Summer Internships Lead to Jobs for Lindsey Johnson and Diana Mueller

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by

Diana Mueller and Lindsey Johnson recently accepted positions at Cigna after interning at the company this summer.

Diana Mueller and Lindsey Johnson recently accepted full-time positions at Cigna after interning at the company this summer.

After spending the summer interning at Cigna Health Insurance, Gustavus Adolphus College seniors Lindsey Johnson and Diana Mueller were recently offered – and accepted – full-time positions with the company after graduation.

Both Gusties took part in Cigna’s Technology Early Career Development Program (TECDP) internship, which offers students technical and non-technical training, networking opportunities, and leadership experience. During the summer, Johnson, a math major from Edina, Minn., was a business and systems analyst intern. Mueller, a math and computer science double major from Eagan, Minn., was an application development intern.

After being introduced to Cigna at the College’s Careers Possible job and internship fair last fall, Johnson and Mueller ended up being selected as the two Minnesota interns for the TECDP internship, joining a group of approximately 70 students from across the country. As a part of the internship, Johnson and Mueller learned the day-to-day operations of the office, worked on a group project, volunteered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and traveled twice to the company’s headquarters in Bloomfield, Conn. to meet with senior leadership and all of the interns in the program.

In Johnson’s role as a business and systems analyst intern, she served as a liaison between the business and technology arms of the company and helped developers write code using XML and SQL. “The internship forced me to use the problem solving and analytical thinking skills I’d learned in class,” Johnson said. “This summer I learned a lot about what it’s like to be in a corporate environment and the experience made me more confident in the skills I’ll use after graduation.”

As an application development intern, Mueller spent most of her summer building and reviewing code using the agile software development method. She also worked to develop and test an internal pricing application for the company. “Gustavus teaches you how to learn quickly and how to adjust,” she said. “I’d learned about databases in class, but it was great to apply that knowledge in a professional setting.”

Having successfully completing the TECDP internship, after graduation Johnson and Mueller will transition to Cigna’s professional TECDP program, which offers new information technology employees challenging assignments, structured training and mentoring, and exposure to program management and the IT organization.

Mueller and Johnson volunteered with Alex's Lemonade Stand during their Cigna internship.

Mueller and Johnson volunteered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand during their Cigna internship.

Max Hailperin, professor of math, computer science, and statistics, explained the internship-to-career phenomenon at Gustavus. “Many of our best employers and strongest students have been getting to know one another through internships. Also, the employers are not merely getting to know already-strong students, they are further strengthening them,” he said. “An internship teaches skills that we couldn’t possibly teach in the classroom. As such, these companies are truly ‘growing their own.’ Given the long-term growth forecast for employment demand, I expect this emphasis on the pipeline from internships to entry-level hires to continue.”

Both Johnson and Mueller highlight professors Hailperin and Tom LoFaro as being key influences in their passion for math and computer science. “Professors at Gustavus want us to succeed and are willing to take time outside the classroom to help,” Johnson said.

LoFaro, who serves as Johnson and Mueller’s faculty advisor in math, praised their academic performance. “Both are great students. They work really hard, ask thoughtful questions in class, and contribute ideas when the class is working together to construct a proof or solve a problem,” he said.

The women are also successful outside the classroom. Johnson, a third-generation Gustie, is a captain of the women’s basketball team, served as a Gustie Greeter orientation leader, and is on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Mueller is the captain of the equestrian team, plays in a clarinet quartet, and serves as co-president of the math and computer science club and technology director of the Student Senate.

“Get involved,” Mueller recommends. “A liberal arts education means being exposed to different people with different interests and ideas. It helps you learn and understand where you fit in a team.”

Cigna_logo.svg-1Johnson agrees. “Go for it,” she said. “When you have the courage to step out and do what you want to do, anything can happen.”

As the seniors prepare for the next step, both Gusties hope to enjoy their remaining time on the hill. Although they’ll miss the people on campus when they graduate, Johnson and Mueller are already making Gustavus connections at Cigna. David Carl ’91, Emily Hoene ’12, Max Beyer ’12, Ben Stewart ’12, Rebecca Anderson ’13, and Nick Hamberg ’13 will be there to greet Johnson and Mueller when they begin next June.

“The Gustavus community follows you wherever you go,” Johnson said.


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


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