Matt Dahm, Marketing Major
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.
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.
How I Obtained My Internship
I am currently a Marketing Intern for commercial real estate company, Regus. I actually got my internship with the company through personal networking while giving tours on campus. The Regional Vice President for Regus was on one of my tours and offered to give me a position at the end of the tour.
My internship originally took place in Chicago, and since I had never lived there it was very intimidating going into it. Not only was I going to work in a new city, it is also the third largest city in the country and I would be working right in the middle of downtown. However, I quickly learned my way around and figured out how to use the public transit (trains, buses, etc.).
Once I started getting into the swing of things within the company I did see several areas where I could apply UWO coursework. In fact, QBA was a very vital part of me being able to have success with Regus. After having success in my position this summer, largely because of the skills I learned in QBA, I emailed Dr. Miller to thank him and let him know that his class was a big part of my success.
Regus has not had much interjection of young ideas recently. So when I got there I was able to take a look at things and see some things very differently from the way they had been looked at for so long. I also got the chance to give my insight on certain things. For example, marketing has largely been a weakness of theirs for a while, I was able to come in and offer fresh ideas.
Why I Like it at Regus
The biggest thing I have done so far is I was able to take a large sample of the Chicago market for Regus and use that to create a full marketing plan. I first researched the major verticals, and how they were divided throughout the market. Then I researched local marketing opportunities for each of these verticals. Once I had the entire plan together I presented it to several people, including the Regional Vice President that hired me.
I have really enjoyed my internship so far, and learned a lot of different things within the organization and outside of the organization. The most important thing I have learned though, is how important networking truly can be. I had no clue when I started my tour that day that I was talking to the man that would give me my first full-time job.
Zach Glynn (Far Left), Marketing
Element Mobile: Overview and Background
Element Mobile is a new cell phone carrier as of 2011. This company bought the small Wisconsin territory, which is based in central Wisconsin, from a company formally known as Alltel. The company employs between 100-200 employees across central Wisconsin. The company is locally managed but has national coverage. Being local allows the company to become part of some great communities, while giving them the same national coverage other carriers can provide.
I am an intern in the marketing department with the Element Mobile SWAT Team. There are four members on the team including myself. We do a lot of tasks in the office, but also work in the community out of the office. In the office, my tasks range compiling a competitive analysis, advertising searches, writing a blog for our website, social media, data entry; and that is just a start. Out of the office Element Mobile is very involved in our community. We sponsor many local events and sports teams. For example, we sponsor 5K cancer walks, our local college wooden bat league team, etc. At these events we do a range of tasks from collecting data, interviewing participants, or just promotionally being there.
Network as much as you possibly can rather that’s through the College of Business at Oshkosh or through your own personal networks. I started to look for my internship through Titan Jobs and I had a few bites, but when it came down to the internship I am currently in with Element Mobile I used my own network to find it. It is never too early to start looking for an internship either. Our college is huge and a lot of students are looking at the same time, so the earlier you get a start on it the better off you will be.
Rudie Heling, Northwestern Mutual-The Blevons Group
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network-The Blevons Group
Since 1954, the offices of The Blevons Group have played an important role in the finances of individuals and affairs of businesses. Agents and staff from The Blevons Group work with individuals and organizations to clarify their future needs.
We provide financial products and services that are designed to protect the best interests of our clients throughout life. The Blevons group does this through products like insurance, investments, and other financial solutions.
My experience at Northwestern Mutual has been rewarding and I feel like I am gaining the sales experience I need to succeed in the insurance business. I utilize my communication skills and ambitious self-motivated personality to help clients achieve financial security for themselves and their heirs.
Upon being hired for the position as a Financial Representative, I needed to be licensed in the state of Wisconsin to possess the knowledge to sell the products that I would recommend to my clients. I passed the state licensing exam for Life, Accident and Health insurance in Wisconsin after studying pre-licensing material also required by the state.
I also had to pass two Fastrack sales exams that went along with the Fastrack sales school that I attended at Northwestern Mutual. In this class we did role-playing for outbound sales practice with each other to prepare for the real calls we would be making once all of us were licensed.
On the Job…
I set weekly goals each week in client builder meetings with my development supervisor to learn the subtle niches of the industry. These goals also help me keep up with phoning and prospecting to make my business grow. The work atmosphere is one of my favorite parts of working at Northwestern Mutual. Everyone always makes me feel welcome and is willing to help me with any problem I come across.
I am happy with my internship experience at Northwestern Mutual. They have given me a great deal of guidance to advance my skills in marketing and sales. I feel like I improve every day, and it gets easier to talk naturally in my own language and uncover explicit needs of my clients to help them achieve their financial goals. I highly recommend this internship to anyone who wants a great learning experience in marketing and sales, specifically outsides sales experience.
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.
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.