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Monthly Archive for July, 2011

Hard work pays off for Krueger International Intern!

Tyler Loritz, Process Manager Intern at KI

For my internship, I have the privilege of working for Krueger International (KI). Started in 1941, KI has always produced furniture that meets each particular customers needs. Focusing on four specific areas: education, healthcare, business and government, KI has been able to provide the customer with exactly what they need. KI is an employee owned company with sales offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, India, China and other Asian countries.

 My title is Process Manager Intern. I am currently doing my internship in the Green Bay manufacturing plant which is the global headquarters for KI. I worked on the floor for three summers assembling chairs before I was recommended for this internship by my old manager. I was initially going to school for engineering but during my third summer at KI I was given more responsibility and put in charge of a particular cell in the plant. Initially I was worried that I wouldn’t be up to the task, but after some time I realized I was capable of managing that area and I wanted to prove to my manager that he made the right decision in putting his trust in me.

 After that summer, I transferred to UWO and chose to major in SCOM because that was the closest major to what I had done at KI. When summer rolled around and I applied at KI to work on the floor again the HR manager let me know that I was recommended for the internship position. So I submitted my resume and was interviewed and was fortunate enough to receive the job. I am very lucky because my boss is also a graduate of UWO with a SCOM degree and she also did her internship at KI.

  I have learned a lot over the two months that I’ve been here. Before I was just in charge of one particular area but now I oversee the operations of the entire plant which is over 90 people on 2nd shift and almost 50 of these employees are summer temps. It is my responsibility to watch over the plant and assist them with any questions or concerns they may have. I spend a lot of time in the cell I used to work in because they are extremely busy. I am very familiar with it and can usually help out with any problems they may have.

 One thing that has improved greatly is my communication skills. To succeed in the management field you need to communicate to everyone what needs to be done and how it will be done. If you cannot communicate with your employees then they will not know what to expect. 

 I am very lucky to be able to do my internship at KI. They have treated me so well every summer I’ve been here which is why I keep coming back and why I chose to do my internship here. I’m learning very valuable information that I will be able to use after graduation when I am looking for a full time job.

Finance major enjoys an internship with the DNR!

Mai Kar Lee, Financial Specialist Intern

The Department of Natural Resource is a well-known government agency in the state of Wisconsin. It is the DNR’s responsibility and main purpose to ensure a clean and healthy outdoor environment for the state of Wisconsin. Outdoor activities, such as, fishing and hunting is quite popular in Wisconsin and that means that it is crucial for the DNR to continue to strive to protect, maintain, and regulate the state of Wisconsin’s natural resources. The DNR does this by training employees to do their job effectively and efficiently.

I am currently interning at the Department of Natural Resources in the Finance Bureau. I’m majoring in Accounting and Finance and expecting to graduate this coming May, 2012. My official title at the DNR is a Financial Specialist. I am working in the financial accounting section in the Finance Bureau.

So far I have been pre-auditing and processing employee purchasing cards or P-cards. Just by processing p-cards I have also learn other things that will help me professionally. For example, processing the p-card requires a lot communication between me and the cardholders. The first time I had to e-mail a cardholder it was very unprofessional and now my e-mails are definitely more professional and concise.

The month of June was the DNR’s fiscal year-end, so we have been super busy trying to finish processing everything.  It has been kind of crazy but it has also been a great experience going through the process of completing the accounting cycle. It feels great to have met our deadline for the year-end and now have more time to learn new things in the finance bureau. I have about a month left at the DNR and my supervisors is hoping that after we close out fiscal year-end 2011, she will be able to train me to process other invoices.

It has been such an amazing opportunity working at the DNR. I have had great experiences working with the finance team and the other interns. I have also learned a lot about myself. For example, I really do enjoy working in an office setting environment. I like the flexibility and the independence that it offers. I’m use to working in the retail sector and comparing the two, I definitely prefer the office!

Internal Audit Intern travels to New York for surprise audits!

Cori Gumz, Internal Audit Intern at Kohler Company, standing in front of the Baker Tribeca Showroom in New York. Baker is an addition to Kohler Interiors Group. They sell high-end, designer furniture and accessories.

Kohler Co. was founded in 1873 by Austrian Immigrant John Michael Kohler, in Kohler, Wisconsin.  Their early products included iron and steel farm implements, castings for furniture factories, and ornamental iron pieces.  In 1883, John Michael created the company’s first bathtub when he applied enamel to a cast iron horse trough.  It retailed for one cow and 14 chickens.  Kohler is best known for their leading edge design in the Kitchen and Bath Group, but in recent years they have diversified their portfolio through the acquisition of companies for their Global Power, Interiors, and Hospitality and Real Estate Groups.

Here is a picture of Cori next to the Ann Sacks tile collage. Ann Sacks was acquired by Kohler Company within the past decade and specializes in high end tile products. Ann Sacks is located in Tribeca, New York.

This summer I have had the pleasure of working in Internal Audit.  This department has given me the opportunity to see all of Kohler’s business sectors and expand my network of communications.  Furthermore, I have had the privilege of performing surprise showroom audits in New York and North Carolina this summer.

A typical audit follows a five week schedule.  The first two weeks are spent planning.  During this timeframe we gather with the team and prepare an audit checklist of steps to be tested.  All of our data for these tests is pulled from an ERP system called, “Supplier Audit Program (SAP).”  This data is then filtered and extracted to another program called, “Audit Command Language (ACL).”  We then collect a sample to use for testing.  This process is repeated for each test.

The next two weeks are spent in fieldwork.  This is when you contact other Kohler employees and audit their business process.  Sometimes, like in my current audit in New York, you travel for fieldwork.  Audit is one of the only departments at Kohler Co. that enables associates to travel.

The last week is spent in wrapping up unfinished business.  At the end of each audit, us auditors hold a closing meeting with the auditees and present our findings.  If any issues require attention, we give them a timetable for reconciling the matter.    

Here is a picture of Cori next to the latest toilet Kohler Company has to offer, the Numi. It retails for $6,500 and comes equipped with: a motion activated lid and seat, advanced bidet functionality, integrated air dryer, deodorizer, heated seat, feet warming, music, and illuminated panels. Stop by the Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin to see it for yourself!

All in all, I really like my summer internship.  It mimics a journalist because we prepare interview questions, conduct an interview and report a story to outsiders.  Another perk is that my schedule changes from day-to-day, so I am by no means stuck in a stereotypical Accounting career.  Next summer, I would like to obtain another internship at Kohler so I can expand my company corporate knowledge.

Great internship opportunity combines education with a hobby!

Nick Winters, Rolling Meadows Golf Course Intern

My internship at Rolling Meadows Golf Course has been a great experience thus far. I have been working very hard and have learned a great deal about both how a golf course operates and the business of golf.

 Most of my time at the golf course has been spent working behind the counter, helping customers and selling merchandise, tee times and managing range activities.  I’m enjoying working with customers and I’ve gained a lot of experience and exposure to the roots of the golf business.  Along with this, I have worked in the back room organizing customer information in spreadsheets, and making sure inventory items have been entered into the system.

 One of the most enjoyable duties I’ve had is helping manage and operate the golf league activities.  This is a core business for the course with a lot of customer interaction.  We need to operate our leagues professionally and provide a high level of service to our customers.  The goal is to make their golf league experience a memorable one and to keep them engaged in the game and committing to come back next season.

 I also enjoy very much the exposure I’ve gotten to the youth and beginner leagues and clinics.  I plan on working toward my PGA Professional certification in the very near future and a large part of that is teaching the game to kids and beginners.  I get a lot of satisfaction in showing young people and people new to golf about the game I love. 

 This job has given me the opportunity to gain exposure to the business side of golf, in a way that many people familiar with the game never get the chance to experience.  Behind the scenes, a golf course runs like any other business, with revenue requirements, purchasing, personnel needs, inventory of equipment and merchandise, sales strategies, and accounting requirements that the average golfer does not think much about.  If I’m to realize my career goals, I need to learn all I can about operating and managing all of the golf related operations, not just playing and hitting balls on the range. 

 All of the customers we interact with are there to have fun and it’s my job to make sure their experience at the course is positive and keeps them happy with their recreational investment.  This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to learn a business I love and I’m very happy to have the opportunity.

Student finds perfect fit during Sales and Marketing Internship!

John Gardon, Sales and Marketing Intern, Elwoods Agency State Farm

My Marketing and Sales internship with Elwoods Agency State Farm in Oshkosh, WI started on May 15, but before I could actually start working in the office I had to earn my Property and Causality license in the state of Wisconsin. In order for me to earn this I had to take an online class through Kaplan. This class took about two weeks of my time just completing the required reading material and studying for the big exam. Once I had completed the online class the next step was setting up an exam date through Pearson Vue. My first exam was on May  26. Unfortunately I was unable to pass the first time so I had to retake the exam on June 2. This time around I was able to pass and my first day at the office was on June 3.

 On my first day Derek, my boss, and Wendy, his wife and office manger, welcomed me with open arms and a cup of coffee. The reason I added the cup of coffee was because Derek said, “no good work can start until you have had one cup of coffee.” After hearing that I knew this was where I wanted to work. The two of them introduced me to clients that walked in and also introduced me to their two young children. After starting to meet everyone I really started to feel like I was part of their family and the State Farm family. The first couple of days were rough because I was just sitting with Derek watching and listening to how he interacted with clients. After a week of doing that I was finally on my own.

 Since I was on my own now I was responsible for calling prospects who were looking for insurance and giving them a quote and explaining what the coverage included. This was very nerve-racking because sometimes I just didn’t know how to answer the clients questions, but Derek and Wendy were also there to help me out. After I was past not knowing all the answers I started to feel more comfortable and I actually felt I can do this insurance sales thing.  Then on June 17th I finally had my first insurance sale, Derek was so happy and I was excited. I said to myself, “ This isn’t as hard as I thought it was and I know I can do this well.” From that point on I haven’t looked back and I have the numbers to prove it. Since then my sales were up, my confidence was up, and Derek was more confident in me. This was a great feeling which is leading to more success.

 The marketing part with State Farm I am working on is kind of top secret yet, but it will be unveiled this coming up school year. I have been working many long hours calling business and other people around campus to get feedback on my idea. So far everything is going great with the project and I am excited to unveil it.

 I would like to thank Derek and Wendy so far for everything they have taught me and for how patient they have been with me. I know I have a lot more to earn, but I am actually more eager to learn the information they have to offer than they are to teach me. I never thought I would say this, but there is no other place I would work than at the Elwoods Agency State Farm with Derek and Wendy.

Internship brings classroom knowledge to life!

Ben Gloudemans, SCOM Major, Axle Tech Intern

AxleTech International is a global manufacturer of axles for specialty trucks, military vehicles, and off-highway machines used in construction, material handling, forestry, mining, and agriculture markets. I work as an operations management intern at their Oshkosh facility. I was hired on in May 2011.

I started out working with the tow line production, which manufactures military vehicle axles, however recently I have been exposed to the commercial production as well. Two important intangible assets I have gained and improved throughout my experience has been verbal communication and leadership skills. I have also been faced with multi-tasking with various project scheduling and deadlines. This has forced me to prioritize, which has improved my decision making skills.

There has been many times were I have been given full responsibility of the production line and the employees who work on the line. I have already learned much more than I initially anticipated and also have been given education that is impossible to learn from the classroom environment.   I believe this internship will develop me and prepare me for my future job experiences.

Intern helps plan national event!

 

Marcus Galien, Marketing Intern, Miller Manufacturing

Miller Manufacturing is a spray applicator business that sells large application equipment worldwide.  They have been selling farm equipment locally since 1899 but the company has come a long way since then.  Now with major accounts in Australia, Russia, and Ukraine to name a few, Miller is expanding and looking to compete with major corporations like John Deere, International etc. 

 They have a Nitro line of products which is their major production.  They also have machines such as a Condor and an Atlas.  Miller also has the industry leading Ag-Bag equipment which is Miller’s newest product.  The Ag-Bag is a small part of their company but rapidly expanding.

 The internship that I am involved in is a great experience for the marketing major that I am.  Miller is running an event called The Miller Drive Tour.  This event entails running events throughout the United States through their dealers to gain market awareness.  As an intern I will be involved with the set-up, run, and execution of all of these events.  This internship lets me look at all different aspects of a company and what it takes to run a large event like this one. 

Coming into this event the type of budget that I was told was astonishing to me because I would have never thought about being involved with that type of budget.  Being at each event, it will allow me to talk to actual customers and interact in a business setting day in and day out. Miller is depending on me to make sure these events run smoothly and with the classes I took at UWO, I feel prepared.


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