Steffes Spotlight: The Interns


Hometown: Dickinson, ND

School: Sophomore at the University of North Dakota

Degree: Mechanical Engineering, graduating May 2026

Random Fact: “I love to run and am on the cross-country team at UND.”

AJ already knew a bit about Steffes when he happened upon the company’s booth at a UND job fair. “I have heard great things about Steffes my entire life living in Dickinson,” he said. “I knew I had to apply for an internship.” He spent much of his summer in Steffes’ East production building, working alongside other engineers on a heat pump water heating system for multi-family homes, making it more user- and maintenance-friendly. He has enjoyed learning about creating and testing prototypes. After graduation, AJ hopes to find an engineering gig close to home… and we hope that is with Steffes!


Hometown: Richardton, ND

School: Sophomore at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Degree: Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, graduating May 2026

Random Fact: “As of this summer, I am now a wakeboarder!”

When looking for summer internship opportunities, Steffes caught Alayna’s eye; she had taken a tour of the Dickinson facilities with her high school classmates years ago. “Steffes seemed like a great company with great people, and I loved the fact that I could live at home,” Alayna said. She has had the unique opportunity to work with many individuals across the business through continuous improvement projects, like creating training materials and inspection criteria. She has also learned a lot about lean manufacturing processes and tools. “My favorite part about working at Steffes is the amazing work environment and the awesome people who have made me feel welcome from day one,” she continued. Alayna plans to search for an engineering position in or around the Black Hills once she graduates.


Hometown: Dickinson, ND

School: Freshman at North Dakota State College of Science

Degree: Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics Technology, graduating May 2024

Random Fact: “I love the small things, like popcorn on Thursdays at Steffes.”

Drew applied for an internship with Steffes because he was curious about the manufacturing industry and the types of careers he could pursue within it. Steffes seemed like the right place to explore that curiosity. He has been working to improve the architectural drawings of the Dickinson facilities as well as their recycling processes, and he jumped on the opportunity to learn to operate a CNC mill. After graduation, he will keep his eye out for the perfect job in the robotics and automation field.


Hometown: Richardton, ND

School: Junior at North Dakota State University (“Roll Herd!”)

Degree: Mechanical Engineering, graduating May 2026

Random Fact: “One time, I went on a three-hour fishing trip near Cape Cod, caught one fish, and then I was seasick the rest of the trip.”

Ashton picked Steffes for two reasons: he wanted to gain valuable engineering experience, and he wanted to have fun doing it. This summer, Ashton collaborated with other engineers on the company’s heat pump water heating system for multi-family homes, learning much about designing and testing prototypes in the process. What is the best part? “Working with good people who make things fun,” he said. He sure picked the right place for an internship! Ashton can’t wait to do a bit of traveling after graduation.


Hometown: South Heart, ND

School: Senior at North Dakota State University

Degree: Mechanical Engineering, graduating December 2024

Avery met several Steffes representatives at NDSU’s Career Expo, and they got to talking about internship opportunities. In Avery’s words, “mutual interest was established,” and the rest is history. He has designed fixtures to streamline contract manufacturing processes in Dickinson, absorbing the reasoning behind manufacturing decisions and procedures, which he feels will be incredibly useful once his time with Steffes concludes. Upon graduation, Avery plans to seek employment and “stack bands” – or in layman’s terms, save his income – for travel!


Hometown: Boiling Springs, NC

School: Junior at North Carolina State University (“Go Pack!”)

Degree: Mechanical Engineering, graduating May 2025

Random Fact: “I grew my hair out last year and had a perm in it. I soon grew tired of it and shaved it all off.”

Blake searched for an internship opportunity through which he could gain experience in a manufacturing environment, while living back at home this summer. He found the best of both worlds at Steffes. He has provided his input on many design and lean manufacturing projects, standard work documentation, and weld cell layouts. “I’ve learned that in order to meet production goals, processes must be efficient, effective, and repeatable,” he said. “My favorite part has been applying concepts and software I learned in college in the real world, and making connections and friendships has been the highlight of my summer.” Blake is excited to continue to build his knowledge and apply it in the workforce upon graduation.


Hometown: Camano Island, WA

School: Senior at North Dakota State University

Degree: Manufacturing Engineering, graduating December 2023

Random Fact: “When I was a kid, we had a pet tortoise. One day in the summer, we put him out on the deck, and he ran away. Not even kidding. We found him a week later buried in the garden. He was freezing, but ultimately OK!”

Braden wanted to spend his summer fishing in Dickinson. He was searching for an internship opportunity that would take him West when he happened upon Steffes recruiters at an NDSU career fair. They “lured” Braden in, and he has turned out to be a quality “catch.” He has worked in pipe welding and standard work documentation, and he has also been designing and redesigning new and existing welding fixtures. “My favorite part has been building relationships,” Braden said. “I feel like I am part of the team just as much as the next engineer. I’ve also really enjoyed seeing the projects I’ve worked on become real. I witnessed a problem, designed a solution, and saw that solution go from model to steel.” Braden can’t wait to find a permanent position in engineering upon graduation.


Hometown: Beulah, ND

School: Senior at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Degree: Mechanical Engineering, graduating May 2024

Random Fact: “I can say the alphabet backwards in under three seconds.”

Brayden joined Steffes for a summer internship in 2022 and enjoyed the work so much that he decided to come back for round two! Brayden creates fixtures to streamline product assembly in Steffes’ Dickinson facility and appreciates being given the opportunity to hone the skills he acquired on site last year. He has most enjoyed making connections and sharing ideas with the other interns. We are eagerly awaiting his graduation, as he plans to pursue permanent employment with Steffes!


Hometown: Lisbon, ND

School: Junior at Dickinson State University

Degree: Computer Management Systems and Business Administration, graduating May 2025

Random Fact: “I’ve never been on an airplane.”

Caleb has enjoyed his time as part of #TeamSteffes, working on the communication and technological troubleshooting skills he picked up in college. The best part? “Being able to help people and solve problems that come up,” Caleb said. He is excited to go into the Information Technology sector once he graduates.


Hometown: East Grand Forks, MN

School: Junior at the University of North Dakota

Degree: Operations and Supply Chain Management, graduating May 2024

Random Fact: “In the upcoming spring semester, I will be studying abroad in Rome, Italy!”

Ellie pursued an internship with Steffes because of the positive experiences other interns expressed to her. In her first few weeks, she felt that positivity firsthand as she shadowed shipping and receiving agents to understand their processes and procedures before updating old and creating new standard work documentation. Ellie has most enjoyed meeting new people and learning about different parts of a business. “I’ve learned that teamwork and communication are the key to success,” she said. “I would not be able to work as efficiently and effectively without the help of other employees.” Ellie’s goal is to find a full-time position after graduation.


Hometown: Grand Forks, ND

School: Senior at the University of North Dakota

Degree: Operations and Supply Chain Management, graduating December 2023

Random Fact: “I broke my pinky as a freshman in high school and never got it fixed, so now it sticks up in a funny way.”

Jackson heard about Steffes while employed as a supply chain analyst at another company. When searching for an internship opportunity, he decided to take a chance on Steffes, and it paid off! “Everyone has been very open at Grand Forks East, and I really feel part of the team,” he said. He makes sure employees have enough material to reach the demand on the production floor through efficient use of shipping and receiving software: a skill he’s proud to have honed this summer. His favorite part of the work is talking to suppliers all over the country. Once he graduates, Jackson will spread his wings and search for a position outside his hometown.


Hometown: Oshkosh, WI

School: Senior at the University of North Dakota

Degree: Mechanical Engineering, graduating December 2024

Random Fact: “I’m part of the Formula Racing team on campus, building a race car each year and competing against colleges from around the world.”

Matt was curious about Steffes’ work on pressure vessels and flares, so when an internship opportunity popped up, he decided to take it. He has been working alongside paint line operators, designing and manufacturing parts to make painting a simpler task, and he has become more familiar with sheet metal design along the way. The best part is the teamwork. “I get to talk to everyone on the floor, and they’ve been very helpful with any questions I have,” Matt said. While his post-graduation plans are still up in the air, he would like to find work in the power sports or automotive industries.


Hometown: Shelby, NC

School: Senior at Western Carolina University

Degree: Electrical Engineering, graduating May 2024

Random Fact: “I made my own laser over the summer!”

Wes’ goal was to gain experience in his field of interest this summer, and he succeeded! He has learned about lean manufacturing and begun implementing that mindset when he comes across any problems. In addition, he has created standard work and continuous improvement documentation for contract manufacturing in Steffes’ newest facility. His favorite part has been working alongside incredible people on memorable projects; he helped write the process for loading massive equipment onto transfer trucks using a ten-ton hoist. Upon graduation, Wes plans to spend a few years in the workforce before enrolling in graduate school for optoelectronics or photonics.


Hometown: Kings Mountain, NC

School: Junior at Appalachian State University

Degree: Computer Information Systems, graduating May 2024

Zach has spent his summer reviewing incoming computer help tickets and troubleshooting those issues. He has learned more about cables, command lines, hardware and software than he knows what to do with! He appreciates being given the opportunity to apply what he studied in college in a workplace setting. “Helping others and seeing my work pay off has been the best part,” Zach said. He will pursue a career in this field after graduation next year.


Hometown: Dickinson, ND

School: Senior at Bismarck State College

Degree: Cybersecurity and Information Technology, graduating December 2024

Random Fact: “I have been yelled at in five different languages while being a hockey official.”

As a Dickinson native, Zachary already knew about Steffes when he began searching for an internship. “I wanted to work for a company that has done a lot for my community,” he said. He has also been managing help tickets and working with his team to troubleshoot issues, applying what he has learned at BSC to solve them. Zachary won’t forget what it has been like working with such a great group at Steffes. “I hope to come back to Dickinson after graduation and start my career.”