Zach Nelson

2016 - UpTurn Twin Cities Habitat For Humanity

             Human Resources Assistant

2017 - Full-time Job: Benefits Specialist at Xcel Energy

​Zach Nelson – 2016 MIP (Most Improved Person)

Zach Nelson is an Eddie Phillips scholar student who came to UpTurnships looking for an internship before his senior year. As a business management major at Concordia University-St. Paul, Zach yearned to improve diversity in corporations by working in Human Resources. He just didn’t know how to reach his goal.

Marianne Malko, Zach’s coach at UpTurnships, said: “Zach is THE UpTurn who grew the most out of the 23 UpTurns in 2016. He joined us in May with little business experience in HR. He did such an outstanding job at Twin Cities Habitat that he was asked to continue working part-time during his last year of college! Zach cares deeply about giving back to the team the company, and to youth – hence his role in mentoring of youth basketball.”

Beyond his hard work, we look up to Zach for his supreme moral compass and outstanding character! Zach now works full-time in HR at Xcel Energy.

​Dulce’s Results

Dulce is an example of a fearless UpTurn who sees her potential and uses it to her best ability. She came to UpTurnships as a sophomore with little professional business experience. As an UpTurn, Dulce needed a little reassurance, and her confidence led her see the path she wanted to take in her career. She writes:

“UpTurnship was the foundation of my professional career. All the coaches, guest speakers, and students that participate in UpTurnships have a passion for growth and helping others flourish. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the all the guidance and knowledge UpTurnships has provided me!”

Dulce’s attention to detail has given UpTurnships great results too. She referred a fellow colleague from St. Catherine University, Rita Bernardo. Rita is an Economics student at St. Kate’s who is bringing her talent to Sun Country this summer. We love seeing our current and past UpTurns network and build relationships. Thanks for the great referral, Dulce!

Dulce Ocampo

2016 - UpTurn TCHabitat & Firefly Sisterhood
    Communications and Photography Intern
2016 - 2nd Internship: Food Safety Division

   3M Inside Sales Representative

Mariah Miller

2014 - UpTurn 

2015 - 2nd Internship – Travelers, St. Paul

​Mariah’s Persistence

We nearly missed Mariah Miller. Her two-page résumé looked like she wanted to be a singer or a model. We passed on interviewing her until we received this email from her Advisor:

“I wanted to connect with you regarding Mariah Miller. I know you did not select her for an interview but I really feel Mariah is a student who will benefit from the internship experience. First and foremost, she has e-mailed and called me twice since having submitted her résumé. Essentially, she’s the only student who has followed up. Could you please consider her again?”

How could we say no to one of our top referrers? Then once we interviewed her, Marianne saw her drive first. Along with good marketing skills, Mariah came with inspiration – six month old Brendan. You can see that drive in this email we received from after receiving an internship with UpTurnships:

“Good Afternoon. I am so grateful and humbled to be accepted into this program. I will take advantage of this opportunity to bring creativity and value to the program and to gain more knowledge for later in life. If there is anything at all you need from me, please don’t hesitate to call. I anxiously await this internship. Thank you again and I look forward to working with each of you.”

Mariah’s confidence soared as part of our first class of UpTurns. She prepared and led presentations for the Page Foundation and Minnesota Representative Terry Bonoff. Later that fall she interviewed and received an offer at Travelers for her next summer internship. After completing that internship, we received this news:

“I have secured a full time permanent position at Travelers Insurance post college graduation as an Account Executive – Underwriter. This will have tremendous impact on my family, as I will be able to provide for my son with ease. I miss you all dearly!”

Mariah’s days are full, working full-time and running after 4-year-old Brendan. Her story of drive and family support inspires us all.

​Mutaz’s Legacy

Mutaz Alnaas came to UpTurnships in 2015 as a sophomore from Macalester College. He became our first intern at Sun Country, winning his Business Analyst Intern position due to his strong academic record and his double major in Economics and Math. Throughout the summer, he was supervised by Rex Boutelle, a fellow Macalester Alum.

Mutaz wanted his next internship in analytics. After discussing options with his coaches, he approached several consulting firms. In October of his Junior year, he sent us this email:

Dear Coaches,

I am sending you this email as I wanted to share some good news with you. Yesterday I had my Mega-day interviews with Ernst & Young for their transfer price summer internship and it went great.

Later that afternoon I was contacted by HR and was given an offer that I couldn’t refuse. During the phone call they mentioned that they were impressed by my communication skills, and ability think on my feet along side with the work I have done at Sun Country. I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for your hard work and great teaching throughout the summer, and for that I am truly grateful.

Much appreciation and gratitude,


Mutaz Alnaas

2015 - UpTurn Sun Country 
Business Analyst Intern
2016 - 2nd Internship:Ernst & Young 
Transfer Pricing Intern
2017 - Full-time Job:Ernst & Young 
Research Consultant

This internship turned into a full-time job offer last summer. One year later, Mutaz starts his full-time job with E&Y in Minneapolis in July.

Mutaz has left started three legacies at UpTurnships:

  • Sun Country: Sun Country has hired six interns from UpTurnships since Mutaz’ strong performance in 2015.
  • Macalester UpTurns: six Macalester students are in the UpTurnships thanks to Mutaz’ referrals. His internship was on the front page of Mac’s website last fall.
  • E&Y: Mutaz blazed the trail to E&Y, as two other UpTurns in a Full-time job and a 2nd internships.

We are honored to work with you, Mutaz, a true professional. We can’t wait to see your legacies grow.

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