February 2020 Feature: Making Internships Meaningful

February 11, 2020


Twin Cities

During the month of February, we take time to say Thank You to our young professionals, supervisors, and supporters! We’re grateful every day for the dedication each and every one of you brings to your role, and want to provide some advice for bringing gratitude into your workplace this February! We selected two particularly awesome individuals for our February Featured Intern and Supervisor, and asked them (and their respective supervisor and intern) why they’re thankful and how to show it. 

Featured Intern: Kinza Ahmed, CHS, Inc.

Our Featured Intern this month is Kinza Ahmed, a first year college intern currently working in IT quality assurance at CHS, Inc. Supervisor Dawn Wyatt nominated Kinza for her ability to quickly add value to her team and her willingness to jump into any new project or experience with enthusiasm. As a college intern in our Talent Development Pipeline (TDP), Kinza has a unique perspective that combines the confidence she built as a successful high school intern at Ecolab with the desire to learn and grow in as many ways as she can.

Why are you grateful for Kinza?

Dawn: “Kinza worked with a project team for the first 3 months of her internship. Being a college student, Kinza was only able to spend 1 day a week with this team. There was concern that she wouldn’t retain information from one week to the next. Not only did she retain information, but she became so proficient in their process that before she moved on to her next intern experience, she created a video that can be used as a training tool for onboarding new members to that group. She became an asset to that team with only spending 1 day a week with them for 3 months – I was so very grateful she joined our team.”

How do you show gratitude to Dawn? 

Kinza: “I express my gratitude towards Dawn by surpassing her expectations of a project that she has assigned to me. I show her my passion and willingness to learn. I thank her whenever I get the chance because she has helped me with a lot.”

Featured Supervisor: Keith Ilenda

For our Featured Supervisor, we’re highlighting longtime supporter and supervisor Keith Ilenda from Land O’Lakes. Keith’s intern Genuine Song nominated him for his dedication to helping Genuine become a better intern and making him feel like a real member of the team, jokes and all. Keith’s dedication to showing Genuine he can overcome obstacles and troubleshoot on his own, while still supporting him and making him feel valued, showcases his next-level supervisor skills.

Why are you grateful for Keith? 

Genuine: “I am grateful for my supervisor because Keith has assigned my projects that I see are very beneficial to me post internship and post college. The work that Keith assigns me are projects that I can say are ‘meaningful work’. Keith once said that he assigns me projects and real work because he believes I can accomplish any task that he throws at me. He’s also always cracking me up with his jokes, and I’m treated and respected like a full time employee.”

How does Genuine express his gratitude to you? 

Keith: “Genuine expresses his gratitude by taking my advice and applying it to his work and simply doing the best he can.”

If you’re looking for inspiration for how to demonstrate gratitude for your supervisor or intern this February, here are a few ideas from this feature: 

– Say it! Thank You notes, emails, verbal acknowledgement, and corporate shout outs are great ways to show your gratitude clearly.

– Give it your all — all the time.

– Invest in professional development — for yourself if you’re a young professional and in your intern if you are a supervisor

– Learn how your coworkers like to be recognized. Then act accordingly and make it a habit and incorporate it into your working relationships. 

Nominate them to be a Featured Supervisor or Featured Intern!

– Nominate your intern: https://genesysworks.tfaforms.net/4651700.

– Nominate your supervisor: https://genesysworks.tfaforms.net/4651693


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