From camper to intern, seeing MBV from every perspective

Do you know what it takes to run a summer camp? That’s exactly what I learned this summer.

My name is Kallie Nichols and I will be a sophomore at San Diego State University this year studying Communications. This summer, I was given the opportunity to be the Minnesota Business Venture (MBV) Summer Intern.

I attended MBV in 2010 as a participant. At Eden Prairie High School, I was really involved in DECA & Business Professionals of America (BPA), so the idea of a summer business camp really excited me. I came to camp knowing one friend from high school, but left having made friendships with students from around the state. I felt like I could do anything I wanted to in my career after hearing all of the speakers at camp. I had such an incredible experience, I wanted to come back as a CEO; so, in 2011, I was back! Again, I created new friendships and gained so much knowledge about leadership and career development. After leaving camp, I was sad because I couldn’t come back again as a CEO or a camper!

My company at St. John’s University in 2010.

I was in the airport coming back to Minnesota for the summer when I saw a Facebook post about BestPrep hiring a summer intern. I jumped at the opportunity and a few weeks later, I had my first day as the intern! In the beginning, I was most excited about being at camp and getting to experience MBV again; little did I know, I would get to see exactly what it takes to run a summer camp.

My RBL, Cale Nelson of Travelers, and I at St. Cloud State University in 2011, repping Company O.

My first day was not the typical first day on the job. I went to a Youth Summit with Janae where representatives from non-profits in Minnesota got together and shared successes and failures they are currently having within their organization. Right away, I got to see the big picture of what the non-profit community looks like in Minnesota, and I was able to share my MBV experiences. The second day was not so typical, either. We went to a board meeting where I met many members from BestPrep’s board. Immediately, I was thrown in to network with business professionals from all walks of life.

The next few weeks were spent preparing for both sessions of MBV. I learned that organization and attention to detail is important while trying to plan a camp. I was able to help out with all different aspects of preparation for camp. I did things such as planning Minute to Win it and Corporate Olympics, developing the student notebook, and putting together companies. When you are at camp, you don’t realize all of the hard work that goes into every detail of the day. I was able to see all of things that were done so I could attend camp, and I was able to help make camp possible for 340 high school students from 111 schools.

Janae and I leading “rollercoaster” at Junk Night during 2013’s MBV session at St. John’s University.

Actually attending camp was absolutely the highlight of not only my internship, but of my summer. This time, I was able to step back and really see the impact that MBV has on so many students. I was able to see nervous students walk into their first interview and walk out with their head held high excited about the feedback they had just received. I met with, trained and assisted speakers, financial planners and other business professionals when they volunteered on campus. I also saw companies who had worked so hard on their business plan, cheering as they walked out of the room after presenting to the judges.

It’s hard to even list all of the things I have learned during my internship, because there are so many! Every day I learned something new about myself and how to efficiently work with others. I also learned even more about leadership, organization, planning, and the path I would like to take my career.  I will always remember my time as the intern for MBV and will be thankful for everything that I learned along the way!