Discover Your Passion with the Pathway Program

Through our redesigned Pathway Program, you can work alongside other interns to expand your network, get real-world experience, and build upon your passions – some of which you’ll discover along the way.

Throughout several department rotations during the academic year, you’ll work on diverse teams and receive mentoring from expert associates at our company. All students will be considered for this opportunity, but we’re most interested in speaking with current college sophomores looking to explore distinct business areas during their junior year of school.

Program Structure

Choose one of four dynamic tracks uniquely designed to elevate the skills of your desired profession. Each track provides the opportunity to innovate, think independently, and contribute to real work on real teams. Interns are expected to work 15-20 hours a week to gain the most value from the program.


  • Enjoy all the fun, flexibility, and opportunities of an agency, right here at Nelnet. Interns in this track will support Nelnet’s various marketing groups across the organization.
  • Expect to see the project creation process from creative brief through implementation.
  • Execute digital content, website creation, written copy, trend research, and more – with the goal of producing high-quality work for Nelnet’s various business lines.
  • Experience departments like Corporate Marketing, NDS Culture, Corporate Communications, and more.

As a pathway intern I’ve been given a place to grow both professionally and personally. The pathway program molds to your strengths, for me this was design. My mentors valued my opinion and allowed me to take initiative on new projects. I’ve been given the opportunity to do actual work that has impact and value. There’s nothing like working with and learning from people who are truly passionate about what they’re doing.

Ashleigh Kawaoka
Ashleigh Kawaoka

The Pathway Internship has been a great opportunity for me to get real hands-on sales experience while learning lots about multiple different industries. Having mentors by your side letting you ask questions and push you to succeed has tremulously helped me develop key skills. All in all the Pathway Internship has been great for my professional development!

Kevin Jacqmein
Kevin Jacqmein


  • Give us your best pitch. In this track, you can expect to interact with seasoned professionals who will help you develop your B2B sales acumen, and partner on projects that impact our company’s future growth.
  • Manage projects including Salesforce administration, market validation/research, and competitor analysis.
  • Support Nelnet’s various sales groups through rotations in a wide variety of departments.


  • Take charge of your future, and get immersed in that “start-up” environment.
  • Assist in creating clear direction for Nelnet business lines.
  • Work closely with mentors to do relevant research, write creatively through emails, blogs, etc., and present information to associates.
  • Experience departments like Risk Management and NBS Online Help & Communication, plus work for brands including BenefitEd, FACTS, and Nelnet Renewable Energy.

The Pathway Program allowed me to explore all of my interests and discover what I value in a future career. I was so grateful for the unparalleled opportunity to work with so many different teams and be paired with mentors that were genuinely invested in my success. I could not have developed the width or depth of skills I learned in any other program!

Ellie Foral
Ellie Foral

The Pathway Program gave me the chance to explore areas such as recruiting that I didn't even know I had an interest in but ended up really enjoying. The ability to work with so many team members and see how different departments work is an opportunity I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere else.

Lexi Smith

PeopleServices (Human Resources)

  • Help us create an awesome work environment that’s powered by people.
  • Support various departments within our Human Resources teams.
  • Learn about supporting associates through benefits, compensation, training, and more.
  • Gain exposure to our hiring practices and assist in the process.
  • Experience departments like Campus Recruiting, Wellness and Benefits, Corporate Training, Global Training and Development, and Corporate Recruiting.

The Experience


As a Pathway intern, you’ll work with two teams within Nelnet – rotating through a variety of tasks, adding value to projects already in place or creating new ones to manage yourself. In addition, you’ll collaborate with other interns to complete projects based on real business scenarios Nelnet faces today.

With a wide variety of events like periodic Lunch-and-Learns, networking events, and mentorship opportunities, expect to keep in touch with other departments and learn from their diverse experiences.

To make the most out of your Pathway Program experience, we invite you to:

  • Be energized to work both independently and in a team-based environment.
  • Engage in and maximize various professional and community-building opportunities.
  • Be comfortable adapting to multiple rotations throughout the academic year.
  • Show interest in sharing new ideas, managing time efficiently, and welcoming feedback.


Pathway mentors are committed to leveraging your professional goals and current strengths to include you on real work during your time in their department. You can expect to work alongside various mentors throughout the program, broadening your network and receiving the support you deserve.

The Pathway Program is truly a unique experience for our interns, the Corporate Marketing Department, and Nelnet as a whole. Interns get the opportunity to learn how a full-service, in-house marketing agency functions as well as assist on special projects that help our clients. At the same time, we also learn a lot from them. I’ve been very impressed by the caliber of interns that have chosen our rotation — always enthusiastic, eager to learn, and willing to assist on any project. It’s very rewarding having the opportunity to help them navigate their current and future endeavors.

Alisha Gade
Alisha Gade

Nelnet’s Pathway Program is a fantastic opportunity for students to find a role in their area of study or passion for their career, while learning alongside a business team & Mentors. Along with their meaningful internship, they have opportunities to network together, have presenters coach them on life skills and introduce areas of our business, plus participate in activities on how to best utilize their Clifton Strengths. Seeing them learn and grow, personally & professionally, throughout the school year, is very rewarding!

Jordan Paul

Perks of Being a Pathway Intern

Pathway interns will walk away from the program with lifelong skills and a diverse network. No matter which track you choose, Nelnet’s core value of creating an awesome work environment is at the forefront of the Pathway Program.

Employee Referral Bonuses

Cohort Style

With more than 20 interns in each Pathway Program class, Pathways share similar experiences and bond quickly to form a unique community.

Build your Resume with Nelnet Internships


We’re all about empowering our interns, so we prioritize your preferences for the teams you’ll work on.

Grow with Nelnet

Based on the networks you build and connections you make, you have the opportunity to carry on your experience with Nelnet, post-Pathway Program. In fact, historically, over 50% of our Pathway interns have been hired at Nelnet in varying roles after the program concludes.

Special Events

If you’re not having a good time, we’re doing something wrong. We organize fun and interactive events including Lunch-and-Learns, community building, and speed networking to foster the awesome culture we’re committed to.

A Virtual Experience, Reimagined

We’ve mastered creating an awesome work culture. Whether you work in-office or in an online environment, we are excited to expand the Pathway Program to candidates nationwide. Our goal is for interns to feel welcomed and valued, whether they’re in a physical office or online space.

As a remote intern, you can expect the following:

  • Nationwide collaboration and networking
  • Flexibility of workspace and schedule
  • Swag boxes
  • Campus Recruiting and program support
  • Necessary technology provided

Please note: This program is available for undergrad students in the U.S. for the entire duration of the academic year and will be conducted hybrid. For those who are located near a Nelnet regional office, we will help to coordinate in-person work following local health guidelines and procedures at that time.

Application and Hiring Process

Interested in applying for the Pathway Program? Check out our hiring process below to see if the timeline aligns with your professional goals. Please email any questions to

  1. February 15: Applications Open

  2. March 1: Applications Close

  3. Mid-March: Virtual Interviews

  4. Late-March: Offers Extended

  5. August: Internship Begins

  6. May (2023): Internship Ends

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