Internship becomes international career for Madison graduate

SPEARFISH -- An internship while earning her degree at Black Hills State University turned into a full-time, international job for Hannah Downs, class of 2015.

Downs works as the channel manager at B9Creations, a global 3D printer manufacturer based in Rapid City, and recently returned to campus to share her insights with current BHSU students.

"When I started at B9Creations, I was our sixth employee. Now we have 30 employees and we're still continuing to grow," said Downs, who is originally from Madison.

B9Creations started as a Kickstarter company and is now a global 3D printer manufacturer. With an ever-increasing catalog of 3D printing solutions, it now stands as the market leader in jewelry, prototyping and manufacturing, research, medical devices and model making.

As the channel manager, Downs manages B9C's global channel distribution network.

"I work with all of our dealers who sell our products or who represent our products internationally. I help them develop market insights and how to sell their products. A lot of my job is business consulting. I'm helping people to grow their businesses," said Downs.

Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser said she was pleased to see Downs land this job, which started with a BHSU internship. Since launching in 2014, B9Creations has employed six BHSU student interns; Downs was the first.

"Her success began at BHSU even before her internship and job. She was a natural at public relations and as a leader in the PR Club on campus," said Caton-Rosser.

Downs agreed, sharing with students in the Managerial Communications class at BHSU that being involved gives you experience, and experience helps prepare you for growth.

It was her connections on campus that encouraged Downs to apply for the internship, and she said she landed the interview with B9 thanks to her classwork featured on her LinkedIn profile.

"My `Powtoon' video created in Dr. Bobbi Looney's class is what landed me my internship. I used my `Powtoon' as a resume to apply for this job," said Downs.

"I'm so pleased for this kind of opportunity to come to a recent graduate of BHSU. Hannah is flying all over the globe out of Rapid City in this position," said Looney. "There are opportunities in South Dakota and experiences and internships that will allow you to grow and learn."