Internships Meet Workforce Needs and Add Value to the College Experience | Nebraska today


Internship opportunities cover the full range of responsibilities, but all help students integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development, and help employers invest in their own future success and develop their talent pools.

Bennett Perlinger, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student studying business management, knows the value of an internship firsthand. Bennett grew up on a farm and ranching yard just outside of Paxton, Nebraska. He’s always had a love for local agriculture, but when he came to Nebraska in 2019, he knew he wanted to explore other areas of the agriculture industry. He is currently an HR intern at Farmers Cooperative, where he has developed his knowledge and skills through various work opportunities.

“Farmers Cooperative has a really great internship program where they do a bunch of group activities for the interns, like doing different site tours and learning more about the industry,” Perlinger said. “I really enjoy it because a lot of it is centered around my learning and everything I want to experience. I just say something, and I have the opportunity to do it, but I also feel that I have a responsibility to produce something valuable.

Carley Conover, a junior from Nebraska studying biological systems engineering, also learned the importance of internship opportunities through her time in the coveted summer undergraduate research program at the University Medical Center. from Nebraska.

“Having a background in DNA extraction techniques, knowing how primers work and being able to understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it is really important,” Conover said. “It’s also cool because I can combine my knowledge of biology, engineering and chemistry through this program.”

Conover’s main research focus was the process by which ticks transmit Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. She spent countless hours helping to optimize a model to study the bacteria and the process by which it is transmitted, all to eventually develop a therapeutic that could be used in the community.

“I learned a lot of different techniques when it comes to science skills, which helped me figure out where I want to go after graduation,” Conover said.

Throughout the program, Conover worked directly with Amanda Brinkworth, Assistant Professor at UNMC. Brinkworth emphasized the importance of the program in advancing the research process.

“When an undergrad joins an intense research project, you have to start very quickly, learn a ton very quickly, and keep doing it consistently to keep it going, and because Carley was able to be here all day. , all summer long, we were able to continually progress in a way that I couldn’t do on my own,” she said. “So having a summer undergraduate who is just focused on advancing research all summer is actually a really unique thing that we don’t get very often, and that has helped a lot.”

Brinkworth was also incredibly grateful for Conover’s work ethic.

“I was very impressed with Carley’s hard work and how she picked it all up so quickly and got excited about the project,” Conover said. “Even towards the end of the project, she kept trying to solve all the little problems we had. So it wasn’t just a day job for her – she was fully committed to the project, and I was very excited about it.

In Perlinger’s role at Farmers Cooperative, he develops leadership programs for managers, sources and interviews candidates, conducts performance reviews, processes payroll and more.

Taylor Collins, Human Resources Manager for Farmers Cooperative, worked closely with Perlinger and emphasized that Perlinger’s contagious positive energy comes with a driven director.

“Bennett has done a great job of providing insight into where students are and what they’re looking for in the job market,” he said. “He brought in talent and helped us identify good recruitment strategies for the future. He also helped us with employee experience in some of our training programs.

Perlinger prides himself on his background in agriculture and giving back to his community. He sees incredible value in his work for the local Nebraskas.

“We employ about 600 employees, but the vast majority of our employees are all from rural communities in southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas,” Perlinger said. “So as human resources, I feel like I have an impact on each of those 600 employees through the benefits we provide, the employee experience we bring to help them in their jobs, and all the issues that we solve for them.”

Conover also feels a strong commitment to giving back to Nebraskans. In addition to his research for UNMCshe has other ambitions to help her community.

“I plan to go to graduate school and design pharmaceuticals. I want to go down a drug design path, especially for certain types of female cancer,” Conover said. “I think designing therapeutic options would be a great way to feel accomplished, but also to use my skills and what really interests me to help people.”


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