Anchor Bank partnered with nonprofit organization UpTurnships™ to bring two interns to our banks this summer. UpTurnships helps under-resourced college students find paid internships – the students could be first-generation students going to college and/or speak English as a second language. Before even starting at their internship, UpTurnships trains the students so they’re prepared when they start.
Danzhen Lajia, of New Brighton, and Khadra Ibrahim, of Minneapolis, started at Anchor Bank on June 5. Lajia, whose family is from Tibet, came to the United States when he was 15 years old. Today he is a sophomore at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He joined Anchor Bank as a credit intern.
“My experience with UpTurnships is very good because they bring so many important speakers and people that we can all learn everything about business world,” Lajia said.
Ibrahim is a first-generation college student. The second oldest of nine kids, she is going to school at Augsburg College here in the Twin Cities. She joined as an IT intern.
“I like that I get to do something meaningful that’ll contribute to the company,” Ibrahim said. “UpTurnships is dedicated to turning college students into the best hires. It did just that for me through weeks of trainings prior to starting at Anchor Bank and through continuous coaching sessions afterwards, all of which I’ll always appreciate.”
The connection between Anchor Bank and UpTurnships started with Juleen Krings, Arleen Sullivan (both of Anchor Bank) and Julie Burrows founder of UpTurnships.
“After learning about UpTurnships from Julie, I was hooked by the UpTurnships mission to serve first-generation college students in helping them build successful careers,” Sullivan, who is the director of community banking, said. “The outcomes for us as a business were equally exciting – the training, coaching and guidance UpTurnships provides each student prepares them well for their internship experience. We are thrilled to provide a meaningful career experience for our interns, and know that they will add real value to our team.”
The interns typically work with companies for 10 weeks. In conjunction with their time at their internship, the students go back to UpTurnships, which is housed in Augsburg College, and continue to train and learn skills needed in the work force.
This is Anchor Bank’s first time partnering with UpTurnships. The nonprofit has been in existence for about three years, and already has seen growth and a real impact on the students’ lives. Now in its fourth summer, the program has grown from eight interns in the summer of 2014, to 25 in this summer’s class. Upturnships’ class this past December saw 86 percent of their alumni find jobs in their fields within two months of graduating from college.
“Something is really working,” said Burrows.
Many of the internships offered are through financial services companies, like Anchor Bank. UpTurnships’ intern Isabella Meschini said it made sense to partner with Anchor because it has similar values as UpTurnships.
“Anchor Bank really values relationships, and that’s a huge value in the UpTurnships community as well,” she said.