About Us

UpTurnships builds strong bridges between gainful, growth-minded employers in the Twin Cities and dynamic, diverse local talent who are motivated, ambitious and ready to be part of a new, more inclusive Minnesota workforce.

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UpTurnships is staffed by a driven group of change makers and supported by a team of dedicated volunteers which together are committed to creating a stronger, more sustainable workforce for our community. We strive to build bridges between high profile, high impact businesses and motivated, skilled, knowledgeable, yet under-resourced college students who are from demographics often underrepresented in their industries.

Through solid partnerships and strong networks, UpTurnships will work to close the wage and opportunity gaps for under-resourced groups, creating clear career pathways and increasing earning potential for the young professionals we serve. Our efforts will also provide training and resources to create more welcoming corporate cultures within the companies which support our work. Through thoughtful collaborations, UpTurnships can support a skilled, informed, capable workforce.

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Our History

Since 2014, UpTurnships has been dedicated to implementing a paradigm shift in how employers source, train, and hire college students & recent graduates.  


Three women started UpTurnships in 2014, based on their personal experiences:

Julie Burrows, Founder, felt a calling to help young people find work at a time when there were very few paid internships. From her corporate career and entrepreneurial endeavors, she brought an extensive network and extraordinary skills in product launches. She had also had a transformative internship in college, filled with training and insights to new career paths.  She wanted more college students to have this experience, especially those facing barriers to equitable hiring.


Libby Trader, co-founder, knew first-hand the challenges of a college student, as she paid her way through college while working full-time at night.  Additionally, her two sons graduated from college during the 2008 recession, which meant lay-offs led to oversupply of workers; so employers eliminated their training programs.  Her sons were challenged to enter a workforce that demanded 3-5 years of experience, which college alone didn’t provide.

Marianne Malko joined the team by offering her mentoring and coaching skills.  She brought tools and templates from her tenure at Johnson & Johnson, including Clifton StrengthsFinders, which helps college students reference a 3rd party regarding their skills and strengths. She has coached every class and is beloved by our UpTurnships Alums.


The first business model was to secure a grant from the church Julie & Marianne attend in order to pay “UpTurns”; who were assigned to small & medium size employers.  The team quickly saw that this model would not create enough internships, and relied on a ‘recruiter’ type of funding. Today, UpTurnships offers a proven solution for equity in hiring, to our employer partners who share a commitment to end workforce racial disparities.  


We are driven to match highly motivated college students to paid internships or projects; then we provide coaching and training for those “UpTurns”.  UpTurnships has been steadfast in continuously scaling up in order to achieve its commitment and vision to ensure that all college students have equal access to high quality, meaningful, paid internships and projects that will enhance their career pathway and future earning potential.  


Our Impact


of alums stay in the Twin Cities for full-time work


UpTurns have completed our program


have a full-time job within 2 months of graduation


wages paid in internships


of supervisors would recommend UpTurnships


2019 wages for UpTurns in full-time work

Meet the Team

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Executive Director


Director of Strategic Partnerships & Communications

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Program Coordinator


Partnership Coordinator

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Program Director


Senior Operations Coordinator


Program Coordinator


Communications Specialist

Business Advisors


Meet the Board

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SVP & Chief Transformation Officer, American Public Media Group

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UpTurnships Co-Founder

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NPWT Territory Rep, 3M

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UpTurnships Executive Director

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CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities

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Minneapolis Community Leader

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CEO, Sales Consultant, Second Story Sales Company


CFO, CaringBridge

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CEO, Rae Mackenzie Group

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President, UniPunch/Premax/Noble-X