In case we haven’t met, my name is Lauryn Woerdeman. I am currently a junior at Iowa State University studying Business Management and Sociology. During the past six months at Syverson Strege, I worked as both a part-time summer and fall intern under Julie Summa, Director of Marketing & Communications. In the summer, I was fully remote as I had a full-time internship in Sioux City, Iowa as well.
For my Syverson Strege internship, I drafted social media content, worked on blog articles, completed larger projects, updated the website, and had the opportunity to be exposed to the world of marketing and communications.
As summer shifted into fall, I moved back to Ames. I took more hours of internship work, and while I was still mostly remote, I had the pleasure of coming into the office and getting to know the Syverson Strege staff. I was introduced to many new marketing tools and communication approaches, and really enhanced my skill set in these areas.
During my time at Syverson Strege, I was also given the opportunity to participate in different client events, seminars, and programs. One of these programs was Financial Foundations, a two-class course tailored toward young adults and grandchildren of current clients. In each session, Syverson Strege employees spoke about different topics including financial planning for young adults and the importance of investing. All participants were also offered a free financial planning consultation meeting with a financial planner at Syverson Strege to look at each individual’s personal financial situation.
I was given a multitude of different learning opportunities and the chance to practice the skills and knowledge I had gained. While my time with Syverson Strege has come to an end, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone at the office, learning through challenging projects, and becoming much more skilled in the world of marketing and communications.
As we enter into the new year, I, along with many people, are looking forward to new beginnings: making resolutions, forming plans, and setting goals for the new year. I am looking forward to the upcoming spring semester that I will spend at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England. Exeter is located two hours southwest of London, in the beautiful county of Devon. The historic town is well known for its massive cathedral, it’s beautiful architecture, and its stunning landscape. Just a couple miles south is Dartmoor National Park, complete with castle ruins and wild ponies. At the university, I’ll take four classes: two for my management major and two for my sociology minor. I look forward to using British pounds in my finance class instead of US dollars. Upon returning in May, I will anxiously await a wonderful reunion with friends and family, and the start of my senior year at Iowa State in the fall.
And while I am excited for those things, I also have a range of goals for the new year I wish to accomplish as well. While I’ll brush past some of the more personal ones, my academic and professional goals have been altered and refined this past year; I thank my time at Syverson Strege for this.
From an academic standpoint, Syverson Strege has taught me that I am never done learning. Believe it or not, I love school (most of the time), and seeing the ways that the company puts this philosophy in action has been incredibly heartening to say the least. Because of Syverson Strege, my academic goals have recently shifted to start thinking about a master’s programs to not only grow professionally, but to continue learning from my peers and other professionals.
Everyone from the financial planners to the marketing team at the office are constantly finding new ways to grow and learn in their profession. From a variety of professional conferences, webinars, and a diverse selection of financial information available around the office, employees make it their mission to learn and apply new things every day.
Starting in 2022, Syverson Strege will also introduce lunch & learns, small events held at the office to further encourage client growth and learning. As I finish up school within the next year and then continue into my professional career, this “never done learning” mindset will stick with me.
If nothing else, working for Syverson Strege has taught me that great things can happen if you step out of your comfort zone and are willing to try new things. I entered into the company with the intent of walking out of college and transitioning straight into a human resources role with any given company. Syverson Strege opened my eyes to expanding my horizons to include an interest in marketing and communications along with my passion for human resources.
I am learning that letting go of my uncertainties and trusting that the Lord will use me where I land has opened so many incredible doors. This has manifested itself in opportunities such as this internship, the chance to go abroad, and saying “yes” to different moments and events that have led to deep faith-filled relationships. As we enter into the new year, I encourage you to open yourself up to new opportunities that present themselves, and to trust God’s incredible plan for your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11