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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: 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: 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.

Internship Spotlight: Eric Hetzel, Mercury Marine

Eric Hetzel, Supply Chain Analyst

Obtaining My Internship

I obtained my internship by attending the career fair provided by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  At first, I was not going to talk to Mercury, but I ended up doing it and I got a phone interview.  I missed the call on the phone interview, and I figured I didn’t have a chance at the internship.  Luckily for me, Mercury called again two days later and I did well enough on the phone interview to receive an actual interview at Mercury Marine.

When the e-mail came that delivered the information on the interview, I could not believe it, the interview was going to be four hours.  I had never done anything like that before in my life.  After doing the interview, and getting a call informing me that I had received an offer, I started my first day on May 29th.  I was very anxious about this internship.  I heard that Mercury was a place where they gave you a lot of responsibility, and expected good interns.  I knew that expectations were high and I was going to have to work extremely hard to impress.

What I Do On a Day to Day Basis

When I started at Mercury in late May, I began on the further process desk.  Further process means that we ship parts to another company who machine, paint, or process parts in to the form that is needed.  Then those parts are shipped back to us for use.  Part way through my internship they wanted a full time employee on this desk and co-ops to start using the mechanical desk.  The mechanical desk has the most parts by volume, but they are much smaller and cheaper parts. Every day I start by grabbing the daily reports that are distributed amongst the analysts and buyers within the purchasing department.  These reports are reviewed, and the system may be adjusted to keep the parts on track.  Often time’s phone calls and emails are necessary to contact the supplier and discuss the issues that are occurring.  Orders are then either moved in or out to adjust to the schedule.  Most suppliers are incredibly helpful, and that is nice to have.  The thing that I like most about the job is the random situations that occur.  Rarely are two situations the same, so many variables can occur at any time.  This makes the job intense but interesting.

Challenges

The main challenges that I face are dealing with stock losses and suppliers who are past due on their shipments.  Stock losses can occur at any time and when they do, you must contact the supplier and try to work magic to bring in enough parts to ensure that the line does not go down.  Past due suppliers are more frustrating then anything.  To get them caught up, you have to remind them of the consequences for shutting a line down.

What I have Learned 

Passing the halfway point in this internship, I have realized that this internship was everything that I could have asked for in terms of experience and enjoyment.  I feel that I am prepared for any job within this field of study because of Mercury’s demand.  The demand can vary so much here, which causes havoc within this job.  If I can handle the fluctuating demand from here, I feel that I can handle anything else as an analyst.

Internship Spotlight: Chad Durkee, Oshkosh Corporation

 

Chad Durkee, Accounting and Finance

 

Oshkosh Corporation: Overview and Background

Oshkosh Corporation is a top performing company in manufacturing, designing, and marketing a wide array of specialty vehicles, access equipment, and truck bodies. Oshkosh Corporation has been around since 1917, and what started as an early pioneer of four-wheel drive technology, has grown into something much more than that.  Worldwide, Oshkosh Corporation currently employs roughly 13,100 people.  Oshkosh Corporation is mostly known for its defense segment, which is where most of the income comes from.  The defense segment accounts for 57% of the company’s operations and Oshkosh Corporation has been doing business with the Department of Defense for over 80 years.

 

My Role

As a treasury intern, I am part of a small treasury department located in Corporate Finance.  Daily, I have many tasks which have strict time deadlines throughout the day.  I am mainly responsible for reconciling bank accounts, which includes verifying incoming and outgoing wire and ACH payments.  I also post foreign exchange rates company-wide for everyone’s use, and compile a spreadsheet throughout the day.  I am responsible for funding the cash necessary to pay our employees daily and wire funds to foreign employees.  At the conclusion of the day, I leave a daily debt message for senior management, which includes both the CFO and CEO of the company.

At month end, I also assist in creating financial reports and doing fee analyses of our bank accounts.  Lately, I also have been given special projects to complete when I have extra time.  Currently, I am working with people in other departments to change payment methods for disbursements we presently make, which will reduce our monthly fee charges.

 

My Advice

The earlier you think about your future, the better off you will be. Career services and titan jobs are two great resources which are available for you.  Post your resume to titan jobs as early as possible, and update it as frequently as possible.  When I gained this internship with Oshkosh Corporation I was a sophomore here at UW-Oshkosh, not actively pursuing an internship.  I became aware of the position solely because I had my resume on titan jobs and was notified that I qualified for the position.  Also, attend the career fairs on campus.  You may be uncomfortable with the thought of talking directly to strangers, but networking is a great way to get your foot in the door at one of the prestigious companies at the fair.


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