Brookings’ employers

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[email protected]

Mr. Hopper –

Your recent Op-Ed piece on Brookings’ area businesses was incredibly short sighted and demonstrated a limited understanding of the facts.

As an SDSU grad and Daktronics employee, let me set the record straight. While attending SDSU, I applied at Daktronics for the internship I needed to complete my journalism degree. After graduation, that internship led to my current full-time position.

Bottom line, Mr. Hopper, is this: without the internship, I wouldn’t have had the experience to qualify for the full-time position. The internship gave me the chance to prove myself.

Contrary to your comments in your piece, that seems to fit squarely within the intentions of Drs. Kurtenbach and Sanders. They wanted to provide career opportunities for SDSU grads so they could stay in South Dakota. Seems to me, and to the many other SDSU grads who work at Daktronics, that they did just that.

As for your comment that their intent “was to take advantage of Ignorant College Students”, excuse me? So, all of the engineers, salespeople, graphic designers, etc. who work at Daktronics as students or full-time employees are ignorant? Personally, I resent that statement.

My decision to work at Daktronics as a student was to fulfill my internship requirements while gaining valuable on-the-job experience. I continue to work at Daktronics in a full-time position because I enjoy my job and because my family, friends and church are here. Believe me, I didn’t stay here because I’m ignorant.

Life isn’t summed up by the amount of money you earn, Mr. Hopper. There’s more to it than that. Sometimes, as a student, you may need to sacrifice a little to gain the experience that will lead to full-time employment.

One more thing: for your information, journalism internships generally don’t pay anything. At Daktronics, I was paid for the entire internship. The grass is always greener, right? I don’t think so.

Next time you write an Op-Ed piece, you might want to check your facts a little. And you might want to think twice about calling the hundreds of current SDSU students and alumni who work at Daktronics “ignorant”.

Rick WipfSDSU grad and Daktronics employee