This summer, Mahlander’s is fortunate to have two talented young women on staff as interns in our lighting sales department. Mattie and Anna are both students at the South Dakota State University School of Design, and we are excited to have them aboard. We’ll take this opportunity to introduce you to both of them.
Hailing from Columbus, Nebraska, Mattie will be a junior next fall at SDSU where she’s also a member of the dance team.
Her other passion is design and this internship – focusing intently on lighting and its uses and applications – moves her toward her goal of a successful design career. There are many factors involved in good design, and this gives her an opportunity to take a deep dive into one of them: lighting.
“I think lighting can be applied through design in a lot of different ways,” Mattie says. “It’s a really big part of design and just gaining that foundation and seeing how this field works is really going to benefit my future.”
When she heard about the internship opportunities through her Design instructor, Mattie was intrigued. It seemed like a great way to learn and develop skills at the same time. And she’s doing exactly that! Besides an intensive study of lighting, the other aspect of working at Mahlander’s which appeals to Mattie is all the interaction with customers – something you don’t get much of in a classroom setting.
“My favorite thing about working here is getting to see the customer and employee relationship and really see them build that trust. Seeing that is really cool,” she says.
Mattie also enjoys working on displays as well as helping with event planning and marketing endeavors. Mattie and Anna were instrumental in making the June 15 contractor event a success, taking care of everything from the invitations to party décor.
Originally from Wakonda, South Dakota, Anna also just completed her sophomore year at SDSU. She heard about this internship opportunity through a virtual class workshop orchestrated by Mahlander’s staff and one of their lighting vendors. Anna was intrigued and had been past the Sioux Falls showroom several times. It seemed like a good fit, so she applied.
“I thought, ‘That looks awesome, right up my alley,’” she says. And the staff at Mahlander’s thought so, too!
After a few weeks in the showroom, Anna especially enjoys working with clients.
“I like talking with customers and getting to know them,” Anna says. “I really like making connections with clients and I also like having a variety or things to do.”
Besides helping clients, she’s done everything from hanging mirrors to changing lightbulbs in just a short while of being on staff.
“It’s never the same thing every day; it’s always trying to figure out what to do and what needs to be done,” Anna says. (And that’s how she likes it!)
The experience is a great opportunity for hands-on application of what she’s learned in the design program, Anna says.
“I’m hoping to gain more knowledge about lighting design. I took a light and color class last semester and I was intrigued by it. But it also seemed daunting and hard. But what better way to learn about it is there than putting it into practice? It’s not just the textbook scenarios. I get to see it in real life.”
The young women’s enthusiasm and fresh perspectives are contagious and, even after a relatively short tenure, their influence is notable. They’ve been working with veteran Lighting Consultants (including Karen, pictured with them here) and learning from their expertise and experience. Sales Manager Rosie Kindt notes their positive, can-do attitude, intelligence, technical abilities and solid, creative design skills among the many benefits they bring to Mahlander’s. Hopefully, it will be a mutually beneficial experience as they further develop those skills this summer.
Stop in to meet these designers-to-be, see what’s new and view the terrific displays they’ve worked on … come, see what’s inside!