Monthly Archive for December, 2012

Internship Spotlight: Chris Barnett, Mercury Marine

Company Overview

Chris Barnett, Trade and Compliance Analysis

            I am currently a co-op at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. I work in the Trade and Compliance department, which is a very broad department, but consists mainly of making sure that the company is complying with laws and regulations while importing and exporting goods across the word.

There are many regulations that the company has to comply with behind the scenes, which I did not know about prior to working at Mercury. For example, every part that is shipped out of the country needs to have a country of origin, harmonized tariff schedule code, and export control classification number along with much more information attached to it. This kind of information is what I work with on a day to day basis.

Obtaining my Internship

Before going to the career fair I put together a list of companies that I wanted to talk to. Mercury was number one on my list. To be quite honest I was a bit nervous when talking to the representatives of Mercury and didn’t think I had a chance to work there.

A month later, I received a call from Mercury asking me for an interview.  When I received the schedule for my interview, I saw that the duration of the interview would be almost four hours long. I had no idea how I could talk about myself for four hours. Almost immediately after my interview however, they had me working as a full time co-op in the Trade and Compliance department.

What I learned

There is so much that I have learned while working at Mercury Marine that could not be taught by a text book or in a lecture hall. The best way to learn what truly goes on in a business is getting that first hand experience and seeing it for yourself. I was taught in QBA how to work in Excel and how to work through mathematical equations in stats, but trying to implement what you have learned in the real business world is a completely different experience.

I have also learned more efficient multitasking skills and gained better discipline with time management. This was very crucial for me to gain because I was also taking 15 credits in school while working full time. If I were to go back in the past however, I would not change a thing. My experience this semester has truly been a life changing one.

Internship Spotlight: Sarah Benben, Bemis Company

Sarah Benben, HR Major


I am majoring in Human Resource Management with an emphasis in Legal Studies, and I am currently interning with Bemis Company in the Curwood Division.  Bemis Company is a Fortune 500 company that specializes in flexible packaging used by leading food, consumer products, and medical and pharmaceutical companies throughout the world.  Bemis Company has about 78 facilities located in 12 countries with more than 20,000 employees worldwide.

How I Obtained My Internship

Last October, I began applying for HR internships throughout the Fox Valley, and I used Titan Jobs as my primary source.  One of the HR internships I found was with Bemis Company, in which I sent in my resume and cover letter to apply for the position.

A few weeks later, I had my mock interview as part of the requirement for the UWO Professional Skills class.  I ended up being placed with Bemis Company, and the interviewer recognized my name from the application I sent in a few weeks prior.  The interview went very well, and he gave me several good pointers.

Approximately a week later, I was called in for an on-site interview for the HR internship position with Bemis Company.  I interviewed with the same person for the mock interview and for three others.  I made sure to make the changes that I was given during the mock interview.  This really made me stand out, because Bemis could see that I was able to take criticism and improve on it.

What I do in My Internship

I began working for Bemis Company in March 2012 in the Corporate Talent Acquisition department in Neenah, WI.   In this position, I worked with other recruiters to fill positions ranging from coordinators to senior specialists to managers, in a variety of departments across the United States.

In mid-September, I was given the option to stay with the Corporate Talent Acquisition team or to transfer to a Bemis divisional plant to see a whole new side of HR.  I chose to make the transfer and am now working in New London, WI.

In New London, there are three plants with about 600 union employees.  I work with three other HR employees to support these plants.  My duties range from hiring, conducting testing, benefits entering, tracking affirmative action, updating job descriptions, data audits, going out on the plant floor daily to handle different HR tasks, and much more.

What I learned

I was amazed how different the plant work life is from the corporate work life.  Corporate has many practices in place and there are no ways around them.  Things tend to drag out and can sometimes never be wrapped up.  The plant life is very fast paced and things change very quickly, which means the employees must change gears quickly too.  It is interesting to see how the plants change what corporate gives them to make it work for the plant.

Internship Spotlight: Nicholas Burge, FreightConnections


Nicholas Burge, Finance and Operations Intern

Obtaining my Intership
I first started looking for internships in the spring semester of 2012.  I had two different companies show interest but they were not what I was looking for.  After searching for the rest of the semester and into the summer, I began to get nervous.  I made an appointment to meet with Jessie Pondell, who was able to give me the names of a few internships that had been contacting her about needing interns.  After researching these companies, I gave her a list of my top choices and she was able to secure an interview with my top pick, FreightConnections.  From there I succeeded in landing the internship and have been at FreightConnections since the start of Fall 2012 semester.
Why I Chose FreightConnections

I was very intrigued by FreightConnections, as the company is only a little over one year old, and they have a new service that I was not aware of.  They help shippers and carriers of all sorts of freight connect directly with each other.  Customers can use our site to build a profile of their company which includes things like what type of freight they ship, what type of trucks they have, etc.  We then use a feature we have called AutoMatch to match shippers with appropriate carriers.  It is an extremely beneficial site and is very easy to use.  Not only was I interested in this kind of service, but I was also interested in the fact that the company was new.  I’ve been able to see and be a part of all aspects of starting a new business such as marketing and sales, and finance and quality assurance.  It’s been a great experience to see what it takes to start a new company.
I’ve had several different jobs since interning at FreightConnections.  I’ve had to enter new leads into our database, call customers, go through the website and look for problems that need to be fixed, and help with marketing our company.  There really is no “typical day” for me, which is something I really enjoy.
Advice to Future College of Business Students
I’m sure everyone has heard this before, but start looking for an internship early.  I started looking at the beginning of the spring semester hoping to have something by the start of summer, and I was not able to start an internship anywhere until the start of the following semester.  It’s never too early to start looking.  Go to the career fair and networking night.  Join clubs and get involved on campus.  Anything you can do to get your name out there and make business connections is going to be of great help to you in the future.

Internship Spotlight: Matt Dahm, Lapham-Hickey Steel

Matt Dahm, Marketing Major

Company Overview

Lapham-Hickey Steel owns and operates seven different locations around the United States. The branch I am currently interning at is located in Oshkosh. Our headquarters is located in the Chicago, IL. Lapham-Hickey Steel offers raw materials and/or value added services to the steel industry. Lapham-Hickey Steel has been family owned and operated for 85 years, and is ranked in the top 50 service centers in the United States.

My Role / Obtaining My Internship

I started my role as a Marketing and Inside Sales Intern at Lapham-Hickey Steel in May of 2012. I found out about this internship through the school’s website using TitanJobs. To be honest, I had never heard of the company before, but the description of the internship seemed to be just what I was looking for. So far I have done just about a little bit of everything. This includes B2B calling, creating flyers and ads, integrating the iPad into the office, organizing customer events, planning trade shows for our sales team, and  giving a presentation at a managers meeting . Personally, I believe this is the best internship I could have hoped for because I now know what field of marketing I want to go into.

Going Into the Internship

Going into my internship I was a little bit nervous because this was the first time I had a job in an office. After a few days in the office my nerves were settled, and I was able to use my marketing knowledge when completing my work. The classes that seem to be the most beneficial to me this far would have to be my marketing classes and QBA. I never thought I would be using the majority of my classes, which was a big eye opener. I find myself using bits and pieces of each class every day.

Internship Walk Through

I have found my internship to be more beneficial than any other part of the College of Business. I have connected with many people in the office, and already have a great relationship with them. There is only one other intern at Lapham-Hickey Steel, and I was actually friends with her before we started interning, which was a great bonus of the job. It is hard for me to describe a typical day on the job because there really isn’t one. Just about every day there are new tasks that are given to me. I love this because it keeps me thinking. It is not the same thing every day which to me would get boring really quickly. To me the most important thing I learned at my internship is that being able to work together in many cases is a great way to get things done. I cannot even count how many times working on projects as a team helped us get the work assigned to us done not only faster, but more efficiently and with a better turn out.

Internship Spotlight: Allison Doerr, Mercury Marine

Allison Doerr, Supply Chain Management Major

Company Overview

Mercury Marine is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. Mercury’s headquarters is located in Fond du Lac, WI with manufacturing facilities in Mexico and China. The company provides engines, boats, services, and service parts for recreational, commercial, and government marine applications.

Obtaining My Internship

I never underestimated the benefits of networking. I was participating in student promotion interviews at the University of Wisconsin- Fond du Lac campus when I met Laurie Krasin. She asked me about school and my major. When I told her I would be majoring in supply chain management, she told me about a friend of hers who worked at Mercury Marine in the supply chain department. She provided me with her contact information, and I e-mailed her about Mercury’s co-op program. When the career fair came around, I went to Mercury’s booth and talked to a few of the gentlemen for a while, mentioned that I had spoken to someone at the company already, and provided them with my résumé. Because I had connected with one of their co-workers already, I feel it really helped me in obtaining my position.

My Internship Experience

I have received more experience that I could have even imagined. I am responsible for numerous back order reports and metrics. I gather data, analyze it, and publish it for distribution across multiple levels of management. My role as a buyer/analyst allows me to develop my negotiation and communication skills. I have had a great experience in working with foreign suppliers from all over the world. I play a large role in inventory management by adjusting inventory discrepancies. Currently, I am involved in working on a lean six sigma project. I have been analyzing data from almost 3,000 lines of part information to perform a SKU rationalization to eliminate parts, resulting in thousands of dollars savings by eliminating part numbers that no longer need to be carried in Mercury’s system.

Looking Forward

I will be graduating this May 2013. I feel very prepared from my coursework and this internship experience to obtain a professional career in purchasing upon graduation.

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