Monthly Archive for October, 2011

Internship Spotlight: Sarah Caruana, Oshkosh Defense Operations Finance Intern

Sarah Caruana, Accounting and Finance Major, Operations Finance Intern at Oshkosh Corporation

Oshkosh Defense has been a segment for Oshkosh Corporation since 1917 providing light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles. Oshkosh Defense’s vehicles are highly respected by the armed forces by providing best-in-class products that serve the men and women who risk their lives to serve their country. Some of Oshkosh’s military vehicles are the FMTV, M-ATV, MTVR, and HET, just to name a few. Oshkosh has manufactured over 85,000 military vehicles, and the number continues to grow as the Defense Segment provides the most trusted vehicles in the Defense industry.

 I started my internship with Oshkosh Corporation- Defense in February 2011 as the Operations Finance intern for North Plant. My main responsibility is to provide financial support to the Operations Management team in two Defense plants by generating and distributing reports pertaining to Plant teams. These reports are based on teams’ efficiency, labor variance, and productivity numbers and are generated on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The reports are also used to develop larger reports and presentations that are given to the Operations teams at weekly plant meetings to provide analyses on the plant’s status pertaining to its performance. 

Along with generating reports based on efficiency, labor variance, and productivity, I also report defect scrap material and parts throughout the manufacturing plants, while reconciling scrap material tickets to the corresponding payment statements.

 I love working with the Operations Team that I interact with everyday. The work environment is both professional and enjoyable, making everyday a day to look forward to. I have learned so much from my internship throughout the last eight months and I look forward to what else this internship will bring. I have met so many people and being a part of the Oshkosh Corporation intern family has been a memorable experience as we attend presentations, volunteer events, and volleyball tournaments (just to name a couple of activities); creating friendships that will last a lifetime.

Working for a company that honors and protects those who serve in the armed forces is an unforgettable experience. Oshkosh designs and manufactures to save lives and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of that mission.

Intern expands professional skills at Valley Bakers Cooperative Association!

Carl Braun, IS Major and IS Intern with Valley Bakers Cooperative Association

Valley Bakers Cooperative Association was founded in 1949 by a group of bakers to combat rising ingredient prices. Serving businesses ranging from family bakeries to supermarkets and institutions, Valley Bakers has grown to over 420 member-owners. The cooperative portion of the name results from being 100% customer/member owned.

I began my internship with Valley Bakers in May of 2010 as their first Information Systems intern. My main responsibilities are front line helpdesk support and assisting with IS projects. These activities expose me to every aspect of Information Systems from databases to networking. Valley Bakers utilizes a number of area consultants to both advice and assist in projects. The access to these professionals has been a valuable resource in my professional development.

Valley Bakers has and continues to experience rapid growth. This growth has provided many challenges to the IS department. Helping overcome these challenges provides a great opportunity for me to explore my interests. With a new warehouse expansion being completed during the summer of 2011, I was able to part of the team updating the company’s wireless network. This experience was great and helped increase my interest and knowledge of networking.

The opportunity Valley Bakers has offered is great. Every opportunity I have been provided, from being in an office environment, interacting with business professionals, to assisting in the configuration of a new server or switch, has been very beneficial. I have learned a lot in both the IS field and a general business professional.

SCOM internship greatly exceeds student’s expectations!

Bob Bojcic, SCOM Major, Indirect Strategic Sourcing Intern


Company Profile
Schreiber Foods, Inc (SFI) is a growing $5+ billion global enterprise and the world’s largest privately owned customer-brand dairy company.  We provide products to some of the biggest providers in the food service industry and are the largest supplier of private-label dairy products to grocery chains and wholesalers.  We are a global leader in dairy innovation processes.  Schreiber employs over 6,000 employees – we refer to ourselves as partners – around the globe with a commitment to providing high-value products and services to our customers.  We seek to strengthen customer relationships and measure them in terms of decades as opposed to years.  This partnership allows us to help positively impact our customer’s bottom line and insure the longevity of such relationships.  

Internship Path
I have been with Schreiber since June of 2011 as an Indirect Strategic Sourcing Intern.  I was presented this opportunity through networking with SCOM faculty member Dr. Michael Godfrey.  My experience at Schreiber has allowed me to implement and further develop my understanding of UWO course work concepts.  Having real-world experience and the opportunity to develop new concepts and skills has given me an advantage in current course work.

A Day in the Life
Within the indirect sourcing team I work specifically with the procurement of capital equipment.  I am responsible for creating statements of work, soliciting supplier bids, conducting bid analytics, and making recommendations for products according to the needs of our internal plant stakeholders.  I work with Schreiber partners and suppliers nationwide to streamline the purchasing process to leverage overall spend.  I create value by negotiating concessions in pricing, lead time, payment terms and improvements in overall value, deliverables, and service level of products. 

Summary of My Internship Experience
My internship experience has given me insight that cannot be paralleled within the classroom.  Schreiber takes great pride in providing development opportunities for student resources.  For example, I had the opportunity to attend a training event in strategic sourcing best practices instructed by Michael Patton, a professional with over 30 years’ experience in Supply Chain Management, Sourcing, Logistics, Materials, Inventory and Project Management.  I have had the opportunity to work with a great group of professionals who offer a wealth of knowledge and have formed relationships that will last a life-time.  My internship experience at Schreiber has far exceeded my greatest expectations.

Advantageous Human Resources Internship offered at the Business Success Center!

The Business Success Center (formerly known as Center for Community Partnerships) has been assisting Fox Valley business find qualified interns since 1998. To start off it is essential to understand the Business Success Center.  If you place everything that is related to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh on one side and Fox Valley businesses not related to the University on the other the center is right in the middle. The Business Success Center is a not-for-profit organization that links students to local businesses to get them “real world” experience. There are three main services provided:  consulting, training and development, and our internship program.  The consulting as well as the training and development projects are generally completed by University staff and faculty.  The Business Success Center tries to incorporate interns into the bigger projects for them to receive relevant experience. 

As for the Intern Program, the Business Success Centers Intern Coordinator along with the Human Resources Intern interviews students that are interested in finding an internship.  As the Human Resources Intern I interview for all different positions (majors) within the different colleges on campus. The Business Success Center is not able to ever guarantee applicants a position but our team will work with other companies around the Fox Valley area and help them fill internship or job positions that are open.  The in-house interview is used to screen applicants before sending them onto local organizations for positions.  In a way we are ‘sort of’ like a temporary agency in how we link students to employers, but we are so much more than that.

 The involved staff members work closely with all the interns. Currently, we have about 75 interns working for the Business Success Center, of which only three interns work in the actual office.  The rest are placed throughout the Fox Valley Area in businesses. The Business Success Center encourages about 10 to 15 hours a week, because school is still first priority. All internships are paid and interns are guaranteed relevant work experience with the business. There are three goals for our interns. First in the interview we make it our job to find out what exactly the interviewee is looking for. We also offer feedback and suggestions for future interviews.  Second we want all of our interns to get their resumes on top of every pile they apply for before they graduate and have a set job after graduation.  Our third and final goal is to help find multiple opportunities for students after graduation, and not to just settle for one.

 Also, if we are unable to place a qualified applicant we interviewed with an immediate position they are placed on what we call our ‘bench’. These applicants are requested to fill out a profile on our Intern Portal an internal Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to be considered for future opportunities. In the event a position within their major becomes available we will contact bench applicants to see if they are still interested.  These applicants are in already in our intern portal and we use this program to find candidates to fill immediate positions. My job as the Human Resources Intern requires me to maintain contact with these applicants to ensure they are still available and interested in working with our center in the future.

 In my internship with the Business Success Center I have gained considerable relevant experience. I have had a large part in the recruitment, interviewing and selection of applicants. This involvement has significantly built my confidence and interviewing skills. This past September, I was able to assist our Intern Coordinator at the Career Fair on the Fox. It was very interesting to see how to screen and talk to candidates on the fly.  I then followed up and stayed in contact with candidates from events such as the career fair, applicants from the Intern Portal and other miscellaneous students.

I have also had the pleasure of reviewing, revising and updating our internal training materials. This has been beneficial for me. It was particularly fascinating to me how non-text book most of my daily activities and job duties were. It appeared that no two situations were ever the same and sometimes you needed to be comfortable enough to fly by the seat of your pants. Remember laws and regulations you are bound by along the way.

This internship has greatly prepared me for obtaining a job in the business community. I was able to get a good understanding and feel for many different Human Resources duties. I still feel that it is vital to my success as a leader to work as a Human Resources Generalist for a period of time to fully understand how a department works as a unit.

Real Life Experience Gained With Mercury Marine Co-Op!

Chad Bauer, Mercury Purchasing Co-Op and Karen Sobatta, Lead Buyer

Mercury Marine was founded in 1939 by Carl Kiekhaefer in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Carl and a small staff had the desire to produce the best boat engine possible.  Over the last 70 years, Mercury has been one of the most recognized and respected brands in the boating industry. 

The company produces engines, boats, and parts and services.  They produce both inboard and outboards engines.  Mercury is a division of Brunswick Corporation that also includes Fitness, Bowling, and Billiards.  Mercury Marine strives on providing the customer with the highest quality products and customer service.  The Headquarters is located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and is in the process of bringing all of inboard engine lines up from Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Mercury is continually growing and has a very positive outlook for many years to come.

I started at Mercury in June 2011 as a Purchasing Co-Op/Global Supply Chain Analyst.  I do the planning for three plants that are a part of Mercury. They are located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Juarez, Mexico.  The most important thing about my job is to keep the lines running.  There are many times when suppliers don’t deliver parts on time and are on the verge of shutting production down, so my objective is to get the parts into our plant as soon as possible. 

Other tasks included in my daily routine are looking over reports, composing and responding to emails, communicating with suppliers, working on projects, and talking the workers on the receiving dock if there are issues with receiving parts in.  I have learned that communication is essential to be successful with this job.  If you don’t communicate, you are going to run into problems very fast.  Keeping everyone aware of the issues at hand is very important. 

One big project that I have been helping out with is looking at the excess inventory at the Stillwater plant with the parts that are going to be used on the engine lines being brought up to Fond du Lac.  If there is any excess inventory that will be left when the Stillwater plant closes at the end of November, then I make suggestions for the parts as to how much of the part to bring up to Fond du Lac.  By doing this I am saving Mercury Marine money because there won’t be a need to bring in orders from the suppliers.  The transition of these new lines to Fond du Lac is the most important project going on right now in Fond du Lac and for me to have a chance to influence and have an impact on it is an outstanding opportunity for me. 

 I have gotten so much real life experience with my Co-Op at Mercury Marine and have never  felt once that I am just considered as an intern by my co-workers.  My daily tasks include the same stuff that is expected of the full-time employees that I work with.  I could not have asked for a better experience than what I have gotten so far at Mercury.  I run into real life problems everyday and have to know what to do to help resolve the issues.  I need to communicate with the right people and take the necessary steps in getting to the solution.  I feel like I have a great impact on my company as a Co-Op with what I do in my position.  If I don’t get parts in for production, our lines won’t run.  To have that responsibility as a Co-Op is something I could not have imagined I would have had with any other internship.  This has been a wonderful experience and I would like to thank everyone on the Procurement team for giving me this opportunity.

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