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Why I Moved to DSM for an Internship

Intern in DSM

November 1, 2021

A recovering job market pushes college students to broaden hunt for internships. Greater Des Moines (DSM) offers a city that doesn’t feel like a city and a community full of opportunities for 21-year-old Katelyn Bishop.

I decided to move from my hometown in Oklahoma to DSM for the summer as a 21-year-old because of the opportunities. Many of my friends and peers were having troubles finding internships locally, so I knew I had to expand my search. I started to look everywhere in search of a company that was hiring during a pandemic and that fit my values. I applied to companies all over the country including Texas, Kansas and Colorado.

I was fortunate enough to receive multiple interviews and began to narrow down my options based on what was important to me. Cost of living, compensation and social ties were all factors I needed to consider.

Landing in DSM

After carefully reviewing all options, I decided to accept a tax internship with Athene in West Des Moines, Iowa. I had a friend from college that lived in DSM, and the company met all my expectations for a summer internship. I had lived in Ames when I was younger, so I was familiar with the region.

I packed up, moved to Iowa and started my job in May 2021. I quickly realized between the company values and the culture of DSM, I had landed in the right place. While I chose to live with a friend, I was relieved to know Athene would provide a list of resources if I needed.

Beyond the robust list of companies hiring and internship opportunities, I found a way of life I valued. Des Moines is a city that does not feel like a city. You could be in Downtown DSM, and if you drive 20 minutes either way, you are in suburb with cornfields. I appreciate how accessible DSM — I could be perusing the Downtown Farmers’ Market in the morning and be cycling on amazing trails by lunch time.

Endless Activities

Every time I have been in the city, I have felt safe and entertained. There is always something to do or a new place to eat. If you enjoy being outside, there are various places to canoe or to run, walk or bike on trails. If you enjoy art, there are museums and a beautiful sculpture park in the center of the downtown. If you enjoy history, you can learn about the architecture and foundation of the city.

As my internship continued, I started to see similarities in the culture of DSM and Athene. Both were fast paced and full of new challenges and opportunities, but within the community or department, I found safety and security.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work at Athene and live in DSM during the summer of 2021. I learned that I value a welcoming environment that allows me to grow, and I will take that with me on my next journey.

Athene USA is proud to offer a comprehensive, fast-paced intern program for the next generation of talent in the financial services industry — all right here in Des Moines. Members of the 2021 Athene internship class were asked to share their experience and why a Des Moines-based company was the place they chose to spend their summer.

Job opportunities and career resources are abundant in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Whether you're looking to find an internship, a job, develop professionally or grow as a student, we have the resources to help you thrive.

Katelyn Bishop

Katelyn Bishop is a tax intern at Athene USA. She is a senior at Benedictine College, majoring in accounting and finance with minors in entrepreneurship and Spanish with an expected graduation of May 2022.