Our Stories

Other Internships

Here are just some of the places where Willamette undergraduates interned during the summer:

  • Bonneville Power Administration, Portland
  • IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, Calif.
  • Oregon Department of Justice, Salem
  • Pollack Media Group, Los Angeles
  • Pari Project, Cambodia
  • Easter Seals Children’s Therapy Center, Salem
  • KUBE 93 FM, Seattle
  • San Francisco LGBT Community Center
  • American Red Cross Willamette Chapter, Salem
  • U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s office, Portland
  • Genentech, Hillsboro, Ore.
  • Marion-Polk Food Share, Salem
  • Providence Benedictine Nursing Center, Mt. Angel, Ore.
  • Chemawa Indian School, Salem
  • Cascade AIDS Project, Portland
  • U.S. Embassy, Zimbabwe
  • Marion County District Attorney’s Office, Salem

Willamette students head across the country — and abroad — for internships

Technology companies, government offices, scientific research facilities, nonprofits and media companies were among the numerous places where Willamette University undergraduates interned this past summer.

They fanned out across the country to apply their liberal arts education in a variety of job settings — giving them valuable work experience and a close-up view of potential careers.

Some even went abroad to experience a global working environment, including a sociology major who worked for a NGO consulting company in Cambodia and a politics major based at the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe.

Here are a few of their stories. To learn more about student internship opportunities, visit Willamette’s Career Services website.


Geneva Hooten ’11Geneva Hooten ’11

  • Major: Economics
  • Internship site: Columbia River Crossing through C-TRAN, Vancouver, Wash. — the public transportation agency of Clark County in southwest Washington

Ellen Kaline ’13Ellen Kaline ’13

  • Major: Art
  • Internship site: Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton, Ore. — a nonprofit organization on the Umatilla Indian Reservation that provides opportunities for Native Americans to create art

Zac Bentley ’11Zac Bentley ’11

Kimberly Hursh ’12Kimberly Hursh ’12

  • Major: History
  • Internship site: Catholic Community Services, Salem, Ore. — a nonprofit, faith-based organization that serves families, youth and adults with special needs

Geneva Hooten ’11

Geneva Hooten ’11

Geneva Hooten ’11 worked on the Columbia River Crossing project through her internship at C-TRAN, a public transportation agency.

  • Major: Economics
  • Internship site: Columbia River Crossing through C-TRAN, Vancouver, Wash. — the public transportation agency of Clark County in southwest Washington

Q: What were your duties at your internship?

I interned through C-TRAN on the Columbia River Crossing project, a bridge, transit and highway improvement project of Interstate 5 to relieve congestion, improve freight mobility and safety and increase alternative travel options. I attended communications, C-TRAN and transit meetings, although I was particularly connected to the light rail transit project in Vancouver.

Q: How did you find and obtain your internship?

I interned in 2009 with the Oregon Department of Forestry on a study that mapped, tracked and analyzed land use changes in Oregon and Washington — showing me how zoning policies affect the environment, transportation and future development. My fascination with the interaction between people and the land led me to transportation and sparked my interest in this position, which I found by networking through my stepdad’s connections.

Q: What did you learn?

It takes enormous patience and coordination to see a project through to the end. To design something relatively small — light rail stations — C-TRAN and the project involve a community advisory group, the city of Vancouver and an architecture firm. I learned that there are established ways to enact changes and make decisions, and it’s up to people like the CRC staff to navigate the political, legal and social procedures in order to make progress and improvements.

Q: What was your most interesting experience this summer?

I really appreciated sitting in on meetings of the Integrated Project Staff (IPS), a group of project stakeholders that convened weekly to learn about and discuss particular aspects of the project. It was incredible to see how the representatives collaborated, supported, defended and questioned parts of the project. The IPS was one part of an enormous, complicated process, and I felt lucky to see it in real-time.

Q: How did your experience help with your academic and career goals?

This internship confirmed my interest in transportation while also helping me to see how it fits into the broader picture of neighborhoods, cities, regions and states. Economics is about scarcity, and the CRC is charged with taking scarce resources and transforming them into a functional piece of infrastructure that will allow people to travel to work, trucks to make it north without delays, commuters to use light rail into Portland and bicyclists to move with safety and ease. Economics is at the base of it all.

Back to top


Ellen Kaline ’13

Ellen Kaline ’13

Ellen Kaline ’13 spent her summer working with prints from the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts that will be displayed at Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum.

  • Major: Art
  • Internship site: Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton, Ore. — a nonprofit organization on the Umatilla Indian Reservation that provides opportunities for Native Americans to create art

Q: What were your duties at your internship?

I worked as a press assistant, and I assisted the master printer by sponging plates during the process of lithography printmaking. My main objective was to use the PastPerfect museum software to file every artist that has created prints at Crow’s Shadow, so that they can be transferred to Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art to be stored and displayed.

Q: How did you find and obtain your internship?

I was notified about this internship by anthropology Professor Rebecca Dobkins. She has a close relationship with Crow’s Shadow and has curated several exhibitions at the Hallie Ford Museum featuring works by artists from the institute.

Q: What did you learn?

I learned how to be a professional press assistant, which taught me a great amount about the various types and techniques of printmaking, such as linocuts and monoprinting. I also learned how to properly frame prints for hanging in a museum, and I learned what it meant to work in an art studio and how it works when a visiting artist comes in to do a project.

Q: What was your most interesting experience this summer?

My most interesting experience was actually getting to see almost every work ever done at Crow’s Shadow — which was a lot. There were many projects that involved collaboration among various artists. The collaborations usually carried a theme, and it was interesting to see how each artist perceived the theme.

Q: How did your experience help with your academic and career goals?

I got to experience the preparation of other artists’ work and I learned how to organize artwork for an art gallery. This will really help with one of my career goals, to open an art gallery that showcases mostly others’ artworks. I also learned various printing techniques that will help me in classes I soon will be taking.

Back to top


Zac Bentley ’11

Zac Bentley ’11

Zac Bentley ’11 studies politics at Willamette, across the street from the state capitol, but his internship took him to the nation’s capitol to work for Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Q: What were your duties at your internship?

I had some clerical duties, but I spent the majority of my time doing policy work. I attended briefings, researched current policy and wrote decision memos — papers that sum up a pending legislative decision, like a bill or a resolution, by describing who supports it, who doesn’t, and which way the senator should vote. I even did a bit of computer programming, and conducted guided tours of the U.S. Capitol.

Q: How did you find and obtain your internship?

I saw flyers on campus last winter saying that representatives from Sen. Merkley’s office were coming to campus to plug the internship program. I was reluctant at first because it wasn’t a paid job, but Dave Rigsby (assistant dean of Campus Life) suggested that I check it out. I was surprised at how cool it sounded. I applied, got some recommendations and was accepted.

Q: What did you learn?

I have learned so much in my Willamette politics classes, but observing firsthand the realities of working in the Senate, crafting policy and managing interests gave me a much deeper understanding of government and policy than I could ever have received in a classroom. I strongly recommend this program and others like it to anyone interested in working politics.

Q: What was your most interesting experience this summer?

One of the unique aspects of interning for Sen. Merkley is that the program offers a “shadow day” where you get to follow the senator through all his appointments, floor votes and work periods. My shadow day was the most memorable part of the summer, and it helped me appreciate how busy congresspeople are on a day-to-day basis.

Q: How did your experience help with your academic and career goals?

My internship definitely informed my possible career paths. I learned that I love working on Capitol Hill, and I love D.C., but I also learned some harsh realities about the cost of living in the city, and the limited pay available to people just starting on the hill. I hope to work for the government someday, but I may decide to start in the private sector, at least for awhile.

Back to top


Kimberly Hursh ’12

Kimberly Hursh ’12

Kimberly Hursh ’12 worked on programs that help foster children through her internship at Catholic Community Services in Salem.

  • Major: History
  • Internship site: Catholic Community Services, Salem, Ore. — a nonprofit, faith-based organization that serves families, youth and adults with special needs

Q: What were your duties at your internship?

I worked on several Catholic Community Services (CCS) programs aimed at helping foster children. I organized events and activities for foster kids who have aged out of the system. I also helped with the start-up of two new programs called Safe Families for Children and Family Finders, which finds and contacts the extended families of foster kids.

Q: How did you find and obtain your internship?

I learned about it through Jobcat, Willamette’s online job board. The internship was funded through the Lilly Project, a program led by the Office of the Chaplains that helps students explore their vocation. Faith-based organizations apply to become a Lilly internship site, and I had to apply through the Chaplains Office first before interviewing with CCS.

Q: What did you learn?

The Safe Families for Children program places children whose families are in crisis with volunteer “safe families” for a short time until the biological families can get back on their feet. There are so many details to a project like this, and I attended meetings with CCS and state and national agencies. I also ran meetings with faith communities in Salem. I learned that a project this large can only be accomplished when smaller tasks are identified and delegated, which also requires a great deal of communication.

Q: What was your most interesting experience this summer?

I was asked to create a social networking policy for CCS. I researched the policies of other companies, especially nonprofit organizations, and I presented my research in a draft that addressed the specific needs of CCS. I was in the position of convincing certain departments that utilizing social media is absolutely essential in order to reach a wider demographic. It was a challenge.

Q: How did your experience help with your academic and career goals?

The Lilly internship comes with a great bonus: every week, all the interns meet to discuss vocation and their personal journeys. It’s a great exercise in self awareness and discovering what you’re meant to do in life. I discovered that I like to have the freedom to be creative and to go in my own direction. It also reaffirmed my belief that education and knowledge are the tools needed to break cycles of abuse and poverty. Because of this, I am more determined than ever to be an educator in some way.

Back to top



09-13-2010