2021 Choctaw Nation interns Photo by Chris Jennings

Several of the 2021 Choctaw Nation interns pose for a photo on the headquarters steps. Their are currently 34 interns from across the country working in different departments throughout the Nation.

Interns get a glimpse of the Nation

By Chris Jennings
August 1, 2021

Thanks to the Choctaw Nation internship program, 34 young adults are getting the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work in several different Choctaw Nation departments.

Sharon Dodson with Employment Services said, “I think this is just a great opportunity for us to showcase our tribal members, to bring them to the [different] departments we have them to show them what opportunities are available.”

With 17 interns in Health, and 17 interns in government, many are getting an idea of what the Nation has to offer them for their future.

Marshall Purvis, from Lyndale, Texas, is working with the Learning and Development program during his internship. Currently working on his Masters in Native American Leadership, Purvis said, “It’s already helped me a lot with learning about the past and trying to preserve the past with what I’m learning and what I’m studying, so it ties together really nicely.”

Noah Link, from Dayton, Ohio, is interning with the Growing Hope Program. While at the program, Link is helping revitalize Choctaw plants and develop a seed base that can be distributed to tribal members. “I studied industrial design and would like to be able to combine that with some type of conservation work in support of the Choctaw Nation and other indigenous communities,” said Link.

Christian Chaney, From Durant, Oklahoma, recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma and is working as an intern with the Learning and Development Department while she completes her MBA. Chaney said. “I strive to continue working on my mental health initiative as a professional speaker to raise awareness for suicide awareness and cyberbullying. I hope to incorporate my platform into a job here at the Choctaw Nation.”

It’s not unheard of that interns are hired on full-time; in fact, it’s a goal. “Hopefully, most of them will come back and work with us to help grow the Choctaw Nation,” Said Dodson.

Several current Choctaw Nation employees started as interns and went on to work full-time in different departments such as Information Technology, Risk Management, Human Resources, Accounting, and Marketing.

Mallory Phelps, a Social Media Coordinator for the Choctaw Nation, is one such person. Phelps said that her overall goal while in college was to work full-time for the Choctaw Nation eventually.

“The Internship Program allowed me to get my foot in the door and shadow different positions within my desired field. I was grateful enough to be given the opportunity to become a full-time associate by the end of my internship, and now I am able to put my degree to use and serve my Tribe,” said Phelps.

Regardless of whether their career leads back to the Choctaw Nation, the internship program ensures that these young men and women are ready to make an impact wherever they land.