TDS appreciates our interns every day, but this week our company is honoring them on National Intern Day, Thursday, July 27. Interns are an integral part to our team of associates here at TDS, and their hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed.

“Our Intern program has grown materially as we now have nearly 100 interns contributing to the growth and development of TDS each year,” said Drew Petersen, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs and executive sponsor of the Intern Associate Resource Group. “Our interns are diverse and geographically dispersed which adds to our culture and chemistry. From IT to Marketing, to Finance, HR, and beyond, interns play a pivotal role in generating deliverables that benefit our organization.”

Let’s hear from some of our incredible interns about their experiences at TDS!

Lacey Brown – Emporia, Kansas

I am part of the Network Services department working as an intern-Tech. I recently graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science in earth science and a minor in GIS, so I have been working with TDS for about 10 months. I am currently working on a fabric reconciliation project, where I use maps and different resources to verify serviceable locations for TDS and document that information into spreadsheets. One of the reasons I enjoy TDS is the flexibility offered by working remotely. TDS also provides amazing benefits for their interns which shows they want to invest in our future.

Cassandra Bruns – Elkhorn, Wisconsin

I work as a field service technician intern, so my main responsibilities within the department are to watch and help when I can in the field. I help carry tools and equipment into customers’ houses and help the tech locate wires in the house or pedestals in the outside plant. There are so many things I enjoy about working for TDS, especially that they all treat each other like family. For example, no one goes home until everyone is done with their work, and if we aren’t busy doing something we always help the other technicians. I am looking forward to working here the rest of the summer!

Verlene Dodds – Berthoud, Colorado

I work with Field Services as a field service technician intern. My main responsibilities are going to different jobs with other technicians and performing installs and helping figure out and solve trouble calls. My position is very hands on, allowing me to make coax and Ethernet cables and even complete jobs entirely by myself with supervision.

One of the things I enjoy most about working with TDS is the community I’ve found within my team. I am the first trans-woman to work with this department, and everybody has been extremely accepting and willing to learn more about me and my lifestyle.

Aaron Morgan – Orange County, California

I work in Network Services (specifically NS Network Construction) under Kelly Bohlman as a technical Intern. With a background in GIS software, I use ArcGIS Pro to create, edit, and maintain our fiber network within our GIS Database. I work within a team that assists in the maintenance and upkeep of our internal fiber network records. My job is to make sure our equipment out in the real world is also represented accurately in our online database. My team is in communication with engineering and IT to ensure that updates and changes to the database follows TDS’s best practices and standards.

I really enjoy interacting and collaborating with members of my team and the various other teams that I run into in my day-to-day work. GIS is rather tedious and requires attention to detail that can sometimes be daunting but seeing a certain town or city go from a few pieces of scattered equipment to a full fiber network is really satisfying. Working fully remote for a company based out of the central United States is fun too! Everyone on my team lives in a different part of the country so it’s always great to get together and collaborate with coworkers from different backgrounds.

Cindy Ponce – Lumberton, New Jersey

I work as an intern-Tech within the IT department. One of my main responsibilities includes analyzing and interpreting large data collections using GIS technologies. I also work analyzing government address data to TDS data to fix inaccuracies and supply data for government grants. What I enjoy most about working with TDS is their dedication to teamwork and fellowship, as well as providing excellent leadership and growth opportunities.

Riley Rice – Portland, Oregon

I work in the IT department as an IT intern but with a more specific focus as a software engineer intern. In this role, I work on the Internal Employee Tools team where I maintain and build internal tools. Additionally, I have been working on rebuilding TDS Telecom’s IT intranet page. One of the benefits of working at TDS so far is the kind and inclusive work environment. Everyone’s willingness to help has been beneficial in making this internship a formidable experience.

Zachary Schoen – Norfolk, Virginia

I work (remotely) on the Product Configuration team as an intern helping set up the product catalog in AJAX 01 and AJAX 02. I am mostly learning the ropes on how to configure products using Vlocity, CPQ, and the environments in SalesForce. After a product is configured in all environments it then goes on to be tested in Copado, a software that finds the bugs in how the new product relates to the rest of the catalog in the user’s experience.

The main reasons I like working for TDS Telecom are the elements of teamwork, encouragement to learn and even make a few mistakes, and emphasis on treating me like a peer (even as an intern). This helps make my integration into my team seem organic and helps give an honest glimpse into what it would be like to stay on after graduation.

Kinsey Smith – Berthoud, Colorado

I work with Field Marketing and special events. My main responsibilities include setting up, working, and tearing down marketing events as well as keeping promotional item inventory, calculating budget information, and writing about events. What I like most about working for TDS is interacting with potential TDS customers when I’m out at events. Talking to new people is a great way to get me out of my comfort zone and build interpersonal skills. I also enjoy all the hands-on opportunities because it feels like real, meaningful work.

I go to Chadron State College in Nebraska and compete on their women’s golf and wrestling teams. I’ll be going into my 5th year there and will graduate next May with a Master of Business Administration. I’m home for the summer in Colorado, which is why I’m in TDS’ Berthoud office. I’ve really enjoyed my internship so far and feel like I’m gaining valuable knowledge and experience in marketing through this opportunity.

Kristopher Spring – Hattiesburg, Mississippi

I am a GIS intern in Network Services. I am part of a team that is responsible for reconciling TDS’ Service Address records with federal address data to ensure accurate data and expand our service address capabilities. What I enjoy most about working for TDS is working for a company that is committed to its values and invests in its associates.

Ben Sukow – Madison, Wisconsin

I am currently a financial planning and analysis intern for our Finance team and more specifically the Fiber team. My main responsibilities revolve around monthly reporting along with quarterly forecasting and budgeting. The thing I have enjoyed the most about interning at TDS is the people I have gotten the chance to work with in my department. A majority of my internship has taken place while I was finishing school and they are always very accommodating about any problems or setbacks. I have always felt like a part of the team and comfortable with the people around me, making it easy to complete my duties.

Brianna Sun – Los Angeles, California

I joined TDS as project execution intern on the Project Coordination Committee. I work with the right-of-way (ROW) department to create permit tasks, request checks, and handle point of sale (POS). I also operate between various departments to make sure permits are handled and ready for construction crews.

The people are what making working at TDS so enjoyable! Everyone is so willing to help and go the extra mile to make sure projects are running smoothly and everyone is on the same page. I’ve learned so much about project management and execution during my time at TDS. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn and be a part of an exciting team and company!

Missy Stallard – Lafayette, Indiana

I am a GIS intern working in the OSPC Construction department for the West Region. Some of daily tasks include transferring project tasks over to Excel, updating partial and full redlines in ArcPro, entering completed invoices into PCE and project trackers, and helping other departments with their GIS needs such as map making or geocoding. I am also on the Intern ARG leadership committee, so I help create and host online events for new interns to attend.

I enjoy working for TDS because everyone is always so willing to help where needed. I didn’t come from a telecom background, so I didn’t know much coming into my internship. But I can ask as many questions as I want and there is always someone who can help. I enjoy working from home as well, and the fact they have benefits for interns is amazing! My supervisor also made sure I was supported in advancing within the company and set up individual meetings to keep track of my progress and allow me to ask questions if needed.

Working for TDS is one of the best opportunities I could have asked for, and I want to thank David Trauntvein and his entire team for making my internship so great and for supporting me as I advance in the company.

Amy Tong – Seattle, Washington

I’m a project execution intern in the Project Management team for ROW. Certain rotating responsibilities I have include assisting specialists/engineers in the process of acquiring permits, purchase orders, and handling check requests. I am grateful for how flexible my hours are since I’m still in school and to be working under a great supervisor here at TDS. Shout out to Tim Martin for always being supportive and understanding!

Caleb Wendhausen – Janesville, WI

I currently work with Field Marketing and special events. I assist with Field Marketing activities such as producing events, inventory management, or general communication with other departments. What I enjoy most about TDS is my co-workers. Everyone at this company is extremely kind and welcoming, and it’s inspiring to see people excited about the work they do.

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