Calista Intern Reflects on Working Remotely from Napaskiak

Enjoying Traditional Activities While Coping with Internet and Power Outages

Storyknife, January/February 2021 edition

Alice Samuelson

College: University of Alaska Anchorage

Major: Pre-Nursing

Career Path: Registered Nurse

Home Village: Napaskiak

Favorite Subsistence Activity: Fishing

While many Calista Corporation interns worked remotely last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alice Samuelson of Napaskiak had the unique experience of working from her small Kuskokwim River village.

A University of Alaska Fairbanks sophomore, Alice was awarded an internship with Calista’s Shareholder Services Department and assigned to work in the Bethel office.

“As the start date came closer, I started to realize that might not work well due to the pandemic,” she says.

In fact, Alice only spent a week at the Bethel office in training and orientation before the office closed for the safety of employees and the public.

Storyknife caught up with Alice this winter for a Q&A about her internship experience in Napaskiak.

Q: What were your internship goals? Were you able to achieve them or did you end up doing something completely different?

A: My original goals were to learn to work on a full-time schedule, to extend my job skills, and to build ties with leaders in our Region.
I achieved a lot of that but as the internship progressed, my goals shifted more toward helping people find the assistance they needed.

“I would recommend this internship to students looking to be welcomed into a strong, committed community.” – Alice Samuelson of Napaskiak

Q: Tell us a little bit about how your internship went after returning to Napaskiak.

A: The two Bethel employees had been working from home for a while already, so I was not worried about working out of the office. I helped find Shareholders whose contact information was missing, attended weekly virtual meetings, shadowed employees, and joined the interns by Zoom every Tuesday to hear from a featured speaker. During those sessions, we learned about business, culture, education, and just life in general.

Though many days were smooth and enjoyable, I dealt with many challenges throughout the summer. Some days in my village, we would have power outages that lasted hours. Other days, my internet would randomly stop working, which was very frustrating. But because of the issues I faced, I learned more than I would have without. I learned how the internet and technology are not always reliable, and backup is necessary to ensure that things are done.

Q: What were some good things that happened during the internship and being able to spend the summer at home?

A: While I was home for the summer, I did not miss out on anything. I was able to help my family with subsistence activities such as fishing and berry picking. I had the privilege to hop on a boat just minutes after clocking out from work. That was the best thing about working from home.

Q: Did you feel like you got support from Calista during this internship and would you recommend other students apply?

A: I received a ton of support from my department and the internship team. I always felt like I was part of a very strong community. If I had any questions or felt lost, I always had someone willing to help.

I would recommend this internship to students looking to be welcomed into a strong, committed community. I wish nothing but success on each student, employee, and person reading this. I want to thank Calista for this amazing opportunity and for giving me the knowledge I have today. Quyana!

Alice Samuelson of Napaskiak, Calista Corporation Intern

Shareholder Intern Positions Available Summer 2021

Internship Program Dates: May 27 – August 6

Recruitment for internship positions is currently open! Calista is accepting applications for the 2021 Summer Internship season from now until March 19.

Go to www.calistacorp.com/internships to apply.

Contact Calista Workforce & Shareholder Development with inquiries at 907-275-2808 or shareholderdevelopment@calistacorp.com.