Intern of the Year
In April, supervisors nominate an intern from their area that exhibited outstanding growth, initiative, leadership and impact during the year. Office leadership reviews the nominations and chooses the Intern of the Year, which is announced at our end-of-year program. Read more about the latest recipient below and view past recipients.
Trystan Potter, 2021-22
Career Advising Intern Balances it All Through Involvement with Greek Life and Career Services
The University of Idaho has always welcomed students with different backgrounds and interests from all around the country and world. Whether you grew up in a small town and are looking for somewhere more familiar to pursue your studies, or you’re looking for a laidback school after living in a high-energy, larger community, U of I has room for everyone.
Trystan Potter, a U of I alumna who studied organizational science and communication studies, graduated in the spring of 2022 after a highly involved time at U of I.
From being committed to U of I’s Greek Life community, to fostering her professional development in the Career Services office, Potter made the effort to set herself up for success after graduating. Originally from Newport, WA, Potter made the decision to attend U of I and break the status quo associated with her smaller town where most incoming college students decide to go to an in-state university, if they had chosen to pursue an undergraduate education after graduating high school.
After touring several Washington universities, Potter realized they were not the right fit for her goals. However, she found what she was looking for at U of I.
“Safe to say, I fell in love with it and came back for UIdaho Bound, "Potter said.
Upon starting her time at U of I, Potter immediately became involved with Greek life, pledging to Alpha Phi and becoming part of the sorority’s executive board. She eventually moved up to being the executive administrator, as well as the informal recruitment chair, finally settling on being the Rho Gamma and Super Rho Gamma, or recruitment counselor, to aid incoming students in navigating the Greek recruitment and bidding process.
“You go through a lot of training, like how to help them out in hard situations,” Potter said. “Recruitment fresh out of high school is pretty nerve-wracking…that’s what we’re there for, to act as their helper or adviser or whatever they really need, even if it’s telling them the directions and helping them around campus.”
Besides her dedication to Greek Life, Potter also held important roles with the Career Services office on campus, working as a front-desk customer support intern and eventually transitioning to advising, continuing her trend of helping students on campus get settled and familiarized with U of I.
“The advising role opened up and I was excited because it was for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, and when I got that role, I realized just how hands-on everybody is in Career Services, so that was really awesome,” Potter said. “For me, personally, usually internships don’t get to be that hands-on, so being able to take drop-ins or … really just helping out, giving presentations to classes, or my professors finding out I was a part of Career Services and asking if there’s anything that’s going on … it’s been an extremely fun time, just being able to have that experience, connections and working in the office.”
From helping to organize the intern-created Free Professional Photos event, to aiding in the First Destination Survey, to helping with virtual CLASS Networking Nights and the highly anticipated Career Fair, Potter has certainly had many opportunities to make the most out of her role.
“On a major scale, I love Career Services because I get to help students and other people figure out what they're going to be doing,” Potter said.
She has applied these skills in her post-undergrad career, transitioning into a human resources-related role in Meridian, ID as an account manager for Paylocity. In the future, Potter would be interested in being on the “other side of the table” during U of I’s Career Fairs to continue being involved with students and employee recruitment.
As for her major and educational journey, Potter’s professors, organizational studies courses, and communications courses have greatly benefited her in honing her professional skills and interests, complemented by her work experience in her sorority and the office.
“Career Services has definitely helped me reach my goals by setting up connections, just really being there whenever I had any questions career-related, whether it be the smallest thing,” Potter said. “Definitely, going over benefits packages, or reviewing a job offer with you … they’ll sit down and help you figure out that kind of stuff if you really need it.”
As for advice for future U of I students, Potter encourages savoring the experience and striving towards growth.
“Try to find yourself a great internship throughout the years that you can see yourself growing with — something that is really going to help you out for those goals that you have after college. It goes by very quickly,” Potter said. “Just stick with it, it goes by extremely fast and the next thing you know, you’re going to be graduating, so definitely try to put yourself out there.”
Career Services Marketing Intern