#Indegitern is our career readiness campaign to highlight stories and reflections of Native students who have interned in businesses, organizations, agencies, and tribal communities across the country. Enjoy!

Student: Danelle Cooper

Tribe: Hopi, Tewa, Diné, Muscogee Creek

School attended during internship: Arizona State University (ASU), School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Year in school you completed your internship: 4th year Graduate Student

Where you did your internship: Virtually through Arizona State University

Duration of the internship:

1. What did you do at your internship?

My virtual internship at the University of Arizona was done with the help of my professors Dr. Amber Wutich and Dr. Cindi SturtzSreetharan. During the internship, I worked with Dr. Wutich and Dr. SturtzSreetharan on building research skills in qualitative methods and analysis for my dissertation. Online workshop lectures were provided for me to learn about qualitative methods. One main component of my internship was to communicate with virtually with members of an indigenous community. Through the approval of an International Review Board, I was able to conduct interviews via phone, Zoom, FaceTime, for my dissertation research.

2. What did you learn?

I learned qualitative methods and specifically how to apply them to my dissertation research. I gained a better understanding of how to develop codes, how to develop my own codebook, and how to use the qualitative software MAXQDA. Another skill I learned, was how to engage with the International Review Board at Arizona State University. I also developed skills on how to be less nervous while engaging with people during my dissertation interviews. Additionally, I am now familiar with the transcription software Otter.

3. What was the most challenging or scariest thing you encountered during your internship?

One of the most challenging things I encountered was learning remotely and doing interviews virtually. However, Dr. Wutich and Dr. SturtzSreetharan were there to support me and provided helpful online lectures for me to use. They reassured me that the methods I am using for the dissertation research are correct and valid. Through the Virtual Internship Program, The American Indian College Fund also supported me throughout the internship and helped me by providing funding to get the software I needed for my internship and dissertation.

4. What was the most rewarding thing you encountered during your internship?

The most rewarding thing I encountered during my internship, was working with truly wonderful people! I am grateful to have built relationships with College Fund’s Career Team, Dr. Wutich, Dr. SturtzSreetharan, and the people I interviewed. During these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am glad I was able to learn from all of these people, and to have their support. It means a lot to me, to know that there are people who support me on my journey in school and they have all helped me in many ways.

What information or advice would you share with others wanting to participate in an internship?

Information or advice that I would share, is please go for it and participate in an internship! I know it can be exciting and nerve wracking all at once, but the internship is a great way to build relationships with people and skills. Even if you’re not sure you will get the internship, apply and see what happens. You never know what opportunities will open up and what wonderful people you will meet.

Where you work now: Arizona State University as a Graduate Research Assistant

Link to information about your internship: https://shesc.asu.edu/