New Graduate Spotlight: Hayley Kazmierczak

Hayley Kazmierczak
Hayley Kazmierczak

Business student completes Management and Leadership Internship at Caribou Coffee

Hayley Kazmierczak, 20, graduated from Inver Hills Community College May 2019 with her Business Transfer Pathway Associate of Science (A.S.). Hayley will be starting at the University of Wisconsin–Stout fall semester 2019 with plans to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration.

Hayley Kazmierczak
Hayley Kazmierczak

Originally from Hastings, Minnesota, Hayley is a 2017 graduate of Hastings High School. She belonged to Phi Theta Kappa at Inver Hills and also completed a Management and Leadership Internship at the Caribou Coffee Alliance Bank Center location in the St. Paul Skyway.

“I am a shift leader at Caribou,” Hayley said. “I’ve learned how to do a better job as a leader and manager. Veronica, the store manager, showed me how a business is run. My co-workers—other shift leaders—also helped with my training.”

Emily Johnson, director of career development at Inver Hills, reported that Caribou Coffee contacted her office in the Center for Career Development and Community-Based Learning (CCD+CBL) about partnering with the college to establish an internship program.

“Caribou Coffee is piloting the internship opportunity with Inver Hills only at this point,” Emily said. “Hayley is the first student to complete the internship, which is designed to show all aspects of running a business. Hayley learned front-of-house tasks such as preparing and serving beverages. She was also trained in by the Caribou Coffee manager at the Skyway location regarding accounting, hiring, recruiting and ordering practices.”

Emily added that Caribou Coffee was happy with the process of working with CCD+CBL as well as Hayley’s performance during her internship. “We are going ahead with more Caribou internships and are actively recruiting intern candidates,” Emily said.

“Hayley worked incredibly hard to land her internship. She tailored and customized her resume multiple times for each of her applications. I was especially excited for Hayley when she landed the internship at Caribou because the opportunity fit her desire to get exposed to all parts of running a business.
“At Caribou, each location is run like its own business, and Hayley was able to see each aspect of what makes a business run, including the fact that sometimes even the manager needs to make a cup of coffee.
“Internships are an exceptional way for students to explore their major. For our business students, that means having that many more options when they graduate. Completing an internship exposes business students to opportunities in the workforce they are interested in pursuing. They can also encounter work settings that don’t match up with their career plans. Both are really valuable experiences.”
Emily Johnson, Director of Career Development
Inver Hills Community College
Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson

Management and Leadership Internship

Inver Hills Community College Students Only


More about Hayley…

Along with her Caribou Coffee Management and Leadership Internship, Hayley holds down two other jobs, guest service representative at Coborn’s in Hastings and direct care staff at Stepping Out, a group home, also in Hastings. In the latter role, she takes care of people with Prader-Willi syndrome, a very rare genetic disorder that leads to intellectual disability, shortness in stature and obesity. While carrying 17 credits at Inver during spring semester 2019, Hayley worked 60+ hours a week.

“I absolutely love my job at Stepping Out,” she said. “I hope to one day be a manager of some sort of business while helping people with disabilities—or somehow combining the two jobs into one.”

One word that best describes your experience at Inver Hills:

Hayley has a brother and sister who are twins, Hunter, 18, a student in the Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology program at Dakota County Technical College, and Hana, 18, a student at Minnesota State University Winona. Her father, Mike, is a project manager in Red Wing, Minnesota; her mother, Deb, works for Smartcure. Mike’s girlfriend, Trina, has two daughters, Bre, 26, and Sam, 22, who are like sisters to Hayley.

When she’s not working or going to school, which is basically never, Hayley enjoys athletics, including basketball and soccer—she played varsity in both sports for the Raiders in high school. She was a goalkeeper in soccer. She also likes painting as well as hanging out with friends, family and coworkers.

Hayley is huge into March Madness and loves the Kentucky Wildcats, although the team broke her bracket this season. She likes running (that’s part of her job at Stepping Out) and recently participated in the Blue Knights 5K at DCTC. Hayley resides in Hastings, Minnesota.

2019 Inver Hills Commencement

Student Speaker: Hayley Kazmierczak

Hayley served as the student speaker at the 2019 Inver Hills Community College Commencement Ceremony Thursday, May 16, at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. The theme of Hayley’s speech was thinking about our lives from the standpoint of a tree.

Good Evening!

Welcome friends, family and staff to the Inver Hills Community College 2019 Graduation. Let’s all take a moment and thank all of those that have been supporting us through this crazy journey and who have helped us get to where we are planted today.

I am Hayley Kazmierczak and I am honored to be standing in front of you today. My goal is not only to celebrate graduation on this amazing day, but also to look ahead to the exciting next chapter, no matter what lies ahead for all of you.

Now graduates, this might be a weird thing to think about on a day like today, but I want you to think about your life…as if you were a tree. I know, I know, but hear me out.

Read more…


Hayley Kazmierczak Q & A

Hayley Kazmierczak
Hayley Kazmierczak

What advice would you give business students unsure about completing an internship?
DO IT! If they are unsure, I will tell them to do it! It is all about the learning experience and getting a feel for what you want to do in the future. Your first internship doesn’t mean you are going to be with them forever, I mean, you could be if you really enjoy that place. It is a great opportunity, and I have learned many new things that I would never have learned just by reading about it in a textbook.

How did you prepare for your internship?
I knew I wanted to do an internship before I transferred, so I just took as many courses for business as I could and then whatever credits I needed after that. I was determined to finish my last three credits through an internship.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned from your internship experience?
That it is okay to make mistakes because you learn from them, and that people are willing to help you as long as you are willing to learn. It was all a learning experience to better myself into the business world.

What person has influenced you the most in your life?
It’s a tie between my mother and father. They both are great influencers. They have helped me with a lot of things and are the reasons why I am who I am today.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Hopefully, I’ll have seen many different places out of the U.S., or even throughout the U.S. I hope to have a stable job where I am able to provide for my family, as well as my mom and dad in case they ever need help, or my siblings! Still working hard! Maybe running a company or a group home. Helping people with disabilities in any way that I can.

More about CCD+CBL

The Center for Career Development and Community-Based Learning (CCD+CBL) builds careers and strengthens communities by engaging students in the lifelong process of career development and active citizenship.

We accomplish our mission by:

  1. Providing students and alumni the skills and experiences needed to make an impact in today’s competitive labor market.
  2. Working in partnership with faculty for in and out of classroom learning experiences.
  3. Cultivating community partner relationships for volunteer opportunities, service-learning, academic internships, and off campus employment.

CCD+CBL staff would like to thank our many community and employer partners who make it possible to support our students in their academic and career journeys.

Learn more…

Hayley Kazmierczak 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Soccer or basketball
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Alaska or Fiji
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Traveled to the Dominican Republic twice—sailed on a catamaran and snorkeled.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Put some into research to find a cure for alopecia 2) Donate $100 million to other charities 3) Repay my parents
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: This is Us or A Million Little Things
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: Us or Glass
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Being able to see the world.
  8. Your national bird if you could have one: I actually hate birds… but if I had to pick, it would either be a mandarin duck or a peacock.
  9. Dream occupation: Manager of a business or managing a group home
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Jeana Turner or Winnie Harlow
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Being able to speak all of the different languages
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Mental health
Learn more about the Center for Career Development and Community-Based Learning (CCD+CBL) at Inver Hills by contacting:

Emily Johnson
Director of Career Development

Shannon Williams
Community-Based Learning Coordinator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *