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Monthly Archive for January, 2013

Internship Spotlight: Jessica Miller, Pinnacle Machine LLC

 

Jessica Miller, Human Resource Major

Jessica Miller, Human Resource Major

 

Company Overview

Currently I am a proud intern at Pinnacle Machine LLC located in Appleton Wisconsin. I work as a Human Resource Manager. This consists of aiding employees with any needs they may have from benefits to scheduling conflicts, designing and implementing recruitment and evaluation processes, modifying the handbook, and overall helping in the development of a Human Resource department for the first time.

Pinnacle Machine began production in 1993 as a small three man shop, including owner Don Miller. Since that time they have grown steadily into a forty-five plus employee operation. Pinnacle Machine specializes in using exotic materials in the engineering, designing and creating of various metal products; a major market being tha

t of hydro plants. Thirty machines varying from mills to lathes to CNCs produce products such as pumps, casings, shafts, and impellers. Pinnacle Machines products may be found around the local Fox Valley area, throughout the United States, and in a few other countries. Pinnacle Machine continues to become a key player in the machining industry and has recently began the acquisition of another plant which will double the size of the organization.

 

Obtaining my internship

Previous to being offered the internship at Pinnacle Machine I had worked as an employee for five years doing basic reception work. In that time I developed strong relationships with my supervisors and co-workers, making them aware of my studies and progress throughout my college career. I had discussed with the owner, of whom I often did secretary work for, about the benefits of developing a Human Resource department, especially given the growth planned for the near future. Shortly thereafter I was called into a private meeting with him and two of my other supervisors. At first, I was nervous that I overstepped my boundaries suggesting such a change as a whole additional department; after all I was there to answer phones, not give advice to a man who built a company from scratch before I was even walking. My fears subsided when upon walking into the room he smiled and asked if I was up for a challenge, knowing I was looking for an internship for school; he offered me the opportunity to head in the development of the beginning of a Human Resource department, given I could demonstrate it was beneficial. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity as I was already a member of the Pinnacle team and culture, and shortly after began the development of the department to the best of my ability; with him and other management mentoring and supporting my knowledge on the subject.

 

What I learned

I am forever grateful for the opportunity given to me by Pinnacle Machine and its management team, as it has taught me so much about myself, my career choice, and what I can expect as a business professional. I have learned that I can be confident in the education I am receiving as it truly does assist in my daily duties. I have also learned that if I truly am passionate about something and have the motivation I do have the ability to get programs implemented and make a huge difference in the organization as a whole. Perhaps the most important thing about myself that I have learned is that I am now viewed as a professional and can be proud of that. My internship additionally has made me confident in my choice of major and ultimately career. I actually enjoy getting up in the morning, going to work and feeling like I made the workplace a better place that day, or the company a little more efficient. Lastly, I have had the first opportunity to sit in with many of the management team and owners to get an idea of what a life as a business professional entails; things that you cannot read in books.

Inevitably, I also learned and developed many of the skills desirable in a Human Resource position. I was given the opportunity and resources to try new things and the support to implement many of my ideas. This gave me daily practice of a HR professional, only strengthening my experience.

The internship at Pinnacle Machine has been one of the most rewarding adventures of my college career. I was able to be part of a company that let me put all that I was learning in the class room to action and trusted in my education. This gave me the opportunity for hands on experience at both failure and success in an active work environment; allowing me to grow wiser on the subject. Upon completion on the internship at Pinnacle I am hoping to secure a full time position.

Internship Spotlight: Kevin Hockerman, Northwestern Mutual

Company Overview:

I am currently interning at Northwestern Mutual in Menominee Falls. I work as a Financial Representative that consists of providing expert guidance and innovative solutions for the lifetime financial needs of individuals and businesses in the areas of retirement solutions and insurance services.

There are many things that I did not know that Northwestern Mutual did before I started working for the company. Northwestern Mutual conducts fact-finders with their clients to gain an insight on their personal, professional, and financial goals and dreams. This allows them to build a complete plan not only assessing the current things their clients have in place, but also helping build towards future needs. Northwestern Mutual assesses a client’s risk management, then moves to their wealth accumulation, and finally focuses on their wealth preservation and distribution as the client moves from the start of their career all the way through retirement.

Obtaining My Internship:

I obtained my internship by first gathering a list of companies that I wanted to speak with at the career fair. Northwestern Mutual was one of the main companies that I wanted to speak with because of their top 10-ranked internship program. I was initially nervous to talk them but I found them very easy to approach.

After meeting them at the career fair I sent them a thank-you email. They responded saying that they would like me to send them my resume and continued by following up and setting up a phone interview. Through the phone interview, they said they liked me as a candidate and discussed the hiring process with me. To follow-up, I had to take a personality test to see if I was a good fit with their company. Once I passed this test I had to go in for an interview. At the interview, after a few questions about myself, my potential supervisor presented me with a project. The project would give me an insight into the job opportunity. It was a questionnaire to ask my closest friends and family of what they would want out of a financial advisor. They also had me complete a project to see what kind of network I have established. The final interview included me presenting my findings from these projects. I had to show that I had a well-established network, and then present the surveys and questionnaires I had answered. From the surveys and questionnaires, I was able to understand the type of work I would be doing with Northwestern Mutual. This helped give me an insight into the internship and helped me understand that this company was a good fit for me.

What I Learned:

Through my internship at Northwestern Mutual, I have learned a lot. I have gained real world experiences that I could not have learned in class that I can apply towards any career path I choose. I have learned how to interact professionally with clients, building my overall interpersonal skills. I learned how to present myself in a professional manner, both in person and over the phone. The most important personal gain I have taken away from this internship is being able to understand how important motivation is. This internship taught me how to motivate myself and continue to be highly productive while being independent. This alone was very important to me because it helped me understand what I was capable of.

I also gained more skills through my internship. I learned a lot about the financial industry and now have a large understanding of life insurance, health insurance, and retirement planning. I also gained some insight on investments. Overall, I gained further skills in financing and understanding how to properly allocate my money.

This internship has been a very rewarding experience. I was able to work in a professional environment, and work full-time while taking on full-time responsibilities. This was a great experience to be able to have these types of responsibilities while only being an intern. All of the skills I gathered from this internship will be ones I can implement throughout my career. I highly recommend this internship as it is extremely beneficial and a very rewarding experience.


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