


Nathan Shaiyen, Photography intern at University Marketing and Communications

Nathan Shaiyen with University Photographer Sarah ByrdIf I told you that I didn’t enjoy my time at my internship, I would be lying. My time working for the University Marketing and Communication here at Michigan Tech has been one that I could never have imagined. The skills and experiences I learned are so important in helping me be a better professional in my field.

Working with a supervisor that always pushes me to be better and also allows me to express myself is something I never thought I would get out of a job. Also, working with a team that I can always learn from is great because I gain so much knowledge from different people in so many different areas.

My favorite moments in my internship were the times a client was thoroughly impressed with the end result of a project. This made me feel like I was really giving my all and it was being recognized, and I’m sure it made my supervisor proud, too. It meant that all I was learning was being applied to my work.

I could talk about all that I did and how I did it but what I’d rather say is that the experience is something that I’ll cherish. I think that as a student being able go out into the word and work really allows you to learn so many things that you might learn in the classroom, but it lets you apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to whatever job you are doing. The classes we take do a great job of preparing us for a lot of what’s going to come.

In summary, this is a great opportunity. Give your absolute best and try to learn as much as you can.