Students gain practical experience through internships  

The Belleville Telescope

Fifty-six businesses across northwest and north central Kansas hosted 68 high school and college interns through this summer’s Nex-Generation Student Internship Program.
Participating students received an opportunity to prepare them for future career paths.
“Each summer, our interns receive hands-on instruction from local, business professionals in their hometowns or nearby communities,” states NexGeneration’s Executive Director Jacque Beckman.
“Unlike many internships, each intern in the Nex-Gen program is paid a base wage of at least $10 per hour.”
If students are looking to gain skills that will set them apart from their peers – experiences that most do not achieve until after college – they need to apply, says Beckman.
The Nex-Generation Student Internship Program offers a variety of technical and non-technical career experiences. This year’s “graduating class” experienced careers in agriculture, non-profit, economic development, civic engagement, automotive restoration, retail, communications, marketing, graphic design, medical, social media, heating and air conditioning, computer technology, construction, art, banking, news writing, editing, photography, administrative, physical fitness and training, customer service, culinary arts, therapy, legal, travel and tourism, and more.
“One of our main objectives is to expose students to northwest and north central Kansas workforce opportunities at an early age and encourage them to look for jobs right here at home,” said Mendi Anschutz, Nex-Tech’s Economic Development/Networking Specialist. “We launched this program through Nex-Tech in 2011 with six interns. Three years ago, we opened up the program to local businesses, and a true culture shift has begun. Already we are seeing students remain in the area as soon as they graduate from college. One reason is their experience interning with a business right in their own county.”
This summer’s NexGeneration interns in local positions and their respective businesses included the following:
  • Allayna Hanson, daughter of Kirk and Rhonda Hanson of Concordia, interned with Polansky Seed, Inc., in Belleville. “During my internship, I learned various aspects of the seed business and industry. I shadowed sales, seed technicians, and the bookkeeper,” she said. “I also learned to operate the forklift; package seed for sale; create and design marketing pieces; and tour other ag industry businesses.”
  • Teryn Tracy, daughter of Bruce and Lois Tracy of Concordia, interned with C & C High Tunnel Farms in Scandia. “This internship taught me so much,” she says. “The three things I liked the most were working with fun people, working in an agricultural environment, and meeting new people. I gained valuable skills for my future: perseverance, responsibility, and routine. I had a wonderful time and I would love to still work here after my internship is over.”
  • Zach Warner, son of Debbie Warner of Concordia, interned with NCK Tech in Beloit. “When accepting this internship, I was looking forward to seeing the in’s and out’s of the IT world,” he said. “I’m hoping to become a network administrator, so this was a fantastic opportunity and I have gained tremendous knowledge – much more than I would get just in the classroom.”

Student internship applications for 2019 will be available in January 2019. Businesses interested in hosting interns should contact Nex-Generation before December 2018.

Anyone wanting more information about NexGeneration and its programs should contact Jacque Beckman or Mendi Anschutz at 877-567-7872, or by e-mail: jbeckman@nex-tech.com, or manschutz@nex-tech.com.

Funding for the internships has been made possible by Nex-Tech Customers who participate in the monthly billing Round-Up Program;

Nex-Generation Business Partners; and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc. is a 501(c) (3), non-profit organization based in Lenora, Kansas. The organization operates solely on the generous support of area donors. NexGeneration’smission is to educate northwest and north central Kansas students about local career opportunities by providing and supporting programs in career development, entrepreneurship, internship, and work-study/ apprenticeship.