Interns Share Perspective on Summer Experience

Jessica Marshall, accounting intern

The 2020 summer interns have proven to be resilient and adaptive, as their anticipated work experiences shifted from in-person employment to remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sealaska welcomed 18 summer interns this year for its first ever remote internship program. This year’s interns — like so many people across the country — worked entirely from home, exchanging office time for video chats to stay connected to their teams.

To wrap up the season, several of our interns supplied blog posts that described their experiences with Sealaska and as remote workers. You can read the full blog posts HERE. Below, in their own words, are some of their thoughts about this summer’s experience.

From all of us at Sealaska, Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, T’oyaxsut ‘nüüsm to our interns for their hard work, creativity and excellent contributions to our company.

“Seminars have been a staple of the at-home internship. The seminars from the intern team are often related to Southeast Alaska Native culture, ranging anywhere from an introductory formline class to historical analyses on coastal tribes. These seminars have brought me closer to my culture over the weeks of this internship. The seminars from my manager pertain more to the career aspect of the internship, focusing on methods for groundwater sampling and treatment that I never even knew about before this experience. I can honestly say that I feel confident going into higher levels of education with what essentially feels like a head start.” – Matthew Smeltzer, environmental technician intern and snow science major at the University of Montana, Bozeman

“I am proud to have been an intern for a company that is so deeply connected to my personal beliefs and culture. I had the chance to apply skills that I have learned in school, and learn and practice new skills that I have not been taught yet in my courses. I also was able to determine what direction I want to go into my career regarding information technology during this experience. I know the lessons learned and the knowledge I was taught will stay with me for the remainder of my career.” – Olivia Jarman, IT intern and information technology major at Central Washington University

Olivia Jarman, IT intern

“Sealaska exceeded my expectations during this remote internship, technically taking place in my basement office. I was welcomed to the accounting team with a virtual meeting, had a virtual lunch for my birthday, and took an awesome virtual tour of the Juneau office, given to me by my intern “buddy,” Assistant Controller McKenzie Knudson, who as a fellow Wisconsinite made me feel right at home.” – Jessica Marshall, accounting intern

“Coming from a background of learning Lingít language, along with the linguistics experience I garnered in my first year of college, it’s truly been the perfect fit. I’ve worked on tasks ranging from supporting the Haa Yoo X’atángi Deiyí (Our Language Pathway) grant, to translating audio recordings of Sm’algya̱x (Tsimshian language). In all of this, I’ve gotten a taste of the grand possibilities of language revitalization work at Sealaska Heritage Institute.” – Aaní Perkins, education intern at Sealaska Heritage Institute

If you or someone you know is interested in a Sealaska internship for the summer of 2021, you can find more information about the program, including eligibility requirements, deadlines and more at