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Northwest students (left to right) Brianne Bender, Adalida Lewis and Seth Bishop participated this summer in Principal Financial’s Internship Code Jam during their internship with the company. Lewis’ team took third place in the contest. (Submitted photo)

Northwest students (left to right) Brianne Bender, Adalida Lewis and Seth Bishop participated this summer in Principal Financial’s Internship Code Jam during their internship with the company. Lewis’ team took third place in the contest. (Submitted photo)

Sept. 6, 2019

Students put their computer skills to test during annual Code Jam

By Leah Newell, communication assistant


Three Northwest Missouri State University students took part this summer in Principal Financial’s Internship Code Jam in Des Moines, Iowa.

As interns at Principal Financial this summer, Brianne Bender, Adalida Lewis and Seth Bishop participated in a Code Jam to apply their computer skills on a project for a real-world business. The company’s interns are placed into teams tasked with creating and presenting a project. Each team has three days to create the project and presents to the company on the fourth day. 

Bender, a junior computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri, and her team worked on digitizing an identification card for dental patients.

"The Code Jam was a fun three days of exploring new technologies, bonding with my teammates, and building important teamwork and agile skills,” Bender said. “It was a great challenge, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate. I’ll definitely be using knowledge I gained during the code jam in my future projects.”

Lewis’ team won third place. A senior digital media computer science major from Smithville, Missouri, Lewis said working on a team taught her the importance of leveraging each team member’s skillset. 

“I learned a lot from my fellow interns,” Lewis said. “I saw how they used programs that I had basic knowledge of in advanced ways. I learned how to work with people and how to plan a project from beginning to end. When the program had a full successful demo, I felt like we really accomplished a feat I didn’t think was possible in three days.”

Bishop, a sophomore cybersecurity major from Ogden, Iowa, said working with a team taught him new skills, too.

“Code Jam showed me how development teams work together,” Bishop said. “Now I understand how a team leader gets projects done efficiently.”

The students said the internship at Principal Financial taught them skills they will use in their professional careers.

“Both Code Jam and the Northwest education teach you how to work in a group, which will be vital for my future career,” Bender said. “Most of the time in the real world you are working on a project with a group of people. You may be responsible for a small part, but you still have to integrate that with what everyone else is developing. So, experience in teamwork and problem-solving are some of the best tools to prepare me for my career.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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