Intern Peter Schurhammer.
Art Unlimited is a Northern Minnesota software, website development and marketing company. Since 2017 they’ve maintained a steady workforce of incoming talent by hiring web development interns through the SciTech Internship Program. Four of those interns joined Art Unlimited fulltime after graduation, and Seth Grabowski was one of them.
Hired in October of 2020, Grabowski’s internship was also his first experience working within the industry. Since then, he’s done everything from website development for clients to helping with user interface designs for inhouse programs.
Joining him this spring are two new interns: Ryan Cahoon, a Computer Science Major from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Peter Schurhammer, a Comp Sci Major from Winona State University.
“We have a couple of projects that are really close to being completed,” said Trevor Winger, a Manager at Art Unlimited. “One of them is an offer to build smaller, more affordable sites to clients that traditionally cannot afford it. And in the case of Peter here, we believe that he has a lot of potential. He’ll be able to build out that service and provide additional insights into building better services from there once he gets familiar with the job role.”
You teach me and I’ll teach you
From the beginning, Art Unlimited has recognized the valuable contributions that interns bring to their company. In return, the AU team goes the extra mile to give their students every opportunity to learn and grow, even sending them to educational conferences later this summer.
“The concept is that Ryan and Peter, along with Seth and other direct hires, will attend these professional development conferences,” explained Mike Poaletti, an Operations Manager at Art Unlimited. “We want to invest in these smart people over time and afford these opportunities for continued growth and development in their role.”
But the interns aren’t the only ones learning something new. As mentors, the AU team are finding new ways to lead and develop professionally.
“When you have someone new coming on, there’s a huge learning curve,” said Winger. “Working with people who are this new has really extended and pushed the boundaries of my abilities as a manager. I’ve been able to grow a ton working with the SciTech interns. It’s been a great experience.”
Taking pride in your work
All three interns, past and present, said they were grateful for the friendly and helpful atmosphere they found at Art Unlimited and were pleased with the progress they’d made.
“I’m proud of the home page I made,” said Cahoon. “I’m having fun talking with people and learning a whole lot.”
Last quarter, Grabowski recalled, he learning the basis of React. “I ended up working on that a lot more than I thought I was going to. I even made a small website with secret passwords and some other cool stuff. I was pretty proud of that […] I’ve learned how much I personally care about this.”
“This is my very first experience with fulltime employment,” added Schurhammer. “At the beginning, I thought it was going to be long and a huge learning curve for me. But, I remember at the end of my first week I was like, ‘that didn’t even feel like a job.’ It felt amazing and I was actually excited for the weekend to be over with so I could clock back in and get back to work. I don’t treat this like a job, I treat it as something I really enjoy doing.”