Please share any highlights you experienced during your summer internship at U.S. Bank (both in the office and in the community).
The summer I spent interning at U.S. Bank was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a work environment—and a large reason behind why I wanted to stay in the Twin Cities. Not only do your coworkers treat you with respect, but you also get treated like a real full-time employee. Being assigned tasks that are more than just running to get coffee for your boss was a rewarding feeling that I know not all interns are fortunate to have. U.S. Bank lets interns take the wheel, giving them opportunities that not every intern has access to. Being able to have lunch with senior leaders, network with other interns, volunteer in the community, and develop corporate skills was something that I enjoyed doing, and I feel like it reflected on the type of company U.S. Bank is. The company’s commitment to doing the right thing, diversity, and employee and customer satisfaction is one of the many reasons why employees love working here, and why so many interns chose to return to work at the company full-time. When your employer takes the time to invest in you, you know you’re at a good place.
What was it about the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region that made you want to stay here?
Minneapolis is one of the most active and exciting places to live. You’ll never find yourself without something to do. There’s more than 100 miles of paths and trails throughout the cities to bike or run on, there’s countless festivals, fairs, concerts and block parties that happen all spring, summer, and fall — and there’s six professional sports teams (Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Lynx, Wild and MN United)! The job market here is also really great, because so many large corporations are headquartered in the Twin Cities (17 Fortune 500 companies, to be exact). There’s always an ongoing search for quality talent. I chose to stay in Minneapolis because there’s great job opportunities here, I’m in a huge metro market, and I have access to everything two large cities can offer me.
What are common misconceptions about the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region?
People think, “Minneapolis and St. Paul are in the Midwest, so they’re bound to be small cities,” but that’s a very misconstrued thought. There’s more than three million people living in the Twin Cities area, which is more than the city of Chicago. Minneapolis and St. Paul are also so close together that it never feels like two separate cities. Travel between the cities is very easy, whether it be using the light rail or the highway. With access to two cities, you’re at a bigger advantage than being in one and having to travel farther.
Another misconception is that the weather during the winter is unbearable. While it is true that the temperature often dips into negative degrees and snow piles up everywhere, the Twin Cities knew what they were doing when they built downtown. There are skyways that connect every building, ensuring you never have to step foot outside. The bus and light rail stops even have heaters to keep you warm while you’re waiting for your ride home. The weather doesn’t stop you from enjoying the city.
What advice do you have for anyone who may be considering whether or not to move to the region?
If you’re eager to live in a large community, the Twin Cities is one of the best choices you could make. You have access to everything you’d find in a large East or West coast city, but at way more affordable prices. The cost of living here is substantially lower than New York or San Francisco, but there’s just as much to do here. Not to mention, our traffic is much more manageable.
If you’re determined to live in a smaller city, I’d still ask you to consider the Twin Cities. Why? We have a small-town feel in a large metropolitan area. There’s more than 15 lakes in the Twin Cities where you can find kayakers, paddle boarders, and fishermen on almost every day of the summer. We have endless parks to explore, and if you want to get away from the city, you’re a 15-minute drive from the middle of nowhere.
Whatever you prefer, Minneapolis is the place for you.
Dasha Engelking is the manager of U.S. Bank’s grassroots and advocacy program, responsible for telling the U.S. Bank story to elected officials at the local, state and federal levels. Her work includes helping employees build strong relationships with policy makers to create productive and positive dialogue. She is based in the U.S. Bancorp Center in Minneapolis, MN.
In her previous role, Dasha worked for the Minnesota Vikings covering Game Day Public Relations. Her role extended to working Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, MN as well.
Dasha graduated from the University of Minnesota with her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication. In her free time, Dasha enjoys traveling and is an avid runner.