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Northwest student Hannah Moser (second from right) worked as a summer intern with the St. Joseph Mustangs Baseball Organization and was recognized as one of its outstanding interns. Moser was one of about 250 Northwest students to complete summer internships this year. (Submitted photos)

Northwest student Hannah Moser (second from right) worked as a summer intern with the St. Joseph Mustangs Baseball Organization and was recognized as one of its outstanding interns. Moser was one of about 250 Northwest students to complete summer internships this year. (Submitted photos)

Sept. 21, 2021

Students gain professional experience, enhance learning through summer internships

By Edidiong Idong-Bassey and Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistants


Approximately 250 Northwest Missouri State University students completed summer internships at various businesses and nonprofit organizations – from medical research institutes and environmental agencies to community theatres and radio broadcast companies. 

In addition to numerous of experiences offered on its campus, Northwest encourages all majors to seek profession-based experiences by participating in internships. Career Services helps students with all aspects of their internship and job search process, from reviewing résumés and cover letters to searching for positions.

“Internships are a great way for students to try out a possible future career,” Travis Kline, the University’s internship coordinator, said. “They allow a short-term test drive of a specific job, company or location while also adding very valuable skills that will benefit the student now and in the future.”

Read further for a sampling of Northwest students’ recent summer internship experiences.


Hannah Moser

St. Joseph Mustangs Baseball Organization
Hannah Moser (left) worked in guest services as an intern with the St. Joseph Mustangs.

Hannah Moser (left) worked in guest services as an intern with the St. Joseph Mustangs.

Hannah Moser, a senior sports management major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, completed an internship with the St. Joseph Mustangs Baseball Organization.

“This internship showed me how much a community can influence sports and reignited the love that I have for sports in a close community setting,” Moser said. “Northwest has prepared me a lot in terms of the knowledge and skills I will need to have for my future, but the Mustangs really opened my eyes to what I truly want to pursue.”

Moser worked in guest services for the Mustangs, selling gameday tickets and merchandise, setting up and taking down displays and equipment, while assisting other interns. At the last regular-season home game, she was recognized as one of the organization’s outstanding interns.

“My mom and best friend made the trip up from Kansas City to just come watch a game and little did any of us know that I would be getting this award,” Moser said. “Them being there made the night even more special.”


Salah Abbas

Cerner

Salah Abbas, a junior computer science major from Kansas City, worked at Cerner as a software intern with the development operations department, automating repetitive codes and collaborating with other interns to offer tech support to Cerner software engineers testing products and virtual systems.

Abbas also built a chat-box during ShipIt, a 24-hour coding competition sponsored by Cerner and claimed second place in the contest.

“Working with Cerner was really awesome,” he said. “I’ve wanted to work at Cerner for a couple years. It’s a really great experience for me to learn and work with an actual team. An important part of internships is networking, so I tried to network there as much as I could, met a lot of interns and had tons of fun.”

Abbas applied the concepts he learned from survey algorithm and data structures classes at Northwest during the internship program and coding competition.

“I really liked data structure and algorithm courses that taught core computer science concepts, which were brought up during the internship,” he said. “When I was interviewed, they evaluated how much of a technical background that I had.”

Abbas advises computer science majors and other students to apply for internships so they can get a head start on their careers.

“For students who want a career in software engineering, it’s really important to start early,” Abbas said. “Internships are really important because they are great experiences, and I think everybody should get a chance to experience the career they want before actually getting into it. I really like software engineering, took an internship in it and absolutely loved it.”


Micaila Lopez

University of Kansas Medical Center

Micaila Lopez, a native of Kansas City who earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from Northwest, worked as a lab technician at the University of Kansas Medical Center in the Jared Grantham Kidney Institute.

Lopez analyzed and tested polycystic kidney disease and breast cancer tissues in mice. She was responsible for growing and maintaining breast cancer cell lines, removing tumors from experimental models and interpreting experiment results. 

“I was left to plan some experiments on my own, so I really learned a lot about attention to detail and time management,” Lopez said. “I also learned a lot of hands-on skills required for this field, such as the real world application of why we would do western blogs, or polymerase chain reactions, or the use of statistical analysis.”

She said her time at Northwest helped her gain valuable technical lab skills that she used during her internship.

“The research project required of all biology-related majors was helpful,” Lopez said. “It required me to design and conduct my own experiment, which is something that’s been very valuable at KU. The internship helped me use the techniques I learned in the classroom and apply them to real world scenarios and understand why these techniques and procedures are relevant.”


Kassidy Miller

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Kassidy Miller worked as a soil scientist intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Kassidy Miller worked as a soil scientist intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After completing an introductory soil science class at Northwest, Kassidy Miller, a junior from Oregon, Missouri, majoring in agronomy with an emphasis in soil science, wanted to broaden her knowledge of soil health and obtained a summer internship at the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Miller’s duties as a soil scientist intern included mapping, testing and profiling wetlands. Under the mentorship of a senior soil scientist, she surveyed several fields in St. Joseph, Missouri, sectioning prime farmland to aid farmers grow and harvest on fertile land. Additionally, she analyzed soil archetypes and chemical molecules.

“I got to work with calcium carbonate and iron-manganese concentrations, so it was really interesting,” Miller said. “I assisted my mentor with paperwork anytime we went out to the field. I also would have to go to different locations on my own and train that way too.”

Miller believes her involvement in the University’s agricultural club was valuable to her internship and knowledge of agronomy.

“I got a lot of hands-on experience, and getting involved in different clubs on campus like the agricultural club that are similar to what I am into really helped me to prepare by learning about different soils,” she said. “Networking helped a lot with learning how to speak and communicate with other employees.”


 

Caitlin McEntee's summer internship at the University of Kansas involved characterizing proteins to formulate a test method for future protein therapies.

Caitlin McEntee's summer internship at the University of Kansas involved characterizing proteins to formulate a test method for future protein therapies.

Caitlin McEntee

University of Kansas Department of Chemistry

Caitlin McEntee, a senior biochemistry major from Fremont, Nebraska, was selected for an internship through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Kansas’ Department of Chemistry.

McEntee worked with other undergraduate researchers to characterize proteins to formulate a test method for future protein therapies. At the end of her internship, she presented her summer work and was admitted into the University of Kansas’ Ph.D. program.

“Before my internship I did not know where I wanted to go, I didn’t know what type of research I wanted to do,” McEntee said. “I was really interested in my project, and it made me realize that this is what I want to do. If I didn’t have this internship, I would be very lost.”


Cameron Meek

Environmental Protection Agency

Cameron Meek, a senior chemistry major from Smithville, Missouri, applied his knowledge of standard lab procedures to test water samples and toxins during a summer internship with the Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas City.

Meek worked with lab chemists and interns to run analyses of specimen from lake waters and sewage plants in the Kansas City area. Meeks says the internship improved his confidence and gave him a platform to enhance his networking, analysis and technical lab skills.

“I learned a lot of time management and teamwork skills,” Meek said. “For teamwork, it’s just a big team of 11 chemists, and they all worked as one big effort. It was a great experience; I loved the people there.”


Natalie Martinez

Unity for Equality

Natalie Martinez, a sophomore international business major from Independence, Missouri, worked remotely as a committee chair for the Unity for Equality.

Unity for Equality is a non-profit organization based in New York City with a mission to help build economically stable and sustainable communities. Martinez’s work consisted of reviewing and verifying proposals before sending approved proposals to the board of directors for a vote.

“My patience and time management skills have increased,” Martinez said. “You are working remotely, and you need to be accountable for your own time and how you’re going to do things. I like to schedule everything out, see what I’m going to work on and how I am going to finish it because no one is overseeing me or holding my hand.”

Martinez credits Career Services for guiding her through the application process as well as providing professional skills seminars that prepared her for the internship.

“They definitely helped me prepare for this internship,” Martinez said. “Those skills that they gave me, the everyday skills I would need in the future and being more professional, were the reasons why I got this internship.”


Media contact:

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