Author Archive for Maggie Nett

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.

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

Overview

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.
Responsibilities
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.

Internship Spotlight: Tyler Karner, RR Donnelley

Tyler Karner at RR Donnelley

My name is Tyler Karner and I am currently an Operations Intern at RR Donnelley in Appleton, WI.  RR Donnelley is a massive company employing over 60,000 people world-wide.  The site I work at is a distribution and fulfillment center for multiple book publishers.

How did I get the internship?

I worked for RR Donnelley when I was in high school, as summer help, so I recognized their name on a list of companies attending the spring 2012 Career Fair at UWO.  I introduced myself to the human resource representative and gave her my résumé.  She informed me that RR Donnelley would have an internship opening in June 2012, so I kept in contact by e-mailing and checking the company website.  Finally, I saw the opening for an Operations Intern and applied on-line and also sent an e-mail to the contact from the Career Fair.  I had an over the phone interview followed by an in person panel style interview a week later.  After a few days, I heard back with good news and I was offered the position.

My role as an Operations Intern:

One of my roles at the company is helping with daily operation reports which we use Microsoft Excel frequently.  I have opportunities with project management on many time sensitive projects and have learned valuable communication skills. An operations internship at RR Donnelley is unique because the intern gets to experience every aspect of the business, which means interns often get to help and work supervisors and coordinators on the front line.

Internship Spotlight: Jesse Lallier, Oshkosh Corporation

Jesse Lallier, Supply Chain Management Major

Company Overview

Oshkosh  Corporation was founded in 1917, where it produced four-wheel drive vehicles for the dirt roads of America. This increased transportation and commerce to urban areas helps make us who we are today. Oshkosh Corporation quickly expanded over the years and has recently became a fortune 500 company. Over the last 10-15 years Oshkosh Corporation has had many acquisitions making them very diversified. Currently the company has 10 distinct brands. These are JLG, Oshkosh Defense, Pierce, McNeilus, IMT, Medtec, Frontline Communications, CON-E-CO, London, Jerr-Dan, Oshkosh Airport Products, and Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles. Each line has a distinct product line but the top most familiar ones to the public are Oshkosh Defense, Pierce, JLG and McNeilus. As you can see Oshkosh is trying to expand and capture emerging markets globally. By expanding, they have captured a lot of attention and provided thousands of jobs to Winnebago County as well as around the world.

When Did I Start and How Did I Obtain My Internship?

I started at Oshkosh Defense on June 4, 2012.  The way I received my interview was through Oshkosh Corporation’s online application process.  Michael Godfrey, my advisor at UW Oshkosh, told me to look on their website and apply for a Team Coordinator Co-op position.  After I filled out my application online, it took about 3 months to get a reply back from Oshkosh Defense informing me that I have an interview.  In the interview we went over all my accomplishments, classes I have taken to prepare me for this position, previous experiences, etc. At the end of the interview he told me that he was amazed with what I have all accomplished and that I have received the Team Coordinator position at North Plant.

My Roles

As a Team Coordinator at Oshkosh Defense I have a lot of roles. These roles consist of managing 30-50 union production employees, production planning, safety and quality projects, scheduling, daily reports, time keeping, and payroll. All these roles are equally important and have to be carefully thought out to ensure continuous production, safety, and quality.  The most time consuming aspect of my day would be production planning and managing the 30-50 production employees. This is extremely difficult, but it is the most valuable experience for my future career path once I graduate.

My Future

Throughout my Co-op, Oshkosh Corporation has given me a wide range of experience that will help in any career path that I go into. I currently have one more year of college before I graduate with a Bachelors in Supply Chain Management and an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. With this degree I plan on getting into a supervisor role similar to the one I was in during my Co-op, and then eventually starting my own business after I build up enough capital.

Internship Spotlight: Chad Koch, Northwestern Mutual– The Blevons Group

Chad Koch at Northwestern Mutual

From Student, to Power of 10 Intern

My name is Chad Koch, and I am a senior at UWO, and I am currently interning at Northwestern Mutual– The Blevons Group.  I obtained the internship by successfully networking during the career fair at UWO in the spring of 2011.  At first, I knew nothing about Northwestern Mutual or what they represented, but my views soon changed with one simple phone call.  During my conversation with one of the recruiters for Northwestern Mutual I gave them my résumé.  They found interest in my previous employment and gave me a call that would change the way I viewed my future from then on.

The Training Process

After going through several processes and interview sessions, I was offered the financial representative intern position which would allow me to run my own practice and connect with individuals on a more personal level.  I started my internship in May of 2011 upon going through a week long training process.  In this training process, several successful full-time representatives taught us the value of the products and services that Northwestern Mutual offer and ways to really believe in the type of work that we do.  We were also trained on how to talk about products and evaluate body language and tone of voice to determine how comfortable someone felt about our conversation.  Ultimately, we were taught how to be confident in ourselves and know that we have the ability to offer a family support in their darkest hours.

From Training to Professional

In my first couple of weeks I was nervous about starting to be in this business full-time as an intern.   My main fears were that people would not take me seriously or think that because I am a young individual I would not be as knowledgeable as someone who was older than me.   That feeling rapidly disappeared as I left my comfort zone and met with many individuals.  I would bring veteran representatives with me that taught me how to react to certain questions and also teach me how to make a person feel comfortable about where they are in life and where they want to be in the future.  It was by this practice that I was able to achieve the Power of 10, which is an intern achievement that recognizes interns that have written 10 policies in a year.

My Future with the Company

My overall experience with this company has changed my life completely.  Recently, I was offered a full-time position after graduation that will allow me to continue helping individuals for the rest of my career.  It has been a relief knowing that the work that I have put into the internship will help me as a full-time financial representative.  Using the skills that I have acquired through my education at UW Oshkosh and the training received through Northwestern Mutual, I can feel at ease knowing that I have a strong foundation that will support my career and allow me to help individuals for years to come.

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