Real World On Campus

Four years. Four internships.

As a student, senior Mari Stensgaard, an English and journalism major from Rapid City, South Dakota, has had her share of real-world work experiences.

Q. What’s the best part about living on campus?
A. I’ve lived in the dorms all four years, and that’s something I’d never go back and change. Living on campus truly immersed me in the Augustana community. The people in the dorms have been my family at Augie. They’ve seen my best and worst moments, and sharing those experiences has created bonds that are so unique. Many of my most cherished friendships began in the dorms, and I know they’ll be life-long.mari stensgaard

Q. Why did you choose Augustana?
A. I began thinking about Augie early in high school. I did go through a time when I was dead-set against it because I thought I wanted to go further away from home. After my tour though, I pretty much knew Augie was it. I wanted a small school. I wanted a tight-knit community. I wanted a place where I could live in light of my faith, but at the same time, be challenged by new experiences and new people. After being on campus, I felt welcome and at home at Augustana; I felt like I had a place where I could be me, but grow at the same time. And it’s amazing because four years later, I can say I’ve gotten all of these things and so much more.

Q. What are you involved in on campus?
A. I’ve been involved in a number of things over my four years. I’ve been on both The Mirror [student newspaper] and EDDA [yearbook] staffs. I’ve been a peer advisor in the dorms, a tutor in the Writing Center, and I work in the Office of Admission as a student ambassador.

Q. What internship experiences have you had so far?
A. I’ve had four internships while I’ve been at Augustana, and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned from each one. I’ve learned more about what I want to do after college in the working world, but also about who I want to be as a person. I’ve been deeply affected by the people I’ve interned for, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. They’ve helped me identify what I can do, what I’m good at, and they’ve challenged me to think about what I’m truly passionate about. I’ve learned how to be confident in my own work, and how to apply my classroom knowledge to the workplace. And today, what is amazing is the network I’ve built—the contacts I’ve made. I feel like I have a huge support system not only at Augie, but also in Sioux Falls. That will be invaluable come spring when I’m looking for a job.

I interned at The Empire Mall (corporate: marketing intern); Lutheran Social Services (non-profit: grant writing intern); The Outdoor Campus (the educational branch of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks/government: PR intern); and at a local small business (small business: business communications intern).

It’s so cool I’ve been able to work for all of these different entities.