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Internships will launch BHS students into corporate workplace

Seven students attend school each morning at Burnsville High School and then head out to work in the corporate world.  

They were selected to participate in an internship program of Genesys Works, a not-for-profit organization that enables selected high school students to “break through barriers and discover through meaningful work experiences that they can succeed as professionals in the corporate world,” according to the website at  

Their internships are a year-long commitment. The students attend an eight-week training class during the summer focused on learning technical skills in information technology and business operations. They also participate in college and career coaching and training on professional skills required to succeed in today’s corporate workplace.

Now as seniors, they spend half of each day at internships with local corporations and earn up to $10,000. They’re gaining an insider view of the workplace and acquiring real-world skills they can use the rest of their lives.  

Steven Chua is interning at Optum in Eden Prairie. He’s providing desktop support and doing data recovery and other Informational Technology (IT) work. He’s learning a lot through the experience, including how to manage his time. Steven is not sure he’ll go into the IT field but he knows that IT knowledge will be good to have no matter what career he pursues.

Vanessa Kiriago is interning at Best Buy Corporation headquarters in Richfield and working with spreadsheets and databases. She enjoys analyzing data, crunching numbers and problem solving. In addition to gaining work skills, she sees this as an opportunity to build a professional network that will benefit her in many ways.

Their experiences are typical of BHS students who have participated in the Genesys Works internships during recent years, according to Marcia Sexton, College and Career Specialist at Burnsville High School. “They’ve gained confidence, and acquired skills and experiences to add to their resumes and college applications.”

Other BHS students in the internship program this year are:

  • Nivian Moraa at Lifetouch, Inc.

  • Hamdi Isse at Lifetouch, Inc.

  • Rayne Nelson at Best Buy Corporation

  • Abdirahman Yusuf at Optum

  • Bao Mac at Sun Country Airlines

“Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 is forging many partnerships with local businesses to create pathway experiences for students through paid and unpaid internships,” said Dr. Kathy Funston, the district’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Pathways. “Students can gain valuable experiences while they are in high school which will help them plan their future careers and be more college and career ready.”

If you are interested in becoming a partner of District 191, please contact Funston at (952) 707-6276 or

Photo: BHS seniors Vanessa Kiriago and Steven Chua are gaining an insider view of the workplace and acquiring real-world skills through an internship program.