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BHSU grad named Intern of the Year, earns $43K in three months

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, October 28, 2019/Categories: Students, Students in the News, Alumni, Athletics, Campus Currents, College of Business and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Staff, 2019

Collin Powers made $43,000 during his three-month internship with Caliber after graduating from Black Hills State University with a business degree in May 2019. He was also named Intern of the Year and broke company records for sales volume.
Following his graduation from Black Hills State University in May, Collin Powers of Big Horn, Wyo., wanted an opportunity where he could “bet all the cards on himself” and prove his ability. After a record-breaking internship experience, he is now a fulltime employee expecting to make six figures this summer and will be visiting the BHSU campus to recruit student interns for his company.

Collin started his internship with Caliber, an industry leader in direct to consumer sales, selling Dish Network memberships door-to-door from May through August. Typically, new interns with Caliber can expect to earn $10,000 over the summer. But Collin earned four-times that amount, $43,000 in three months, and was named Intern of the Year.

“When Caliber spoke to us on campus, it hit home for me as a student preparing for graduation. Growth opportunities, personal growth, and compensation. I was attracted to that,” says Collin.

Collin says Dr. Bobbi Looney, assistant professor of management, and Hans Nelson, director of career and corporate development at BHSU, initially told him about the company’s visit to campus.

Born in Kodiak, Alaska, Collin’s family moved to Big Horn when he was 16. He enrolled in dual credit courses in high school, which helped him finish college at BHSU in three years.

Collin pursued a business administration – economics and finance degree at BHSU. Sports fans may recognize his name as the Yellow Jacket quarterback from 2016-2018. Collin says he chose to attend BHSU to play football, but the academic quality convinced him to stay.

“Faculty at Black Hills State are really good at putting you in a position where you’re hands on, learning how to communicate and present yourself in front of class,” says Collin. He noted that those classroom experiences translated into success with his  sales internship.

After spending five days with his family post-graduation from BHSU, Collin packed up his car and drove 14 hours to Omaha, Neb. He shadowed his manager for one hour before trying door-to-door sales on his own. The first few days were hard.

“I thought, ‘hey, this is what I asked for,’ to put myself in a position to learn and grow, and sharpen my tools every day, to be all-accountable to myself. I came out of college not knowing what to do next, and came out of the summer with the world as my oyster,” says Collin.

Collin set a goal for himself to sell 75 Dish Network installs over those three months during his internship. He ended up selling 238 installs, shattering the company record of 148. He won several sales competitions resulting in prizes like watches, a flat screen TV, snowboard and skiis. He earned three incentive trips to San Diego, Cabo, and Thailand.

“This is huge for a kid coming out of college. It sounds like make believe,” says Collin. “Now as a manager I get to come back to BHSU and give opportunities to other students to be part of our internship program - sharpening their tools and expanding their horizons.”

About the School of Business at BHSU
BHSU is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 5 percent of the 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB accreditation. BHSU is a premier, student-centered college, where students can fulfill their potential in an exceptional business environment. We offer associate, bachelor's (with seven specializations), and a master's degree in business on our campus in Spearfish and Rapid City. Classes are also available online. Visit

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