In the spring of 2019, Ram Sabyrkulov began searching for internships in Lincoln, Nebraska. As an international student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he hoped to gain experience at an American company, explore new opportunities, and start building a professional network.

“I heard about Nelnet from past interns,” Ram says. “After some research, I found an interesting opportunity in the Pathway Program, as it allows interns to develop professionally while rotating through different departments.”

When Ram started as a Pathway Intern in August 2019, he dove right into his first rotation with ALLO Communications, a Nelnet-owned fiber internet, television, and telephone provider. “After the first week of work, I got involved in the process of developing business and providing the best product to our customers,” recalls Ram. “I was surprised at the significance of my role as an intern; I was treated like a full-time employee.”

While at ALLO, Ram worked on projects that impacted the growing business. With a team of two other interns, he created a solution to improve efficiency in ALLO’s warehouses. “Our team implemented lean operations standards across ALLO’s warehouses, created a new inventory management manual, and identified areas of improvement for the supply chain,” says Ram. “I gained a lot of practical supply chain knowledge.”

After an eight-week rotation with ALLO, Ram joined U-Fi, a Nelnet venture providing education lending and student loan refinancing. “Since U-Fi is a young company, I participated in strategic business meetings and decision-making situations, allowing me to improve my critical thinking skills and learn a lot about the educational finance industry,” Ram said. “I was able to contribute to the team by building an Excel dashboard of lending activities and offering trend analysis for decision making.”

Throughout the first two rotations, Ram’s success has been fueled by mentorship from Nelnet associates who care. “Jim Rohn said once that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and I agree with him. [The mentors I’ve had] show they care about interns by investing their time and effort,” Ram says.

Ram has grown his skillset while working with Nelnet’s mentors. “My supervisor at ALLO told me about an online Excel course, which expanded my skills. Then, they taught me how to deploy advanced modeling techniques,” Ram recalls. “In my opinion, the essential part of the Pathway Program is the opportunity to work with intelligent mentors.”

In seven months as an intern, one thing about his experience with Nelnet stands out most. “I’ve met so many associates that have worked here for 10 or 20 years,” Ram says. “It impresses me how people here love their jobs and work hard to bring the company closer to the target.”

Interested in becoming a Nelnet Pathway Intern? Applications for the 2020-21 academic year are open now through February 21st. Learn more about interning at Nelnet at NelnetInc.com /Internships.