Are you fueled by a desire to make a meaningful impact on the world? If so, you’re in the right place. At Principia, you’ll gain a deeper sense of your identity in order to help elevate humanity. You’ll immerse yourself in abundant opportunities—gaining in-depth, hands-on experience while discovering infinite possibilities. These Principia College students are landing internships, engaging in research and creative assistantships, pursuing graduate degrees, and launching careers—all while finding purpose and making an impact doing what they love.
Learn more about Principia College's Career Center and how it can help you after college, including in graduate school.
Meet the Experience Makers
Jover Christianson (C’21)
Application Engineering Intern, Swoosh Technologies
From the time she transferred to Principia College, Jover can trace the path that landed her two internships with Swoosh Technologies, a branch of Siemens. She’d been attending Missouri Science and Technology where a traditional class size was 200 students. Although she enjoyed the school, she found it difficult to get all of her questions answered in such a large setting. That changed when she came to Principia.
“That one-on-one interaction with my professors really helped my education thrive.”
Her academic advisor connected Jover to Swoosh, and before she knew it, Jover was working on 3D CAD software, CAM design, manufacturing, NX software, and technical marketing.
Paige Lesko (C’22)
Congressional Intern, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler’s District 14 Office
Paige hadn’t expected to attend Principia College. She’d been actively involved in theatre and was looking at other schools to pursue performing arts. But when she learned that she could still perform at Principia while studying other disciplines, her decision was clear.
“Principia has so many flexible options for students like me who have interests all over the board.”
Paige is pursuing a mass communication major and political science and music technology minors. Her diverse interests and Principia classes were an asset to her throughout her Congressional internship. She received support from the Career Center, which was able to provide a stipend for the unpaid position.
Emma Lopez (C’22)
Student Software Developer, iFixit
“iFixit is cool because they’re investing in us as interns.”
It was Emma’s professor who announced the internship opportunity for iFixit to the Computer Science department, at which point she said, “Sign me up!” Emma’s role as a Student Software Developer gave her a lot of autonomy. If she saw an issue that she could tackle, she’d touch base with a Senior Software Developer before performing research and coding.
Emma hadn’t planned to attend Principia, but after learning about the number of female engineering graduates who were working at big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon, she changed her mind.
Charlie MacIntire (C’22)
Merchandise Expense Clerk, Costco
“My internship was a very cool experience.”
Charlie was part of a team that handles the roughly $3 billion in processed invoices annually for Costco. In addition to logging all of Costco’s legal and construction invoices, he worked on a data visualization tool for warehouses to better analyze their utility vendors.
Charlie drew from the concepts he’d learned in his accounting classes, along with the skills he’d gained from interacting with his professors. He appreciates Principia’s smaller class sizes and the unique perspectives of students.
“Principia draws people from all around the world. You meet a lot of cool people that hold similar values as you.”
Elliott Matthiesen (C’22)
Assembly Process Engineering Intern, Allegion PLC
Not many college students can say they spent their summer helping a company secure $220,000 in annual savings. But that’s exactly what Elliott did during his internship at Allegion PLC, where he designed a process to generate greater consistency and reduced operator interaction for one of their automated manufacturing cells.
Elliott appreciates his ability to participate in a variety of activities at Principia, which he doesn’t feel he could do at other engineering schools. The intimate environment of a small school and the professors’ approach to classes appeal to him.
“The professors here care more about their students. If you’re struggling, they help. That’s suited me well here.”
Luke McCutcheon (C’21)
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, ECONOMICS
Intern, Christian Science Practitioner Activities Department at The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston
“Find what you love and share it. If it’s meaningful to you, it’s surely meaningful to someone else,” Luke exclaims.
Luke’s appreciation for Christian Science led him to support others through a meaningful internship with the Christian Science Practitioner Activities Department at The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Along with supporting the department through research, communication, and administrative duties, his key role was guiding Christian Science Journal-listed Practitioners in creating their own professional websites. He relied on his courses at Principia to apply a business perspective to his work while undergirding it with a metaphysical approach.
Marie Sherman (C’20)
EDUCATIONAL STUDIES, GLOBAL STUDIES
Assistant Teacher, Sunrise of Africa School
“It was hands-down one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
That’s how Marie describes her internship at the Sunrise of Africa School in Nairobi, Kenya. As an assistant teacher, she taught lessons, facilitated activities, and led the children in singing, art, and games.
Marie hadn’t traveled much before college, but a leadership trip to Switzerland and her participation in the Greece, Italy, and Turkey Abroad inspired her to do more. She worked closely with the Career Center, which helped her secure financial support to make the internship feasible.
Noah Stewart (C’21)
GLOBAL STUDIES, POLITICAL SCIENCE
Research and Marketing Intern, Read to Rise
“You can do so much at Principia. If you have an idea of something you want to do, you can bring it up and there will be support to make it a reality,” says Noah.
One way Noah put this into practice was to arrange his internship during an academic semester, which allowed him to take advantage of other global-travel opportunities while still graduating on time.
It was his South African history course that inspired Noah to intern in Cape Town, South Africa, where he supported Read to Rise’s work in bringing books to economically challenged township families. His role required research, development, and production, which included finding out best practices for a non-government organization, marketing, fundraising, and producing a film.
Stephen Strong (C’20)
Inside Sales Representative, Dallas Stars
“The thing I like about sales is that you’re talking to real people. No call is the same—everyone you’re talking to is like a different puzzle,” Stephen says.
Stephen generated nearly $15,000 in new business for the Dallas Stars, a professional hockey team in Texas. He credits his success to the effective communication skills he gained in his political science classes at Principia College. He also leaned on the support of his advisors and the Career Center to secure his internship with the Stars.
“Principia made everything work for the Stars,” Stephen adds.
Tara Adhikari (C’21)
GLOBAL STUDIES, POLITICAL SCIENCE
Research Assistant, Summer Research/Creative Assistant Program
It was Tara’s role as director of Principia’s student-run Public Affairs Conference that landed her an internship at the State Department. She credits Principia for encouraging students to get involved and take on leadership roles.
“Principia gives you the confidence you need to take on responsibilities even if you don’t yet have the institutional knowledge. You can do any job you’re asked to do because you’re confident about your ability to learn,” Tara says.
Although COVID put a halt to her planned internship, Tara was able to work with the Economics Department to design research methodologies to analyze the economic environment and revitalization opportunities for nearby Alton, Illinois. She leaned heavily on the courses she’d taken as part of her global studies major and applied her knowledge of data collection to compile numerical data and visually present it in an understandable and digestible format.
Sally Abouchar (C’20)
ECONOMICS, BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Investment Banking Analyst, Deutsche Bank
Sally knew she wanted to go into finance early on, so she designed her own business administration major with a concentration in finance. She was impressed by how much effort and time everyone at Principia dedicated to her success, helping her build out the specialized courses she wanted to take.
It was the extracurricular activities at Principia that really prepared Sally for understanding the responsibilities of the professional world.
“Those opportunities gave me a chance to actually apply the large-scale dynamic thinking that Principia is so good at teaching into real-life situations.”
Kirill Kudaev (C’19)
iOS Engineer, Ancestry
Kirill developed three of his own mobile applications at Principia College, one of which had 20,000 active monthly users. He now works with an international team building iOS applications and developing software for Ancestry.
It wasn’t just his courses that prepared Kirill to master software development. He honed his skills as part of the Principia Mobile App and Virtual Reality Club, which allowed him to go beyond class work and pursue specific technologies.
“I think it’s very specific to Principia to have that kind of sponsorship where you can build your own club and have a group of people pursue their specific dreams.”
Ava Lesko (C’20)
Formulation Chemist, Spectrum Brands
Ava feels that her chemistry degree was everything it needed to be and that her work as a Summer Research Assistant at Principia College was a key talking point in getting internships at larger companies.
“A really unique thing about Principia is that you aren’t boxed into what you think you are or what you think you’re going to do,” says Ava.
At Spectrum Brands, Ava conducts research and development for new products, which includes researching new active ingredients and making formulas in the lab for testing. She interacts with everyone from a human-centered design engineer and active-ingredient chemist to packaging engineers, regulatory officials, and the marketing team.
Annika Marthaler (C’21)
Associate Product Manager, iFixit
Annika wanted to work for iFixit since high school. Although she’d found large tech companies like Google appealing, a summer stint at a startup made her realize she could make a greater impact in a smaller company. It was her close relationship with her computer science professor at Principia College that helped Annika secure project work with iFixit while still attending classes. This led to a winter internship that turned into a job offer prior to graduation.
“Principia attracts a high caliber of thought. It's unique to be around so many genuine people all in one place,” Annika says.
Leah Schaefer (C’19)
ENGLISH, POLITICAL SCIENCE
Research Assistant for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate
When Leah moved to Washington, D.C. after graduation, she didn’t have a job, but she knew she had the support of her Principia political science professors. She soon landed an internship that led to a permanent staff assistant position in the Senate.
When her boss, a senator, became the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Leah followed him to become a research assistant, allowing her to take on her preferred work in policy.
“It worked out better than I could have ever expected.”
Mason Switzer (C’19)
Mechanical Systems Design Engineer, Boeing
At Boeing, Mason is responsible for hydraulic system integration for the T-7A Red Hawk, the Air Force’s next-generation training system. His work involves the use of NX CAD (next-generation, computer-aided design), which is the same program he used as part of the solar car team at Principia College.
Mason had looked at engineering-specific schools before attending college but didn’t feel the overall experience would be much fun. He wanted a place where he could grow as a person. He chose Principia for that reason, as well as it being the best value for everything he could get out of an education and school community.
“Principia’s best asset is its tight-knit community,” exclaims Mason.
Austin Webster (C’20)
Vehicle Integration Attributes Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Austin works on exhaust intrusion and vehicle protection during transport at Ford. He credits his involvement in Principia College's solar car team and the Society of Automotive Engineers racing team (which is part of Principia’s co-op program with the University of South Dakota) for giving him a solid understanding of technical engineering skills.
“Principia's solar car program is unique, and unlike at other schools—here everyone is welcome to join and contribute.”
Sabrina Netherwood (C’20)
University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Sabrina arrived at Principia College hoping to graduate within three years and with no interest in attending graduate school. But, she ended up doing both.
She worked with her advisor to identify strong graduate schools, but was concerned that Principia's small size would put her at a disadvantage as an applicant to such highly competitive programs. Her advisor pointed out that Principia’s intimate academic environment was actually an extraordinary asset.
“My advisor, and her care for me as a student, played a big role in getting me to where I am today.”