As Abilene Christian University lives out its mission to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world, internships are a practical way for students to put that into practice.
Brendan Gipson, sophomore computer science major from Owasso, Oklahoma, seized an opportunity last summer as an information technology intern at Cherokee Nation Businesses in Catoosa, Oklahoma.
Gipson found the internship through the job search app Indeed during the spring of his freshman year. Since he is of Cherokee descent, he decided to apply and later received an offer to be on their team.
As an intern at CNB, he worked with the IT department on several group and individual projects. In addition, he was able to travel to several important Cherokee sites throughout the country, including the capital of the Cherokee Nation.
“One of the greatest experiences of my life,” Gipson said. “They really do care for their people, and I felt like they were there to help me every step of the way. It was truly amazing and, without a doubt, I would work with them again.”
Growing up, Gipson was never fully exposed to Cherokee culture, but in high school, he began to explore his family heritage. He found a desire to better connect himself with the tribe, and at his internship, he was able to meet Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
“I didn’t expect it, but it was really interesting,” Gipson said. “Taking time out of his day to come out and shake our hands as interns really shows how down to earth and connected to his people he is.
At CNB, Gipson was able to work in team settings to further his growth in the computer science field, and he hopes to land more jobs in the future to advance his career and use the skills learned in class in the work field.
“You miss every opportunity you don’t take,” Gipson said. “If you see an internship opportunity, go for it, even if you don’t think you are qualified. You could be exactly what they are looking for, but you won’t know unless you try for it.”
— Connor Mullins
Feb. 6, 2023