A chance cultural encounter at a community event lands Sonja Tinjum ’15 an internship.
While attending a Holiday Treats and Tours event at the Comstock House in December, Tinjum met Amanda Nordick, site manager of the Victorian showcase home and the executive director of Nordic Culture Clubs (NCC). Tinjum’s passion for scandinavian culture became apparent and Nordick encouraged her to apply for an internship with the NCC - which she did. She began her internship in January.
Tinjum, a Scandinavian Studies major, is originally from Powers Lake, N.D.
Working to preserve Nordic cultures, the NCC works with six Fargo-Moorhead Scandinavian clubs to publicize events, maintain connections and provide educational opportunities for the community.
“I have spent most of my internship learning to plan large events and reach out to volunteers, performers and sponsors,” Tinjum says. “Learning the ins and outs of advertising, planning and communication between groups associated with NCC has been challenging but fun.”
The club has two large events each year and Tinjum has played an integral part in the planning of each.
In February, the club hosted its annual Nordic Gala – an event to thank supporters and raise additional funds for the June event, the Midwest Viking and Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival.
“It was so much fun to see all the elements come together – to see things move from idea to reality,” Tinjum says.
More recently, Tinjum has been planning activities, advertising and organizing a volunteer system to prepare for the Hjemkomst Festival.
“I feel like Concordia has given me the tools I have needed in regard to speaking, writing and brainstorming. I was able to step into this internship with confidence,” she says.
The internship, she says, will help her achieve her post-college goals of working with Scandinavian-American organizations or in a cultural museum.
“This internship has given me the opportunity to network with people in many different disciplines, and I’m hoping it will help me find work that is meaningful to me – whether in museum studies, Scandinavian studies, or nonprofit or marketing work,” Tinjum says.
“This is more than a class assignment because I get to see how my work impacts the community and how it represents the Nordic Culture Clubs,” Tinjum says. “I love seeing an idea become a reality and then learning how it impacts individuals.”