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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

    Sept. 2, 2016

    Students earn profession-based experience through summer internships

    By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant

    Northwest Missouri State University students applied the skills they’ve acquired in classrooms to professional fields throughout the world during summer internship experiences.

    “Internship experiences help students use the skills they learn in their classes and apply them to a real world work environment,” said Travis Kline, career development coordinator for internships in Northwest Career Services.

    Shivani Sharma

    Career Services sponsors an internship photo contest each trimester for all students who participate in internships, practicums, field experiences and directed teaching experiences.

    Photos submitted by students this summer ranged in fields from international business to political science. Some students’ experiences and their photos are highlighted below; to view all photos submitted to Career Services’ internship photo contest, click here.

    Shivani Sharma, a senior biomedical sciences major from New Delhi, India, was selected as the winner of this summer’s contest. She worked as a neuroscience research intern at Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri.

    The opportunity to conduct high-quality research drew Sharma to Stowers Institute for Medical Research. She worked with memory formation in Drosophila melanogaster, more commonly known as the fruit fly.

    She said her experiences at Northwest helped guide her through the internship.

    “This internship taught me that books can just give you an idea of how things work, but hands-on experience actually walks you through it in entirety,” Sharma said. “I can really boast about my newly gained knowledge on techniques like CRIPSR and confocal microscopy.”

    Morgan Barton

    Morgan Barton, a senior graphic design major from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, interned at Cutters Studio in Chicago.

    Her experiences at Northwest through Student Activities Council and Phi Mu helped her become a better leader and build communication skills that aided her during the internship. She learned new software in Cutters Studio’s graphic design and video editing departments.

    “The most memorable thing about my internship was being in the creative environment that I wish to pursue,” Barton said. “I also cherish all the friendships and connections that I made during my time in the city.”

    Casey Cruickshank, a senior social science education major from Sidney, Iowa, worked as a volunteer at Shiyane High School in Rorke’s Drift, South Africa.

    He spent a month teaching English, public speaking and business studies through the “Sponsor-A-Child” program, which paired church members with individual children in the community.

    “It is one thing to read and conduct research on other cultures,” Cruickshank said. “It is completely different to experience another culture. This will serve as a valuable experience for me moving forward regardless of my career choice.”

    Casey Cruickshank
    Shelby Mustain

    Shelby Mustain, of Jefferson City, Missouri, completed her bachelor’s degree in public relations during the summer while working as an inside sales associate for the Springfield Cardinals in Springfield, Missouri, a AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

    While her experiences varied from day to day, she often worked in the office and communicated about sales between clients and the franchise. On game days, she handed out promotions in the ballpark and worked at kiosks.

    “This internship gave me insight into what a real day-to-day job would entail, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be,” Mustain said. “It allowed me to find who I was outside of college and college athletics, and proved to myself that I am not just an asset in the classroom and basketball court, but also in a business.”

    Sam Spencer, a junior criminology major with a concentration on the adult system from Kansas City, Missouri, interned at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the Kansas City Field Division.

    His internship allowed him to review case files, revise search warrants and participate in arrest and surveillance operations.

    “One of the most memorable things I did with the ATF was help the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Street Narcotics Unit break a safe open during a search warrant in the East Zone of Kansas City,” Spencer said.

    Sam Spencer
    Kaitlin Thurman

    Kaitlin Thurman, a senior marine biology major from Lake Sherwood, Missouri, worked as an international marine volunteer at Marine Dynamics in Gansbaai, South Africa. She chose South Africa because it contains the largest mass population of great white sharks in the world.

    She says the most memorable thing about her internship was witnessing a breach when a great white shark launched out of the water to catch a seal it was hunting.

    Her days began at 6 a.m. with collecting data on the sharks for a population survey.

    “Northwest helped me understand the importance of collecting data and how valuable it really is in the scientific world,” Thurman said.

    Allison ParksAllison Parks, a senior theatre performance major from St. Louis, Missouri, interned as a member of the Brownville Village Theatre Company in Brownville, Nebraska.

    The company put on five productions that rotated each weekend between May and August.

    “The classes I’ve taken at Northwest, specifically related to my major, were really helpful in the success of my internship,” Parks said. “I also worked with four other students from Northwest so that was great seeing our school have so many successful students at one internship.”

    Career Services helps Northwest students launch their professional careers by offering a variety of services and programming, including critiques of résumés, cover letters and application materials, and internship and job search assistance as well as its annual Career Days and Mock Interview Days.

    Career Services also will sponsor “How to Find an Internship” at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, in Meeting Room D of the J.W. Jones Student Union. The session is designed to help students clarify goals and organize search strategies that meet internship and career needs.

    By providing these tools for success, Northwest boasts a three-year average career placement rate of 97 percent for undergraduate students and 99 percent for graduate students. This means that 97 percent of bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

    For more information about the contest and its services, contact Career Services at 660.562.1250 or visit

    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468