Life in the Sprint lane
Heather Burton of Kansas City might be in Sprint's graphic design department, but being an intern means constantly jumping into different roles. The day I visit the company's Overland Park headquarters, Burton has spent her whirlwind morning both in front of and behind the camera.
"Do a happy dance!" She instructs a fellow intern. As he leaps into the air and pumps his arms, Burton picks up her camera. She steps closer. She gets the shot.
This picture-- and others which feature Burton posing as a Sprint customer-- will be used to train retail employees.
“The biggest challenge is how fast it moves,” 21-year-old Burton says of her summer internship. She explains that at UMKC, where she studies studio art and graphic design, she usually gets a month to complete projects.
Here, she gets a day. Stepping away from the green screen, she reaches for her laptop to upload and edit the photos. After I leave, she’ll create videos and undertake the daunting task of bringing Sprint’s digital graphics to life.
And she’ll play in a company game of ultimate frisbee. All before lunch.
She’s staying ‘Up to Date’
Like Burton, KCUR intern Marleah Campbell is a Kansas City native. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wyoming, she’s back.
“Once I came back, it made me realize there’s so many opportunities in this town,” Campbell reflects. “Our sports scene, our culture scene, our history… it’s a really cool place to be and there’s always something big happening. It’s an exciting place to pursue a career in journalism."
Campbell embraces these opportunities as a team member on the channel’s “Up to Date” radio show. On a daily basis, she pitches story ideas, does research, hangs in the producer’s booth and chats with some of the most accomplished Kansas Citians: “Up to Date’s” sources and guests.
Recently, Campbell wrote an article on guest Erin Smith, a Lenexa teen developing tools to detect Parkinson’s. Though other publications have told Smith’s story, Campbell’s short, readable take dispenses with scientific lingo and lets readers get to know Smith.
From India to America
Abhash Shrestha, a 21-year-old intern at H&R Block, is worthy of being a guest in Campbell’s booth. Before scoring his summer position in product development, Shrestha did taxes for his friends and classmates. He found the typically confusing process easy and fascinating.
Though Shrestha was already a tax expert, his internship has taught him something.
“Before this, I didn’t think that I was a leader,” he shares. “I always thought I was much more into data and analytics. I didn’t know I could get excited by leadership and meeting more people.”
Shrestha relishes the chance to attend meetings and work with various departments. As an international student at Truman State University, he’s always up for a new adventure.
“I finished middle school in India, and high school in Thailand, so I thought, "why not America?"
As for his move to Kansas City, Indian food played a part. Shrestha shares that he often drove to Kansas City on weekends to meet with friends and try new restaurants.
With an incredible internship and his future wide open, it’s safe to say Kansas City has come to mean much more.