Season of success for summer internships

Student News
By Victoria Holthaus

Hailey Vollbrecht at her 2017 summer internship with Marchesa Couture. Vollbrecht is interning this summer with Free People. Nearly 400 College of Human Sciences students have internships this summer. Contributed photo

Nearly 400 College of Human Sciences students are using this summer to gain knowledge, skill, and experience in their field.  Internships, student teaching placements and other practicums are essential to the learning process at Iowa State, whether they are close to campus or around the world.

“I think students should take advantage of their summers by interning because you learn so much, and it truly gives you that experience in the field you are majoring in,” said Amberly Putz, a junior in hospitality management interning with Wyndham Vacation Rentals in Destin, Florida. “Students definitely will learn if this is the right path that they want to continue on.”

Opportunities in health

Samantha Wolfe is interning with the Indianapolis Colts

For the first time, two female Iowa State students are interning as athletic trainers with the National Football LeagueSamantha Wolfe is interning this summer with the Indianapolis Colts, while Christine Peluso is with the Los Angeles Rams

“As one of the first females to complete an internship with an NFL team, I am working every day to make sure I do not squander this amazing opportunity,” said Wolfe, a senior in athletic training.

Logan Battreall is interning with the Arizona Cardinals, while Dillon Bennett is with the Dallas Cowboys, and Alec Nichols is with the Kansas City Chiefs for the second summer.

Food science and human nutrition students are also getting a taste of what their future could be like.

Victor Urbina, a distance education graduate student in food science and human nutrition, is completing a dietetic internship in El Paso, Texas.

“So far, my knowledge and confidence have increased significantly because of the internship through Iowa State University,” Urbina said. “The input and genuine care I have received from my internship instructor, as well as preceptors, has been nothing short of rewarding and enlightening.”

Applaud for apparel

Carson Ellingson, a junior in apparel, merchandising, and design, is interning with Power’s Manufacturing in Iowa

With 125 apparel, merchandising, and design students interning this summer, they can be found almost anywhere in the country with 33 in New York City, 31 in Iowa, and 13 in California. Some students are as far away as Ireland and Malaysia.  

“This program offers students so many rare opportunities that help set them up for the most successful career possible,” said Emma Kachelmeyer, a senior in apparel, merchandising, and design who is a merchandising intern at Old Navy corporate headquarter in San Francisco this summer. “So far within two weeks at my internship, I have been able to apply so much of what I’ve learned in school to real-life situations.”

Iowa State has four interns — the most the College of Human Sciences has ever had — working as merchandising or creative design interns at the Kohl’s corporate headquarters in Wisconsin this summer.  Six Iowa State students are working with various Hearst publications such as Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar in New York City.

Students have also found new opportunities for internships this summer. Megan Ermer and Sydney Lawrence are the first merchandising interns with American Eagle at their corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, and Kamber Causemaker is the first design intern with fashion designer Zac Posen in New York City.

Managing summer internships

Tristen Meinders is interning at St. Jude Research Hospital

Event management students are planning events ranging from golf tournaments to concert and everything in between. Tristen Meinders, a junior in event management, is working as an event marketing intern for the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, a fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

“After researching the organization more I had fallen in love with their mission and knew it would be a place that would not only give me experience in my field but also give me a chance to help others as well,” Meinders said.

Thirty-seven hospitality management students are spending their summer interning in the U.S., China, and South Korea.

Marissa Carlson, a senior in hospitality management, is interning at the Horseshoe Bay Golf Club in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Two Iowa State alumni, Samantha Bortle and Alex Cole, are managers at the golf club who have welcomed Iowa State interns for the past few summers.

Reaching out with extension and outreach

Emily Bormann, a senior in family and consumer science education and studies, is conducting research with Emmet and Palo Alto counties to assist with “Projects on Aging.”

“The two counties I serve in rural northwest Iowa have never had a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach intern, so my internship is the first of its kind,” Bormann said. “I will be creating questions for the needs assessment, conducting the needs assessment, analyzing the data, exploring common themes in the data, and then creating an educational workshop about aging.”

Rebecca Wallace teaching an elementary student about nutrition

Bormann is one of four College of Human Sciences students interning with the Rising Star Internship program across Iowa. This internship opportunity is through ISU Extension and Outreach, working in regions across Iowa with nonprofit organizations, local food systems, families, agencies, communities, and economic development organizations.

Jessica Gale, a junior in dietetics, is interning with region 1, in northwest Iowa. Kelley Harris, a senior in family and consumer science education and studies, and Allison Hadley, a sophomore in elementary education, are interns in region 20, in southeast Iowa. Rebecca Wallace, a senior in family and consumer science and education and studies, is interning in region 5, in northwest Iowa.

“My classes have prepared me for this internship by giving me the content knowledge of safe food practices and preparation, and the experience of planning for a lesson,” Wallace said.

About 50 percent of College of Human Sciences students with internships are receiving financial compensation from their employers this summer. However, students who don’t receive compensation for required internships may be eligible to apply for financial help. The College of Human Sciences awards scholarships to assist students gaining work experience through unpaid internships and student teaching experiences. The next scholarship application deadline is August 5 for fall 2018 experiences.

Key contacts

Tammy Stegman, career services director, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-3708,

Erica Beirman, senior lecturer, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, 515-294-4361,

Ann Thye, academic adviser and internship coordinator in apparel, merchandising, and design; Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management; Iowa State University, 515-294-6360,

Carolyn Elbert, lecturer and hospitality management internship coordinator, Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management; Iowa State University, 515-294-8814,

Rita McClain, lecturer and event management internship coordinator, Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management; Iowa State University, 515-294-4494,

Mary Meier, director, athletic training program, Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, 515-294-3587,

Michale Hansen, academic adviser, Department of Human Development and Family Student, Iowa State University, 515-294-7169,

Victoria Holthaus, communications assistant, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University,

By Victoria Holthaus