Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Student establishes an internship with Grainger!

Ryan Van Derra, Marketing Major

William W. Grainger founded the company in 1927, originally Grainger sold only motors. Since then Grainger has expanded their product line to more than 900,000 products and growing. Making Grainger one of the largest business to business distribution centers in the Nation. There are more than 600 Grainger branches in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, India, China, and Panama. I am currently employed in the Appleton branch, one of ten branches in Wisconsin.

My experience at Grainger began in March of 2011. I found a job posting on the internet and applied. After a few interviews I was finally hired and became a part of the Grainger team.  I began as a customer sales associate, which involves communicating Grainger’s product to customers in attempt to help them find their desired product, as well as go after additional sales

After a few months of working with Grainger my manager and I started looking into establishing an internship that would benefit both myself and the company. We settled on more responsibilities within the customer sales associate role such as inventory management and price adjustments. In addition to that, I also took on an accounts manager role. In that position I will be responsible for managing existing accounts, and also working on establishing new accounts.  

A few of my favorite things about working at Grainger include the constant customer interaction. It has really helped me to develop my communication skills as well as expand on my personal network. I am constantly meeting new people and learning new things. My internship at Grainger has really helped me to become more independent, and my confidence is growing.

Grainger is a great company; I have already learned so many new things and acquired many skills that would be hard to come by in a class room. I am excited to continue my progress and meet more people. I can definitely see myself working at a company such as Grainger in the future.

Morning lecture dealing with foreign trade

May 26, 2011

Entry by Ceecee Shan
Today’s morning lecture focused on “Foreign Trade Situation in Ningbo.”  The lectured covered an overview of Ningbo’s economy; business that Ningbo focuses on the most; and the main driving force in Ningbo’s economic development. It was a very interesting topic, however there was too many number and facts which made it hard to follow along with the presentation.

For lunch, we met up with our partners and were free for lunch. It seems like we are constantly eating and rushing to the next stop which is a part of the Chinese Culture.

In the afternoon, we visited Ningbo Utrans Wine Co, Ltd. The company mainly focuses on imported wine, most of the wine are imported from France, and distributes to different retailer within the country . Ways of finding new customers are through wine trade fair, online promotion and online retailing. Long-term exhibition centers are available all year round. Walk-ins are welcomed at Ningbo Utrans Wine Co, Ltd.

Wine tasting was taken place after the visit of the storage rooms and exhibition center. We also saw a bottle of Lafita which was worth $5,000.

After the visit of the Wine company, we returned back to Ningbo University.



Nǐ hǎo! (nee-how)

Entry by Matt Smits
Today was fun-filled day packed with interesting events! Day 3 at Ningbo University and we dove right in to Chinese culture by attending a lecture on introductory Chinese language. The title is the Chinese word for hello, and everyone has this down perfectly. We started off by pronunciation all of the different sounds that differ from English, which was a bit difficult to get used to. The instructor was wonderful and used flash cards for all of the initials, finals and tones presented in Chinese. Before you knew it everyone was catching on very fast and holding a basic conversation with each other; even learning a couple words/ phrases to assist in bartering! The teacher had nothing but great things to say about our pronunciation and how fast we were able to catch on to her native language.

The last portion of lecture consisted of Chinese script or Calligraphy. An interesting fact is that with the hundreds of dialects spoken across China (where some may not even understand others), Calligraphy remains universal. We were a bit short on time and ended up only being able to get a 20 minute crash course involving tree, mountain, man, and American.
In the afternoon we visited Youngor Garment Co. and Guangbo Stationary Co. Both of these companies were VERY large and pretty familiar in some aspects to American culture. While touring the manufacturing facility at Youngor, someone read the label on a shirt and noticed a familiar brand, Ralph Lauren. To actually visit the place where shirts like this were made was very eye opening. We stumbled upon boxes with shirts in them labeled: TJ Maxx $34.99.  After Youngor Garment, we visited Guangbo Stationary Co. We learned that this company is the leading stationary supply company in China. They make thousands of different products using many different materials including; recycled paper, cotton, sugar cane, stone, bamboo, and reed parchment. Most of us were surprised at the number of different materials they can use to maintain an environmentally friendly label.

1st day of class at Ningbo Univ, China

Entry by Matt Campbell, Info Systems major
After a long day of traveling and being able to get some sleep finally, we started our day off with a traditional Chinese breakfast. Chinese breakfast is completely different than in the United States. Breakfast consisted of rice porridge, noodles, vegetables, fried dough, along with some other items. They did serve us fried eggs, which was nice to have. After breakfast we went to our first lecture and we were able to learn about some Chinese culture. There is a lot of information to be known about Chinese culture and we only touched base on a few things. Before the lecture, we took a picture as a group, which is shown below.

student group in China
After lunch with our university partners, we traveled to the Port of Ningbo. It was quite cool and was very large. The weather was terrible, rainy and windy, but we stood outside in the rain learning about the port. After a short 20 minutes we drove to Jade Company, which is a producer for many different types of shoes. It was really interesting hearing about how they do international business. The most interesting part was that they produced the shoes here in China, but they do not sell them domestically. They have many big customers that they produce for. The CEO talked to us about how they handle international trade and how they are trying to open a sales office in Los Angeles. After another drive back to the university we had dinner on our own and enjoyed some delicious Chinese cuisine. Besides currently having no internet, everything has been going pretty good and everyone is having a blast. Below is a picture of the port we were at and one of the pictures of the showroom of shoes.

shipping port_China
shoe mfg China

Yu Gardens & travel to Ningbo University

Entry by Lance Gruenke. (we cannot get enough bandwidth to upload photos)
Day 3 – This morning we had the pleasure to visit the Yu Gardens in Old China. The Gardens are composed of walkways that meander around numerous ponds and streams. Dispersed throughout the Yu Gardens were various replicas of ancient Chinese buildings rebuilt in 1980, because the real ones were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. These elaborate buildings contain antique furniture, engravings and symbols, such as the Dragon and the phoenix, praising the emperor and his family.

From there we embarked on a three hour bus ride to reach Ningbo University. On our journey we were able to cross the second largest bridge in the world, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, being a little longer than 22 miles. Once we reached Ningbo we experienced a lovely dinner accompanied by performances from the university students. After the dinner was complete we finally met our partners from the Ningbo University who will help guide us during the next nine days while staying in Ningbo. We are all excitedly waiting for our next marvelous adventure here in Ningbo.

Better City, Better Life – Shanghai

Entry by Ari Balkin. (we cannot get enough bandwidth to upload photos)
Day 2 started off with a non-traditional American breakfast that included pork dumplings, rice porridge, 1000-year old eggs, Chinese toast, an assortment of butter cookies and finally sweet watermelon! Day 2 was off to quite the adventure! Everyone seemed to be over their jet lag and was ready to dive into Chinese culture. After breakfast we were off to the Pearl Tower which is the one of the largest TV radio towers in the world. It was wild! We took a tour of the tower and went to the top observation deck. The highlight of the Pearl Tower was the see-through floor that looked down over 290 meters. It was a great start to the day. Getting to see and experience a different culture and watching people standing on a inch of glass was a site to see.

Then we visited the silk museum. We got to hold a live silk worm and watched how a silk comforter is made. It takes more than 60 layers of silk and 6000 cocoons to make 1 silk comforter.

We had a large traditional lunch comprised of more than 12 dishes. Their was a live musical dance performance. Along with really good watermelon for dessert.

Afterward, we went to the Chinese World Expo pavilion. We had to stand in line for about 3 hours. It was a larger then life experience. It was something that looked like it was out of a Star wars movie. Then we went to Nanjing road for dinner.

Are we there yet? China 2011

First blog from students on study tour to China. This entry from Marion Rothkegel.

On May 19, 2011, our journey to China finally began!! We, that means 18 business students and 3 professors along with other Math Education students, left Oshkosh, WI, by the dawn’s early light at 4:30 in the morning after three days of preparation classes and presentations prior to this actual departure. Packed with suitcases, backpacks, and other necessities, we were ready to go to O’Hare, Chicago. After three hours on a school bus, we were excited to get on the Boeing 777 with somewhat more comfortable seats, which would take us directly to Shanghai.

Upon arrival at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, it took us only an hour and a half to travel approximately 25 miles in the city’s traffic (which was just a first glance of what to expect from Chinese traffic) to get to our hotel, the Fountain Hotel. After over 22 hours of traveling, we had the opportunity to freshen up and get ready for our first traditional Chinese dinner. Our group went to a restaurant right in the city and was able to witness “real” Chinese food, which happens to be quite different from the so-called Chinese food in the United States. The food provided was a wide arrangement of different vegetable and meats, which required every now and then a brave soul to try it out. After all, it was a delicious experience, which made everybody excited for more during our stay in China.

After having the chance to freshen up and getting energy from the food, we were ready to face our next adventure: a boat tour on the Huangpo River. Not only were able to see the magnificent skyline of Shanghai on a tour boat, but we were also able to observe the city’s efforts to make Shanghai a more popular destination by putting on an incredible light show across the entire skyline. Every main building, including the Oriental Pearl Television Tower, had a spectacular show with various colors and effects.

After the tour, it was time to head back to the hotel and get some well-deserved sleep in. One thing is sure after just one day: This is a fantastic once in a life time experience.

Oshkosh Corporation Finance Internship!

Tim Suess, Oshkosh Corporation Intern

I have been employed at Oshkosh Defense for over a year and have grown both professionally and personally throughout my tenure with the organization.  Oshkosh Defense is a business segment of Oshkosh Corporation, a transnational corporation with products in the defense, fire and emergency, commercial, and access equipment arenas. 

I began my internship at a plant, working under the plant controller providing the necessary financial information and analysis the plant needed to perform to its full potential.  My tasks included calculating weekly productivity, efficiency, and budget variances in all areas of the plant.  I was also able to work on several projects with members of the operations teams to broaden my experience with the organization.

In January of 2011 I was transferred to the contract accounting group due to employee turnover.   This move gave me the opportunity to see a different side of the accounting world and apply some of my technical accounting knowledge to my daily tasks.  I am responsible for accounting for one of the most competitive contracts the company has under its belt. 

The experience I have gained at Oshkosh Defense has helped me narrow my career focus and apply my academic curriculum.  Internships are one of the best high impact practices to teach students the skills needed in the professional world and I am thankful to Oshkosh Defense and other employers that give UWO students the chance to work at their respective organizations.

Georgia-Pacific Transportation Internship sparks interest!

Georgia Pacific was founded by Owen Cheatham in 1927.  Georgia Pacific is headquartered in Atlanta Georgia.  The company started out as a wholesaler of hardwood lumber, and has since grown into a leading producer of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging and building products throughout the world.  Georgia Pacific is now owned by Koch Industries, an American private energy conglomerate. 

 My internship began in the beginning of February 2011 and has already given me valued experience and knowledge.  I am a part of the pricing team in the transportation group at Georgia Pacific.  This experience has really sparked an interest for me in the transportation aspect of supply chain, and I wish to continue in transportation as I further my career. 

 As an intern, I am responsible for publishing rates, processing and recording carrier contracts for all GP divisions managed at the transportation office in Green Bay and utilize organization and communication to efficiently and effectively communicate within the pricing team and to the many carriers that Georgia Pacific uses.

 In a period of three months, I feel that I have been challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone to further develop professional skills and obtain industry knowledge.  My effective communication and organizational skills have been apparent during my time as an intern.  I have seen great improvements in my ability to recognize a potential concern and proactively address the situation to avoid conflict and streamline processes. 

 My major classes and involvement with several organizations at UW Oshkosh have helped me be successful as an intern.  I am excited to expand my knowledge in transportation and overtake obstacles to broaden my experiences.

Oshkosh Corp offers Team Leader Co-op!

Garrett Barber, Oshkosh Corporation

Oshkosh Truck Corporation is a leading producer of military vehicles in the United States. It has manufacturing operations in 11 different U.S. states, as well as Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania, China, France, and Canada. It succeeds through its use of innovation, operational excellence, quality through continuous improvement, and acquisitions of market leaders. Oshkosh Truck Corporation consists of four market segments: Access, Defense, Fire & Emergency, and Commercial.

I’m a Junior majoring in Supply Chain Operations Management, currently a co-op with Oshkosh Truck Corporation – Defense. Having switched to a major in business only two semesters ago, I haven’t had any in-depth courses in SCOM yet. This, however, hasn’t stopped me from being just as successful in this position as anyone else.

I was very fortunate to speak with the two gentlemen at Oshkosh Truck Corporation’s booth at the Career Fair last year. Once I had arrived at my position, I was instantly overwhelmed with people, processes, and information that I knew I wouldn’t remember. After a short period I was placed into supervising two production lines, and have developed professionally and academically since then.

Trials and struggles have provided me with an active learning stance in this position. I’ve had many issues arise, but through the mentoring I’ve received, I was able to understand and resolve problems, as well as prevent others. This position has prepared me for pretty much anything that can be thrown my way. I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, as I know there are only rewards to be gained through working harder.

This position is extraordinarily rewarding for me, through professional development, academic utilization, management of people and processes, and so much more. I would highly recommend a position in a supervisory role to any students seeking an operations internship.

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