Internship Spotlight: Kelsey Spelts, FirstBank and RideForPKD

July 20, 2022

Eller PDC Blog
woman sitting at desk in front of big windows

Kelsey Spelts '23 (BSBA Marketing & Entrepreneurship) has two in-person internships this summer in Lakewood, CO. 

FirstBank, Retail Banking Intern

What was the process for getting this internship/job? I connected with a recruiter through Eller Expo and then applied for the internship in the early fall. 

What type of projects do you work on? I have completed courses provided regarding lending fundamentals, specific software classes for the company, sales, and different training. I have shadowed a banking officer through the completion of pre-qualifications, Mortgages, HEILs, and HELOCs, start to finish, including initial underwriting, locking rates for customers, collecting documents from customers, and loan closings. I am also working with other interns in my market on a presentation that will be presented to HR on the last day of the internship. 

What is your favorite part of the experience? I have loved being able to sit through loan closings and see the smiles on customers' faces when they can buy their first home or make home improvements. I have also loved how FirstBank has incorporated professional development throughout the internship, whether reading the book Go-Giver together, leadership classes, or volunteering as a group for a day.

What do you find most challenging? The most challenging thing I faced during my internship was learning about different disclosures and being confident in what a customer needs.  

What are you learning? I am learning how to do the initial loan interview, underwrite the loan, create the loan presentation, pull credit reports, and finalize and close a loan. I am learning about different types of loans and different reasons why people apply for loans, such as debt consolidation. 

What advice do you have for other students looking for similar experiences? I would always suggest attending career fairs, reaching out to recruiters, and applying to anything that sounds interesting to you! Be confident in your ability and patient with yourself. 

How has Eller prepared you for this experience? Eller has prepared me beyond measure for this experience, whether it's my general business knowledge, working in a team, working on a presentation, or communicating with my peers and supervisors. I am so proud to be an Eller student. 

RideForPKD, Event Coordinator

What type of projects do you work on? I am in charge of contacting, coordinating, planning, and seeing out research, sponsor, and chapter events as Glenn Frommer passes through cities and colleges to raise funds for the research behind Polycystic Kidney Disease. 

What is your favorite part of the experience? My favorite part of this experience is working with Founder Glenn Frommer and researchers from renowned universities across the country, such as UCSB, USC, NorthWestern, Yale, and many more! I have had the chance to work closely with the PKD Foundation, Riemer Communications, and CURA Strategies. My skill set has grown tremendously, and I love what I do for the nonprofit. 

What do you find most challenging? One of the most challenging things I have faced with this job is not being able to attend the events in the field or meet the people I have been working so closely with in person. I also had a hard time obtaining a permit for our NYC Central Park event we are planning for mid-August; it took close to 3 months! 

What are you learning? I have grown in my communication, especially since I plan all the events remotely; detail is critical to ensure success for the research teams and Glenn. I have learned the ins and outs of the press and media. I have also grown in my determination through "cold calling" people to set up events in the field. I have been inspired by my team and Glenn's courage and success. 

What advice do you have for other students looking for similar experiences? If you ever have the opportunity to work for a nonprofit, take it. Working for RideForPKD has been one of the most rewarding and favorite experiences I have had in my career. 

How has Eller prepared you for this experience? Through the positions I have held in Eller organizations, my organization and communication skills gave me the ability and confidence to take on the responsibilities of my position.