Posts Tagged With: South Dakota

Visiting Sioux Falls and Yankton

I went to Sioux Falls and Yankton earlier last week to interview employees and to take pictures. My first stop was the State Penitentiary where I took pictures of two of the officers working in the control room. The fun part was walking through a narrow passageway in the basement and climbing up a spiral staircase to reach the control room. After taking pictures of the officers, I took some pictures of other employees and of the State Penitentiary. The best part was seeing some of the inmates working with puppies. I then interviewed a chemical dependency counselor and a mental health professional.

My next stop was going to the Department of Transportation to interview engineers, a project technician, and a maintenance supervisor. All of them were knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. I had the opportunity to see the laboratory where they use different equipment to analyze soil.

Next, I went to the driver exam station to interview one of the employees there. The driver exam station was quite busy, and I’m glad one of the employees took time out of his day to talk to us about what it’s like assisting different people that come into the exam station.

My last stop of the day was back at the Department of Public Safety to interview a police officer and her police dog. What was really cool was that she said commands to the dog in German. I also gained some insight about what it’s like to be a highway patrol officer.

The next day I traveled to Yankton to interview nurses, social workers, and mental health professionals at the Human Services Center. I never realized how large the center is and variety of services it offers. I’m not a fan of hospitals, but the center had inspiring quotes and photographs on its walls, and I felt at ease. The center had everything from recreation rooms to laboratories. I definitely gained a lot of insight about the complexities of mental illness. All of the employees I interviewed were knowledgeable and passionate about their positions.

Thank you for reading!

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Visiting S.T.A.R. Academy

Custer Sign

Custer Sign

The Custer area of South Dakota always amazes me. I traveled out to Custer on Monday morning to interview employees at the State Treatment and Rehabilitation (S.T.A.R.) Academy to create some video testimonials for the South Dakota Careers’ Youtube channel ( S.T.A.R. Academy is a treatment facility for adolescents in need of supervision and therapy.

As I was driving out to Custer, I saw thousands of emerald green pine trees and sparkling blue lakes. I was afraid I was going to get lost because I was distracted by the beauty of the area. I was hoping that I would see some bison, but I think they were under the trees for shade.

Star Academy Sign

Star Academy Sign

After I had lunch at Sage Creek Grille, I drove out to the boys’ campus at S.T.A.R. Academy. I met up with Scott Marsich, and he showed me around the Academy. He showed me all of the recreational activities available for the adolescents: a ropes course, Frisbee golf, gymnasium, recreation room, and a rock climbing wall. I asked him about some of the fences, and he said it was to keep the bison and other animals away from the area and to ensure the safety and security of the youth. He showed me the girls’ campus on Tuesday morning, and they had a softball field and a lovely gazebo area and church. The inside of both of the campuses had inspirational quotes, artwork, dorm rooms, and recreation rooms. The campuses reminded me of my summer camp days in Girl Scouts.

I interviewed youth counselors, teachers, and mental health professionals, and all of them were friendly and personable. One of the activities they were proud to show me was a sand box with toy figurines, and it’s a form of therapy where the adolescents talk about their past experiences. After interviewing everybody, I could tell that all of the employees deeply care about the adolescents and were almost like a family.

I definitely learned a few things about video interviewing:

1)      Always carry extra memory cards

2)      Ensure that the batteries are charged

3)      Try to limit the shakiness of the camera and background noise

4)      Carry extra pens for writing down information

5)      The tripod needs to be light and portable and easy to use

I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to visit S.T.A.R Academy and interview all of the employees. The Custer area is such a beautiful area, and I highly recommend visiting the area. Thank you for reading!



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Photographed by South Dakota Tourism

Photographed by South Dakota Tourism

Hello South Dakota interns,

One of the best summer holidays is tomorrow…Independence Day! Most of us know the history of how the United States gained its independence, but do you as a South Dakotan know how our state gained independence?

Dakota Territory was established in 1861, and settlement grew rapidly with people from eastern United States as well as people from western and northern Europeans.Gold was found in the black hills area during a military expedition led by George A. Custer in 1874, and miners and explorers began illegally entering the western half of South Dakota.

With the growing population in the Dakota Territory, President Benjamin Harrison signed the paperwork to formally admit both South Dakota and North Dakota into the union on Nov. 2, 1889 (he shuffled the papers, so no one knows which state is 39th and which state is 40th) with Arthur C. Mellette being the last governor of the Dakota Territory and the first governor of South Dakota.

Next year (2014) on Nov. 2 will be South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of its state independence. The governor will pick the 125th Birthday logo, and he will create a 125th Birthday Commission to create ideas and suggestions to promote the history of South Dakota and celebrate its independence.

So, South Dakota interns, wherever you may travel in the world, if people ask you about South Dakota’s government, you can share some history about how South Dakota gained its independence, and you can share how you’re proud to serve the people of South Dakota.

Thank you for reading and Happy 4th of July!

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Resume Advice

Hello South Dakota interns,

When I worked at the career services during college, I assisted more than 100 students with their résumés. The majority of the students made similar mistakes. I created this résumé infographic which includes the most important tips and guidelines for a good résumé (please always stick to a one page résumé). When you’re looking to move to a full-time position, you can now improve your résumé for job interviews.

Note: All of these tips are based on my experiences with working with students at the Career Services Center at St. Cloud State University. Every job area looks for different skills, experiences and education background on a résumé, and you should consider consulting with a professional in your career field for how to best format your résumé. You should also consider having a couple people in your college career services look over your résumé as well.

Thank you for reading!


Click here for a bigger view: ResumeInfographic

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Summer Solstice




Do you know what day is coming up this week? The summer solstice! (Summer is my favorite season in South Dakota.) I met a couple of interns at the Governor’s picnic that asked me what kind of things there is to do in Pierre during the summer. I started thinking about the summer activities that South Dakota has to offer for those interns who are new to South Dakota and to South Dakotan interns who wonder what is out there for them to do. I wrote up a list of 10 fun activities to do in South Dakota during the summer.

First, a few quick facts about the summer solstice:

• The solstice is when the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator, and it signifies the longest day of the year.
• Why isn’t the summer solstice the hottest day of the year? Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans absorb part of the incoming energy from the sun and store it then release it back as heat at various rates. Water is slower to heat (or cool) than air or land. At the time of the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy (highest intensity) from the sun due to the angle of sunlight and day length; however, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring’s temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. Eventually, the land as well as oceans will release stored heat from the summer solstice back into the atmosphere; this usually results in the year’s hottest temperatures appearing in late July, August, or later, depending on latitude and other factors. This effect is called seasonal temperature lag.
• Solstice comes from Latin roots: (sol) meaning sun and (stitium) meaning stop because the sun seems to stop at this time.
• This year the solstice happens on June 20 at 11:04 p.m. for Mountain Time Zone and on June 21 at 12:04 a.m. for Central Time Zone.
• In temperate regions, the sun is higher in the sky throughout the day with its rays striking Earth at a more direct angle during the solstice.
• The Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice happens during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer solstice.

Now, my list of 10 fun activities to do in South Dakota during the summer with URL links:

1. Have some fun camping and fishing at one of the state parks in South Dakota:
2. Attend Oahe Days in Pierre on June 21-23:
3. Walk through Storybook Land in Aberdeen:
4. See the historic Mount Rushmore:
5. Go swimming in Wild Water West in Sioux Falls:
6. Visit the historic Deadwood:
7. Tour through Cosmo’s Mystery Area in Rapid City:
8. Watch a hydroplane racing event in Chamberlain/Oacoma:
9. Drive your car through Bear Country in Rapid City:
10. Experience the scenery in Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City:

Explore the unexpected, South Dakota interns, with South Dakota summer activities!
Thank you for reading!

Mount Rushmore in 2007.

Mount Rushmore in 2007.

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Photoshop Tutorial Experience

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Photoshop Class Experience

Today I went to a Photoshop CS5 Level 1 Class. I wanted to learn more about how to alter images to make marketing materials throughout my internship look more interesting and captivating. I have had some Photoshop experience in the past, but the program has always looked intimidating to me because the list goes on and on about all of the capabilities it can do; I have always wanted to learn the fundamentals of Photoshop from a person.

The instructor was friendly, and she explained a little about copyright requirements, graphic types, working with layers, enhancing images, and saving images for web and print.

Some Photoshop tips:
1) Using copyright images from the internet is illegal—always ask the photographer/illustrator for permission. It’s better to use your own photos, buy stock photos, or adobe’s free photos.
2) CYMK colors are for printing purposes and RGB colors are for web purposes.
3) Working with individual layers allows you to select and manipulate images/text more easily
4) is a great resource for Photoshop tutorials.
5) The more key shortcuts you learn, the better. I learned Ctrl + D is for deselecting an image and Ctrl + T is for transforming an image.

I am thankful the Bureau of Human Resources gave me the opportunity to attend the Photoshop class, and with my internship I will have the opportunity to practice the skills I learned from the class.

Thank you for reading! =)


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Picnic Day for SD’s summer interns

[From left to right] Matthew Miller, Amy Berning, Sydney Thompson, Governor Dennis Daugaard

[From left to right]
Matthew Miller, Amy Berning, Sydney Thompson, Governor Dennis Daugaard

I started off the day with the Cultural Heritage Museum. I cannot remember the last time I went to the museum (probably seven years ago?), but I thought I check it out to learn more about South Dakota’s history. I learned that if I read everything in the museum, it would take a total of 5 hours. I then met two interns from the Sioux Falls area. They were very friendly, and I took some photos of them while they were interacting in the museum.

I toured the museum myself, and I really enjoyed all of the interactive activities, such as putting an old wooden desk together, pretending to be a stakeholder for the Oahe Dam, milking a fake cow, and pretending to be a telephone operator (Who doesn’t like to eavesdrop on conversations?).

This afternoon I attended the governor’s picnic, and I really enjoyed my conversation with two interns (Amy and Matt) while we were eating lunch. We also had the opportunity to take a picture with Governor Dennis Daugaard. The lunch was from Qdoba, and I thought it was absolutely delicious (kudos to the caterers).

The tour of the State Capitol was my last stop for the day, and I was very happy the tour guide was Pierre’s very own Uncle Matt. He’s such a friendly guy, and he was incredibly knowledgeable about the details of the State Capitol. He informed us that there are a limited number of blue tiles on the floor because each tile represents one of the floor tiles’ artists. He also informed us about an upside down marble rail post. Nobody knows for sure why one of the rail posts is upside-down. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the governor’s office. Uncle Matt also talked about all of the restorations that people are doing to make South Dakota’s State Capitol as authentic as the original.

Well, I had a lovely day, and I’m so thankful that South Dakota State Government provides opportunities for interns to further our careers and meet new people.

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Summer intern for Bureau of Human Resources

Sydney Thompson

Sydney Thompson

Hi there!

My name is Sydney Thompson, and I am currently a marketing intern for Bureau of Human Resources. I just graduated from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, in May with a degree in Mass Communications (emphasis in public relations) and a minor in Spanish. I will be attending Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in Public Communications & Technology.

I applied for this marketing internship because I want to gain more writing and graphic design experience, and I want to help South Dakota’s government recruit talented individuals.

Feel free to follow this blog as well as liking SD Careers’s facebook page and following us on Twitter @careerssd.

Thank you!

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