Lewis-Clark State College senior Alex Sandvick of Lewiston knows the passion he has for business is both powerful and exciting. The drive and focus he has, plus the support he’s received at LC State, has him ready to help others as he takes his next step.
Sandvick, 22, is scheduled to graduate this spring with a degree in business management and a minor in leadership.
“I chose this major because of my passion for business and wanting to one day become a key role model to those that I manage,” he says. “I’m passionate about leading others and helping them become the best versions of themselves.”
With the help of LC State faculty, Alex’s drive and passion has opened doors of opportunity, including employment with Costco and an internship with Twin County United Way. These opportunities have only helped solidify his decision that LC State is a great fit for him.
He enjoys the culture at the college along with relationships he has built, and continues to build, with his professors because they “always have the best interest of the students in mind,” Alex says.
“If you value relationships with your professors, LCSC is the school for you,” he says. “They strive to make you a better student and truly want to see you succeed.”
Alex points out two Business Division professors, Cara Thompson and Jenny Scott, who have really helped him at LC State. During his freshman year, Thompson encouraged Alex to apply for a three-month internship at Costco in nearby Clarkston. After the internship, Alex was offered a position and has worked at the warehouse full time while attending college.
“Cara Thompson has always gone the extra mile for all her students,” Alex says. “She cares so much for her students and their success. There have been times when I’m not enrolled in any of her classes but she still continues to check in on me and make sure I’m doing well in all my classes. She is the main reason I continued with school even at times when I felt like I couldn’t finish. She helped push me through.”
It was in Scott’s nonprofit business class where Alex learned about and worked with Twin County United Way for three months. The experience with one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the area, he says, was extremely rewarding because helping others has always been important to him.
“I’ve only known Jenny Scott for a short period of time, but within that short period she has been a very influential professor to me,” Alex says. “She has taught me a lot about business but also a lot about community engagement and the importance of it. She’s opened my eyes that there is more to business than I initially realized.”
With the college following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Idaho State Board of Education guidelines and going to all remote classes for the rest of the semester, it actually didn’t change Alex’s schedule. With several LC State business classes held online, Alex’s final semester is all online classes anyway, which benefits him with his work schedule.
“I was recently given the opportunity to work as a temporary supervisor in training (at Costco) for these last three months,” Sandvick said. “What a time it’s been being a first-time supervisor during the coronavirus. During my time at Costco, I’ve used the information that I’ve gained while attending LCSC on how to manage people and build the best relationships.”
Last fall was when Alex took the nonprofit management class. One of the requirements of the course was a volunteer service learning project at a local nonprofit organization.
“I wasn’t as familiar with nonprofit organizations within our community so I actually just googled nonprofit organizations,” Alex says. “I then found one that I was interested in. I learned that Twin County United Way has a huge impact on the Nez Perce and Asotin Counties by providing grants to other local nonprofits and that interested me.”
Alex contacted Sam Skinner, who was then the executive director at TCUW, about volunteering weekly at the office. They agreed he would be a good fit. One of his first assignments was to find ways the organization could improve its fundraising campaign to help other nonprofit agencies in the area and also how to better serve the community.
Skinner also told Alex she wanted to apply for the Advertising Google Grant, which is money that is credited to nonprofit organizations to help them pay for advertising on the internet. TCUW had previously applied for but never received the grant. Skinner assigned Alex the task of researching the grant to see if the organization would be a good fit for it.
“After doing some research, I went back to Sam telling her that I thought it would be beneficial and worth another try,” Alex says. “During this process, I would present campaign ads that I had made and then send them to Google. Google had very high standards and strict rule requirements on their ads, which made the process very long and time consuming.”
Alex says his work on the grant included watching training videos, taking tests and filling out multiple applications. After passing the first two initial stages, Alex was able to submit his campaigns to Google to review.
“On my last day volunteering at the Twin County United Way, I started to scroll through some emails and found an email from Google,” Alex says. “The email had stated they were going to accept our campaign and the Twin County United Way was going to receive the grant.”
TCUW will use the grant to advertise, at no cost, its mission and reach a bigger audience through Google Ads. The ads will help raise awareness of TCUW and help with fundraising efforts.
“This was extremely rewarding and will be one of my biggest accomplishments in my college career,” Alex says. “Helping others has always been something important to me and it felt good to do something little that helped in a big way. This experience has truly made me realize the impact you can make on your community with just volunteering and the importance of being involved in your community. We should all strive to help others in need.”
Alex says he is thankful to have such an incredible opportunity through Scott’s class.
“At first, I was nervous and hesitant about how I was going to juggle a 40-hour work week, school, and now volunteer work, but as time passed, the volunteer work didn’t seem like another task,” Sandvick said. “It was something I enjoyed and looked forward to doing.”