Trinity fellows Rachel Sousa (left), David Kon, and Aaron Paetkau begin a year-long internships with TWU executive leaders. (TWU/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Trinity fellows Rachel Sousa (left), David Kon, and Aaron Paetkau begin a year-long internships with TWU executive leaders. (TWU/Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU graduates land internships with university executive

Trinity Fellows program provides mentorship, graduate-level training, and practical work experience

Each year, three of Trinity Western University’s most promising new graduates are paired with TWU executive leaders, through a competitive Fellows program.

The three selected Trinity Fellows are starting their year-long, paid internships while taking graduate-level courses in the master of arts in leadership program.

This year’s Trinity Fellows are 2021 graduates, David Kong, Aaron Paetkau, and Rachel Sousa.

Each Fellow is being mentored by a senior university leader and pursuing workplace projects suited to their strengths and interests.

Sousa said she is excited to develop professional skills that will serve her well into her future.

“I really enjoyed my time at Trinity Western and am looking forward to spending another year here, taking part in a program that emphasizes mentorship and leadership development,” she shared.

Sousa, who graduated this past spring with a degree in international studies, is interning with the senior vice-president of enrolment, personal, and career development.

Prior to graduation, Sousa served as a resident assistant on campus, and volunteered with Nightshift Ministries in Surrey.

Kong, a Trinity Fellow interning with the vice-president of student life, said he looks forward to contributing to his alma mater.

“I can leverage the skills learned from my education to continue to serve this community,” said Kong, who majored in business administration.

Studying at TWU has been a formative experience for Kong, who has served international students on campus, volunteered locally with DRIME (a ministry of Power to Change), and participated in the Langley Toastmasters club.

Kong described how there are two things he looks forward to in the Trinity Fellows program, “one is serving this growing community with a talented student-oriented team; another is expanding my professional skills through learning from my mentor, as well as other Fellows.”

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Paetkau, a Trinity Fellow working with the executive director of marketing and communications, values the opportunity to see leadership in action.

“This role has allowed me to observe how a proficient organization is run, and the quality of leadership that is behind the scenes,” he said.

Paetkau graduated from the school of education and was a member of TWU’s Spartans men’s basketball team.

In 2020, Paetkau was awarded the Spartans’ Bahta Melles servant-leader of the year award for his work as the spiritual mentor for athletes, and for his recent efforts in organizing a volunteering partnership with Christian Life Assembly called CityServe.

Locally, Paetkau has also coached youth basketball with ELEVATE Basketball.

“These roles granted me the opportunity to mentor young people in the community, which further deepened my passion for mentorship,” he said.

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The three 2021 Trinity Fellows each said they look forward to continuing to grow as leaders while refining their future career aspirations.

Trinity is a Christian liberal arts university with five campuses, the largest being in Langley, with others located in Ottawa and Bellingham, and two in Richmond.

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