CIRI’s Summer Internship Program Shifts, Expands to Meet Needs of Interns
As part of CIRI’s company-wide recommitment to deliver benefits that allow shareholders and descendants an opportunity to advance in their careers and lives, in 2015, CIRI significantly expanded its summer internship program, placing six CIRI youth in positions with CIRI departments and subsidiaries.
“Prior to 2015, CIRI had partnered with Cook Inlet Tribal Council and the Alaska Vocational Technical Center to develop an internship program for CIRI shareholders and descendants entering the information technology (IT) field,” said Darla Graham, senior manager, shareholder engagement. “Based on the success of that program, we started fielding requests from college students and recent graduates who were interested in CIRI internships with other departments.”
In response, the expanded program includes internships in a variety of CIRI departments, including Corporate Communications, Human Resources, IT, Land and Resources, Real Estate and more. There are myriad benefits to a CIRI summer internship, including opportunities to:
- Directly apply classroom education in a practical work setting;
- Participate in Alaska Native cultural activities and community service projects; and
- Participate in development and mentorship opportunities with CIRI staff, executives, Board members, community leaders and other business professionals.
“CIRI summer internships are highly sought-after positions and each year we have more applicants than we have positions available,” Graham said. “We also don’t have positions within all the areas of interest at CIRI. This year, we got creative with placement.
“We have CIRI-funded positions with CIRI-affiliated villages and various nonprofit organizations, as well as a North Wind-funded position,” she explained. “We have interns who are working all summer, just a few weeks and/or part time. The focus was on not only meeting the needs of our interns, but on mutually beneficial placements.”
Please join CIRI in welcoming the 2019 class of summer interns!
CIRI internal placements:
- Rachel Crosley, Alutiiq, IT: Rachel first interned with CIRI in 2018 and is back again this summer, assisting the IT department with marketing the Granite shareholder records management system and other projects within the department. She is pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Ainsley Fullmer, Inupiaq, Corporate Communications: Ainsley will assist the Corporate Communications department with social media strategy, internal/ external communications and content production. She is entering her junior year at the University of Alaska Anchorage, majoring in social work with a minor in psychology.
- Aubrey Nay, Athabascan, shareholder programs: Aubrey is a former CIRI C3 Experience participant who will assist with preparations for this year’s camp. Her four-week internship began July 8.
- Jordyn Ransom, Athabascan, Human Resources and shareholder programs: Jordyn’s primary focus will be helping plan and execute the second annual CIRI C3 Experience, to be held Aug. 12-15 in Anchorage. She will also assist with Human Resources-related tasks. Jordyn is entering her senior year at California State University Fullerton, majoring in anthropology.
CIRI-funded external placements:
- Samantha Anaruk, Yup’ik and Inupiaq, Anchorage Museum: Samantha, a former CIRI Next Gen Day participant, Southcentral Foundation RAISE intern and Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program member, will assist the Anchorage Museum with its youth camps program. She is entering her sophomore year at the University of Alaska Anchorage, majoring in business management.
- Leeanne Smoke, Athabascan, Tyonek Tribal Conservation District: For four weeks this summer, Leeanne will assist the Tyonek Conservation District with its community garden program. She is originally from the village of Tyonek and recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Haskell Indian Nations University.
- Piper Tolbert, Athabascan, Story Works Alaska: Piper will assist Story Works with its story and college-essay workshops. She will also assist with these workshops as part of the CIRI C3 Experience. Piper is entering her junior year at Western Washington University, majoring in political science.
North Wind-funded placement:
- Cameron Ramos, Dena’ina Athabascan: Cameron will be based at North Wind’s South Carolina office, with potential exposure to different locations. He is entering his senior year at the University of Minnesota, majoring in environment science and Native American and Indigenous studies.