Communication Studies Students Have Productive Summer Posted on October 15th, 2015 by

For Gustavus Adolphus College students Nusla Mohamed, Connor Myhre, Leah Anderson, and Jace Riggin, summer was more than just a chance to catch some rays and take a break from studying. During their time away from campus, the communication studies majors engaged in a variety of internships and work experiences that helped solidify their plans for the future.

Nusla Mohamed spent the summer at Minneapolis Public Schools' External Partnerships Division.

Nusla Mohamed spent the summer at Minneapolis Public Schools’ External Partnerships Division.

Nusla Mohamed, Mankato, Minn.

Nusla Mohamed spent her summer as an intern in the External Partnerships Division of Minneapolis Public Schools, where she was responsible for researching community events and organizing the school district’s public presence at the events attended by senior leadership. The Gustavus junior also shadowed policy and communication staff and attended weekly cabinet meetings.

“It was a great place to network,” Mohamed said, describing her first experience in an internship. “I talked to businesses and community organizations about partnerships and helped get the superintendent to events that made the district visible.”

Mohamed points to professor Phil Voight as an important influence on campus. “He brings his real-life experience to class and is an awesome resource for students,” she said. “Phil made me want to be a communication studies major.”

After being exposed to the world of policy and the diversity of Minneapolis Public Schools, Mohamed is interested in being a television reporter focusing on politics and education.

Connor Myhre, Bloomington, Minn.


Connor Myhre (in costume) poses with his family at the Mall of America.

Sophomore Connor Myhre learned a lot as a part of KSTP TV’s event marketing staff, but the most fun he had this summer was as a character actor at the Mall of America.

As Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Myhre did public appearances and connected with children and families at the mall’s rotunda and Nickelodeon Universe. Serving as both the character and the crowd handler, he often worked four-hour shifts at the mall before leaving to head to KSTP’s events.

“I definitely learned time management and organization,” he said. “It was incredibly beneficial get hands-on experience in managing my schedule in the real world.”

In his role at the television station, Myhre supported KSTP and its affiliates with public relations and marketing across the metro area. His team went to community festivals, parades, and fairs to promote KSTP, KSTC-45, and Twin Cities Live. In addition to setting up, managing, and staffing events, he was exposed to the fast-paced life of television promotions.

“The big one was the Minnesota State Fair. We were there all day, every day,” he said. “It was incredibly fun to be up in front of the audience managing the show and the crowd.”

After working with KSTP this summer, Myhre is even more interested in media, public relations, and marketing. “It was so cool to go out and be on the front line of a major news outlet in the Twin Cities,” he said.

Leah Anderson, Apple Valley, Minn.

Leah Anderson spent the summer interning at the Minnesota Zoo.

Leah Anderson spent the summer interning at the Minnesota Zoo.

Leah Anderson spent the summer interning at two very different nonprofits and took away lessons about fundraising, event planning, and communication.

As a member of the development and communications team at the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, Anderson was tasked with producing three promotional videos to help with fundraising efforts and highlight a new attraction. In addition, she planned and executed events and contributed to the foundation’s annual report for donors.

“After going to the zoo as a child, it was awesome to see the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a great experience for visitors,” she said. “I was impressed by the high level of collaboration that goes into every big decision and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a cool organization.”

Along with her position at the zoo, she used Gustavus career development resources to find a part time internship with One2One, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that pairs mentors with middle school students who are struggling with academics and the school environment. During the internship, she attended communication and fundraising meetings, drafted messages for social media, and crafted monthly emails to donors.

Her most important project of the summer was producing the organization’s annual report. “I was able to manage the drafting, proofing, and publishing process,” she explained. “It was their first annual report, so it was rewarding to be able to work closely with the executive director to brainstorm, implement, and follow the process from start to finish.”

Now in her senior year, Anderson is pursuing opportunities in event planning and communication after graduation, possibly in the nonprofit field. “I got a lot of great professional experience and learned a lot about nonprofit work this summer,” she said.

Jace Riggin, Devils Lake, N.D.

Jace Riggin (left) takes a quick break with fellow intern at The Improve Group.

Jace Riggin (left) takes a quick break with a fellow intern at The Improve Group.

Jace Riggin interned for New Sector Alliance, a consulting agency that strives to enrich the talent pipeline going into the social sector. As a member of the agency’s first cohort in the Twin Cities, Riggin was placed at The Improve Group Monday through Thursday and met with his fellow New Sector interns each Friday throughout the summer for continued education and training.

“New Sector’s whole idea is to bring in bright young people and give them the hard skills to go out and be consultants at these organizations,” he said.

In his day-to-day work at The Improve Group, Riggins researched recruitment and outreach methods for the organization. Throughout the summer he explored different participant recruitment and outreach techniques, prepared strategy reports, and developed a case study after working with over 600 research participants.

Riggin also highlights Voight as a mentor. “He has a lot of professional and theoretical experience with nonprofits,” he said. “In his courses it’s not just about thinking or writing, it’s about understanding and working in a nonprofit in an educational setting.”

After graduation Riggin hopes to continue his service and advocacy work in Washington, D.C. He is particularly interested in American Indian policy, homeland security, and LGBT rights.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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