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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 28, 2007

Des Moines Center internship program adds five students for fall semester

The second semester of the University of Iowa's Des Moines Internship program is under way, with the number of participants jumping from 15 students to 20 since the first program last spring.

"The first internship program was extremely successful and word about it spread quickly among students and members of the Des Moines business community," said Gerald Wickham, director of experiential learning in the Pomerantz Career Center at the University of Iowa.

The program, sponsored by the Pomerantz Career Center, brings University of Iowa undergraduate students to Des Moines for paid semester-long internships, a unique course focused on Iowa, and exclusive networking and guest speaker events. The program introduces students to Des Moines' rich career and cultural opportunities.

The students are studying 20 different majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Tippie College of Business. Their internships are at such businesses as Aviva USA, the Civic Music Association, Wells Fargo, Allied, The Principal Group and the City of Des Moines.

"The scope of the program is wide-ranging and stimulating," said Wickham. "Our students are highly capable for the challenge and the business environment in Des Moines is perfect for this comprehensive program."

Current participants say the program gives them a unique opportunity to learn more about Des Moines while also learning more about their potential careers.

"My internship with C.H. Robinson Worldwide is a great opportunity that will help me to identify which aspect of business I want to focus on in my future career," said Zach Star, a finance major from Blue Grass. "Right now, I am learning a lot and looking forward to more and more responsibility."

In addition to interning at premier companies, the students also receive mentoring from motivated young professionals, already successful in their transition from college to Des Moines' exciting professional scene.

The program also includes visits with business leaders like Marvin Pomerantz, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, and successful young professionals in the Des Moines area, as well as a tour of Terrace Hill, the state's governor's mansion.

The interns will also perform civic service in partnership with several metro and regional charitable organizations. Among the projects are teaching economics to area fifth graders and various projects with the American Cancer Society.

Among the Des Moines Center interns this fall are (this includes the student's name, home town, internship and major):

Toni Chrisman, (Des Moines), investment analysis intern, AVIVA, Finance.

Vanessa Hauser, (Dubuque), membership development intern, Iowa Historical Foundation, Journalism

Tim Huegerich, (Ankeny), communications intern, Iowa Communications Network, Psychology.

Stefan Jensen, (Ames), global performance intern, Principal Financial, Finance.

Dave Long, (Cedar Rapids), public television intern, Iowa Communications Network, Communications Studies.

Alex Ragias, (Grinnell), investments operations, AVIVA, Finance.

Elizabeth Schoell, (Champaign, IL), Channel 7 Des Moines Public TV intern, City of Des Moines Public Information Office, Communications Studies.

Zach Stark, (Blue Grass), logistics management intern, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Finance

Thomas Sullivan, (Humboldt), marketing intern, Des Moines Public Library, English.

Brian Schmitt, (Dubuque), project management intern, Junior Achievement of Iowa, Finance.

Robert Strutt, (West Des Moines), foundation development, Junior Achievement of Iowa, Communications Studies.

Bryan Emery, (Ankeny), economic development, State Budget and Finance Bureau, Finance, minor Chemistry.

Jeremy Schrader, (Des Moines), events management, Science Center of Iowa, Communications Studies/Business.

Pomerantz Career Center provides services to students and alumni from The University of Iowa. Services available include career and major exploration, assessment tools, career advising, job and internship search resources such as the UI Employment Expo, and an online recruiting system.

The Pomerantz Career Center hosts several career fairs annually, career education programs for students, mock interviews and many other programs and services. The office is located at C310 Pomerantz Center, on Market Street and the Cleary Walkway in Iowa City. For more information, call 319-335-1023 or visit

For more information please contact Gerald Wickham, Pomerantz Career Center, 319-335-1023 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,