Intern-To-Intern: Victor Onalik, Jr.

The tenth in a series. Communications intern Kally Greene-Gudmundson interviews our 2015 summer interns.


Meet Victor Onalik, Jr., HR Intern, AKIMA.

What is your Iñupiaq name? Who were you named after?

I have two Iñupiaq names, Qanaiyaq and Kaliksun. I was named after Evelyn Shy (Kaliksun) and Dwight Arnold (Qanaiyaq) from Noatak.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Kotzebue, and for a few years I lived in Noorvik. I Moved to Noatak and later graduated high school in 2011.

What are your family ties to NANA?

I’m a shareholder. Both of my parents are shareholders as well.

Who has inspired you? What is your favorite memory of this person?

My mother; growing up she taught me to read books. She always encouraged me to learn as much as I could, not only from school but from family as well. The wealth of knowledge I have today is all from her. My favorite memory of her is when she taught me how to process salmon, from head to tail.

Where are you going to school?

Right now, I’m getting my associate degree from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What are you studying?

I’m studying business administration. Once I receive my associate degree, I’ll transfer to the University of New Mexico where I plan to get my bachelor’s degree in human resources and management.

What was your first experience with NANA?

My first experience with NANA was as an intern, learning the basics with the human resources team. When I was in the ninth grade, I interned in Kotzebue under Angela Washington. After that, I knew I wanted to have a career with NANA.

Who introduced the idea to work at NANA to you?

Alice Adams, from the resource team in Noatak, made an announcement at school of an opening for a summer internship.

What are your job responsibilities this summer?

I had a lot of responsibilities. I worked with HR in compensation. I also worked with benefits, present new hire orientation to new employees, sourcing for candidates, and reaching out to shareholders for work within the NANA family companies.  I helped with the hiring processes, sending hire alerts as well as i9 certifications.

What goals do you hope to accomplish through your internship?

All in all, I just wanted to get the feel of corporate America, the professional world, and a taste of what HR does. My goal is to work with NANA in the future and expand their company. I was fortunate to speak with Donald Atwell during my internship this summer about possible re-employment which made me feel very accomplished about the work I did. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of these internships and all the opportunities NANA has to offer our younger shareholders. This is one of the best things you’ll ever get to experience and you take so much from it—working, having a real job, making money while also getting to travel. 

“NANA will improve the quality of life for our people”

NANA internships give students the opportunity to:

  • Gain valuable applied experience.
  • Promote personal development.
  • Develop interpersonal and professional skills.

For more information visit the shareholder employment & development page.