NANA College Support Program: Intern Christopher Black


Christopher Black is one of 36 interns who took part in the 2013 NANA College Support Program. Black attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas and graduated in December.  He worked for NMS in his hometown of Anchorage as the HR/security project assistant this past summer.

As a NANA shareholder, Black has had the opportunity to participate in the same internship for two consecutive years, helping him fine-tune skills he learned the year before. Tasks for NMS included working with Excel, collecting data and conducting interviews for resume content. He also put his organizational skills to use and worked hard to meet all deadlines that were given to him.

The most important part of the internship, Black said, was “being focused on work and the mission for the nature of the job I was doing. I was focused on the task at hand and made sure that everything I needed to get done was done by the end of the day.”

The same skills he learned in his summer internships, Black thinks about to this day. Being dedicated, taking initiative and being productive are tools he incorporates into his personal life, at work and while he was in school.

Black sees his internships as invaluable for gaining work experience. He found that, even when he was partaking in mock interviews for Walmart, the interviewers seemed impressed by his experience through his internships. In turn, they offered him an internship with their company.

He also thinks that overall the NANA College Support Program is good for shareholders.

“I think it’s good that we have the capabilities of training shareholders to work within the company that we’re a stakeholder in. Also, it’s very positive because we get to look out  for something that not only belongs to ourselves individually, but belongs to an entire group of people; the Iñupiat people.  For me that’s the most important, being able to steward what God blessed us with,” he described when referring to NANA.

Black was working part-time, 22 hours a week, at a car wash on top of being a full-time student this past fall. He says his part-time job helped him refine his customer service skills. He hopes to return back to Alaska with his a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in management to work for NANA in some capacity.

“Wherever I get to next, I think I’m going to be back to Alaska. When I get back there, I know I will be in a position to not only work, but to learn as well. Whether it’s training or attending graduate school for an MBA, I’m always going to have to continue working and learning,” Black said.

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