Meet Akima's 2017 Interns

The Akima Summer Internship Program is a great opportunity for NANA shareholders who are currently college students or recent graduates. They spend a summer on the East Coast or at another Akima location. This year, 16 shareholders hopped on planes and traveled around the country to take on a new adventure. Each intern is spending their summer with Akima, LLC or one of its subsidiaries, allowing them to gain practical experience that’s necessary for success post education. They take theoretical knowledge from schooling and transition it into a real-world environment. This internship gives them the chance to dip their toe into a business setting without having to dive in head first.
Although their fields of study are pretty diverse, from nursing to criminology, each intern understands the importance of having experience in a professional setting. They all are polishing their resumes and hoping to be successful working men and women one day. Twelve of them are spending their summers at the Herndon, Virginia office and one just a short trip away in Falls Church, Virginia. One intern is spending her summer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California while another worked for Five Rivers Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado and another with Pegasus Aviation Services in Anchorage, Alaska.

Terrell Jones - SBA and Compliance, Akima, LLC


Terrell is from the small village of Deering, Alaska located in the NANA region. He is currently studying rural development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He travelled a long way to get here, but made sure to bring his guitar along with him. With his mellow temperament you’d never guess his favorite genre to be hard rock. He’s excited to be here this summer and thoroughly enjoyed the first D.C. tour we’ve done, but is really looking forward to the embassy tour his boss, John Lanzillotta, has offered to take us on. That’s right, he’s interning in compliance, and really liking it! It’s challenging but each day he finds himself understanding a little more. He’s taking advantage of his time here and seeing as much as possible, but talks about missing niqipiaq (native food) and the berry picking back home.

Petra Gregg - Project Coordinator, SAVA


With one semester of college left, Petra is nearing the finish line! She’s a veteran intern around here with two years under her belt. She’s back with SAVA this summer and as someone who works with resume investigation every day, she loves the experience she’s adding to her own. She loves volleyball and is excited to bounce-set-spike her way into this year’s adventures. She’s missing home-cooked meals and joking around with her family, but is excited to be here making new friends and experiencing different things. She’s a criminology major with a minor in psychology and is given amazing opportunities with SAVA to explore future career paths. 

Talitha John - Project Coordinator, SAVA


From wide-open spaces to city suburbs, Talitha is sacking up her hiking boots and slipping on some work shoes. She’s from Spanish Fork, Utah and spends most of her weekends in the mountains so she’s no stranger to adventure. Each weekend she loves to take the metro out and explore a new area of D.C., it’s her goal this summer to see every monument and every museum. Talitha is Inupiaq and her family is from Kotzebue, but she’s also Navajo and enjoys powwow dancing and the travel opportunities it’s brought her in the past. She’s a forensic science and criminal justice major also interning with SAVA and is thrilled to be making her way to different client sites.

Jeslyn Wieland - Paralegal/Admin. Assistant, Akima, LLC


Jeslyn is another returner but if you’re unable to place the name it’s because most of us around here know her as Jessie. She just finished her sophomore year at Idaho State University and is confident in her pursuit of a nursing career. Jessie’s a book worm with a passion for travelling and is looking forward to making her way up to New York City this summer. She’s loving the East Coast, but misses her puggle (pug-beagle) back home. She’s interning with legal this year and can’t wait to find out just how realistic TV law is. Is Law and Order an appropriate teacher? Stay tuned to find out…

Heather Sandvik - Business Administration, Truestone


This student athlete isn’t afraid of a challenge or a little competition. She’s a runner at Otterbein University in Ohio with a mission to improve the skills necessary to have a successful future career. She’s excited this summer to be able to learn more about her heritage and the goals of NANA and Akima while gaining professional experience in an office setting. We’ve got a few music lovers this summer and Heather’s one of them. She and Terrell often talk about their favorites to play on the guitar and are planning a few jam sessions back at the hotel.

Haley Sandvik - Lab Tech, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Look familiar? No, this is not a repeat. Haley is Heather’s twin sister and you probably recognize the last name because their brother Peter interned with Akima, LLC in the past. It’s a family affair! Haley’s studying biomedical engineering at Miami University in Ohio. She’s spending her summer in California at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she’ll be able to put that engineering education to good use. She’s a student athlete involved in both cross country and track and pushes herself to be successful in both athletics and academics.

Jennifer Smith - IT Department, Akima, LLC


Leaving home’s never easy, but this Selawik resident couldn’t wait to escape the mosquitos. Even still, she’ll miss the summer nights back home camping. Jennifer is a mechanical engineering student at The University of Alaska Anchorage so she’s spending her summer with IT. She has the amazing opportunity to work alongside two engineers, with the education and experience behind them to guide her towards a successful future. Reading may be one of her favorite forms of entertainment, but the Kennedy Center show has got her looking forward to the theater.

Aimee Adams - Human Resources, Akima, LLC


Another nurse-to-be, studying at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Aimee is interning with Akima’s HR shared services. She’s exploring each department within human resources and learning a tremendous amount about just how much goes on day-to-day in HR. She’s happy to be here learning new skills that will be useful in her future. Her family is from Kotzebue originally, but she’s grown up in Anchorage. Aimee’s soft voice would never lead you to believe that she’s a music lover with a passion for singing. We’re hoping to get front row seats to the Adams-Jones-Sandvik experience this summer.  

Mason Evans - Project Coordinator, TUVA


Mason is another repeat intern, but this year he’ll be spending his time in Falls Church with TUVA. He’s decided to put down roots here in Virginia and is staying to take on a full-time position once his internship is finished. Recently, he graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a degree in aviation management. This travel bug has no fear of flying and is currently working on completing the necessary steps for his commercial pilot’s license, he has already earned his private pilot’s license and instrument certificate. He’s been all over the U.S. and is excited to live outside of Alaska for a while. He’s eager for adventure and willing to work for it. Mason just recently stepped down as a board member for a non-profit organization in Anchorage that he’s very passionate about. Their mission is to reunite homeless Native Alaskan men and women in Anchorage with their families in rural Alaska. The organization gives some people the opportunity of a lifetime, opening doors they may have thought were closed forever. 

Elsie Woods - Project Coordinator, TUVA


Elsie is well-known around here, having interned before and then working in the Herndon, Virginia office for four years. People are without a doubt happy to see her smiling face again. She recently decided to go back to school and is attending Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. She’s originally from Kotzebue, but has done a lot of adventuring in her adult-life. Oddly enough, for someone who loves to travel, she hates to fly! This can make things difficult, but she’ll persevere for the chance to adventure. She loves cooking, reading, hockey, and makeup so if you ever get the chance to talk to her, there will be no shortage of things to talk about. Alaska summers are easy to miss and Elsie’s not immune, she can’t wait to be down on the Kenai salmon fishing and enjoying a fresh catch soon after. She hopes this internship will help her develop skills that that she can apply towards her schooling and future career.

Joleen Sheldon - Accounting and Finance, Akima, LLC


It’s no surprise that this math lover is spending her summer with accounting and finance. She’s attending school at Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward, Alaska and is studying accounting.  She’s been counting down the days until her daughter comes down and the adventures she’ll get to take her on. Joleen is from Noorvik, Alaska originally, but now splits her time between Seward and Anchorage.


Hannah Moto - Business Administration, Truestone


Another Deering resident and University of Alaska Fairbanks student, it’s safe to assume Terrell and Hannah are old friends. She’s very active and loves to hunt or play basketball whenever she’s got the chance. Hannah is currently studying psychology and spending her summer interning with Truestone. She has previous intern experience having worked with Maniilaq before and strives to one day work with Teck John Baker Youth Leaders, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide.

Abraham Farrag - Project Coordinator, Ikun


Abe’s another veteran intern around here, with three years behind him. This Ikun project coordinator intern will hit the ground running. He’s a student at the University of Cincinnati and a local to the Herndon, Virginia area, having grown up in Chantilly. Abe’s also a weekly volunteer at a food shelter run by his church. He’s interested in technology and has made it a goal to learn how to code and to develop an app. He’s hoping from this internship he will develop leadership skills that will benefit him going forward.

Christina Smith - Human Resources, Pegasus


Christina is a business management major at the University of Alaska Anchorage, she has already received an associate’s degree in SBA, but is determined to earn her bachelors. She is spending her summer interning with the HR department at Pegasus in Anchorage, AK. Previously, she worked as a ramp service agent for Pegasus and found herself loving it, so she was thrilled to accept this internship and learn more about the administrative side of the company. With her busy schedule, she doesn’t get much free time, but when she can she likes to relax and watch Netflix.

Barbara Lawton - Project Coordinator, FRS


Barbara is a business administration student at Devry University. She’s spending her second summer working in Colorado Springs as a Five Rivers Services project coordinator. She is a mother of four living in Yarnell, Arizona, with plenty of work and volunteer experience. In the past, she worked for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale, Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMC), and American General Finance, just to name a few. Her family is originally from Kotzebue, Alaska where she spent time working in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. She looks forward to completing her degree and further bettering her future.

Aja Mann - Business Development, Akima, LLC


Recently, she graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a BBA in Marketing. She's thrilled to be finished with school, but is quickly learning all the responsibilities associated with adulthood. She interned last year with the business development department in Herndon and is now back to soak up as much marketing information and experience as she can. Her ultimate goal is to attain a full-time position in marketing at a well-established business, and the team here at Akima has been incredibly helpful. Each day she gets to spend time learning about the day-to-day process of each employee and the tools they use to be successful. Not to mention the projects that she's involved in are exciting and educational! She has come to appreciate them and this experience more and more every day.