Fargo was named Best City for Finding a Job by U.S News & World Report and, according to Forbes, it is ranked second in the nation for the lowest unemployment rate. Those are pretty hopeful statistics for students who are anxious about finding a job after graduation.

Along with ample jobs, there are also plenty of internships in the Fargo-Moorhead area, no matter what field you want to go into. Emerging Prairie, a business in downtown Fargo, has created the “The Intern Experience” to help the many interns in Fargo-Moorhead network with one another and gain professional and personal development as interns.

Photo: Fargo Interns

Annie Wood developed the program last summer and is now the program director. “The idea came from wanting to invest in interns. We want them to have a great experience in Fargo-Moorhead for the summer and to make an impact while they're here. If they have a good experience, they're more likely to do another internship in the area or recommend internships to their friends.”

The program is eight weeks long and includes eight sessions with “learning lessons” that interns can directly apply to their positions. Four sessions also include presentations and learning sessions hosted by various community leaders. This summer, there are 65+ interns from more than 25 local businesses who are involved in the program.

Photo: Emerging Prairie

Some of those interns just happen to be Cobbers. Justin Odney '17, an intern at Emerging Prairie, was in the program last summer as well. “The Intern Experience has been extremely beneficial as a young professional in the Fargo-Moorhead community. It has provided me with a vital connection point with my peers, as well as materials for standing out as an employee. Most importantly, I’m able to connect with interns in the community to create a network of connections that extends far beyond the confines of a traditional classroom setting.”

Maddie Little '17 is a first-time participant. “I love the ‘real-life’ aspect of meeting other interns simply to practice networking. Getting connected with what's going on in Fargo and seeing other young people being a part of it is exciting. It’s also encouraging to see the stellar Cobber connections; I see ‘the ring’ on the daily when meeting new people.”

[The Intern Experience] has provided me with a vital connection point with my peers, as well as materials for standing out as an employee. – Justin Odney '17

Program goals include networking with fellow interns and community members, development of soft skills, and equipping interns with the skills and knowledge that they can bring back to their campuses and future careers.

“The experience has really allowed me to think about the different ways a person can be a leader. I learned how I can be a leader as an intern, and it allowed me to imagine how I will lead in my future career,” says Kallie Eberling '17.

If you’re interested in learning more about the program or participating in the future, visit Emerging Prairie's website.