Q&A: Seniors Interning Abroad

Seniors Sonia Haddy Sanyang and Christian Abera both took internships overseas during Interim this year. Hear how they landed these prestigious positions and their plans for the future.

Sonia Haddy Sanyang

Year: Senior
Internship: Marketing Intern for Sanford World Clinics
Major(s): Business administration with a marketing emphasis. Minor in computer information systems.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I was born in Houston, Texas, but lived in Ghana, West Africa, since I was about five years old.

I chose Augustana because it was an ideal place to study, also the community and involvement of the students with one another attracted me. The also offered a great scholarship! The school offers a family away from family, and this I have been blessed to experience.

Q: How did you find out about this internship with Sanford World Clinics?

A: I took a class in health care marketing in the spring of my junior year with assistant professor Jaciel Keltgen (Business Administration). It was a very interesting class that sparked my interest in the field. We had speakers from various health and marketing related fields come to speak to our class periodically, including Stephanie Jurgens and Kristen Thorkelson, two marketing directors from Sanford Health. It was from this that I got to know about Sanford World Clinics mission to provide primary health care to areas in Africa, which included Ghana, and areas around the world such as China and Mexico. Professor Keltgen, my advisor and marketing professor, also encouraged me to apply as we discussed my interest in it.

Q: What was the application process like?

A: The process was not cumbersome at all. I sent in a resume attached with my interest to intern with the organization. Included also was an interview with Kylie Huether, the project manager.

Q: Were you excited/nervous to go? Explain.

A: I was excited to begin the internship because I wanted to learn more about marketing in healthcare and also share some ideas from the place I called home for most of my life. To me, it was the opportunity of a lifetime! I get to bond two parts of me into one, and that is my growth experience back home, and my learning experience, here in the United States.

Q: What have you enjoyed the most?

A: I have enjoyed working on the marketing projects I have been given so far because they present me with the opportunity to learn more, challenge me to improve upon my research and analytic skills, and offer my perspectives as well. I have also enjoyed working with the team in America and some members of the team in Ghana. It has been a wonderful learning experience so far.

Q: What do you hope to take away from this experience?

A: I hope that after this internship, I will better understand what all goes into marketing healthcare, and understand how culture plays a role in marketing as well. Also I hope to equip myself with the tools that will make me a successful worker in healthcare marketing.

Q: Future plans?

A: I see myself working in marketing in the field of healthcare, and hope to channel all my learning experiences from Augustana and this internship with Sanford World Clinics into that.


Christian Abera

Year: Senior
Internship: Accounting Intern for Deloitte & Touche Accounting
Major(s): Business and accounting.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I’m originally from Ethiopia. I chose Augustana mainly because of the quality of education provided. Augustana offers professional accountancy and since I’m working towards my CPA it is a huge benefit.

Q: How did you find out about this internship with Deloitte & Touche Accounting?

A: Working at Deloitte has been my dream job. I found out about the internship at Deloitte through an annual students conference held by NABA (National Association for Black Accountants).

Q: What made you apply?

A: The people I met at the conference were very enthusiastic and energetic. Every firm I visited offered the same/similar services but Deloitte’s employees were quite interesting. I really wanted to be a part of Deloitte so I went ahead and applied.

Q: What was the application process like?

A: The application process was not different from any of the other firms. It involved an application form, and two interviews.

Q: How did you prepare for this trip?

A: It was easy for me to prepare for this trip since the internship was being offered in my hometown. Because of this opportunity I got to visit my family and have a great experience at Deloitte.

Q: Were you excited/nervous to go? Explain.

A: I was extremely excited to go back home for the internship since I hadn’t been home in over three years. A part of me was nervous since I didn’t know what to expect in the real life setting at a workplace.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge?

A: The biggest challenge so far has been working online where the Internet availability is scarce. While working on projects the Internet would switch on and off due to electricity availability which was a little frustrating at first.

Q: What have you enjoyed the most?

A: Consistent high level of responsibilities/assignments I’ve received on the projects I’ve been on.

Q: What do you hope to take away from this experience?

A: I want to have an on-hand experience in the finance department since it’s one of the departments I’m interested in. This is a great experience since I’ll get to know what I’ll face in the future if I choose to specialize in the finance department.

Q: Future plans?

A: I plan on finishing my 150 credit hours so I can sit for the CPA exam. Afterwards I plan on working for a CPA firm like Deloitte.