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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: Nick Lodl, Oshkosh Defense

Nick Lodl, Supply Chain Management

The Beginning

My journey to becoming an intern started with the job fair. I was new to the business world and I knew that I was good at networking, so I thought I would start there. I talked to a few companies, many of which did not interest me, until I spoke with the recruiters at Oshkosh Defense.

Oshkosh Defense seemed like an interesting place to work, and I thought an internship with the company would bode well for me in the future. It was spring semester and I knew that it would be a long shot, but I applied anyway. Months went by before I heard anything, then all of a sudden I received a phone call asking for an interview. I took the interview and was hired as a Team Coordinator Co-Op.

I was extremely nervous because my experience in the business world was vastly limited, and I was not confident that I was qualified for this position. However, I went for it and it has been the best decision of my life.

Day in the Life of a Co-Op

As a Team Coordinator it is my job to oversee production. We achieve success and continuous improvement by leading with Safety, Quality, and Work Place Organization. Each day is a new challenge with Oshkosh Defense. I get a lot of good exposure to many facets of the manufacturing world. Be it Quality, Safety, Production, Operations, Operations Finance, and Engineering; needless to say I wear a lot of “hats.”

What I have Learned

During my time at Oshkosh Corporation, I have found that if you can think critically, make sound decisions, work hard, and speak intelligently, you will be successful in any internship you choose to pursue. Class work is important. It is important to understand the fundamentals of cost and the concepts associated with many of the business classes. However, what you learn in your internship can never be taught in a classroom. It is important to embrace the internship experience and learn everything you can from as many people as you can.

Internship Spotlight: Chao Lee, Voith Paper, Inc.

Chao Lee, Accounting Major

Overview

I am currently interning at Voith Paper, Inc. located in Appleton as an accounting intern. Voith Paper is a family-owned manufacturing company founded in 1867 with approximately 40,000 employees in 280 locations worldwide. To this day, it is still a family-owned company and one of the largest, directed by a management-holding from its headquarters in Heidenheim, Germany. The company consists of four main commercial sectors: Voith Paper, Voith Hydro, Voith Turbo, and Voith Industrial Services.

How did I obtain my internship? Resources I used?

I learned of this internship through our very own internship director, Jessie Pondell. As I was in the middle of applying and interviewing with different companies, Jessie emailed me about this opportunity and I applied for it through Titan Jobs. I was contacted by phone to go in for an on-site interview where I met and interviewed with the tax department team. About a week later, I was offered the position and started in June 2012.

What feelings did I have going into the internship?

Like many students, I was very nervous for many reasons. First of all, this was a full-time co-op dealing with high-level accounting and tax work, and on top of that, this was my first internship, so I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t gotten very far in my education yet and I especially haven’t taken a tax course so I was afraid I didn’t have all the necessary technical skills. But on the flip side, I was also very grateful and excited going into this internship. I cared a lot about my accounting classes and work; therefore, I couldn’t wait to get hands-on experience in the field!

What are some of my favorite projects?

The quarterly tax installments and year-end tax provisions and extensions are a lot of fun. Not only am I learning a lot about the book-to-tax process and all the tax principles and regulations that come with it, but I am also challenged and kept busy with these projects. Another project I enjoyed includes the Process Documentation project that is new this season. Documenting each tax process from beginning to end has helped me see the department’s projects and tasks in a larger picture, enabling me to easily understand how and why they do it.

My Future

I am very content in my major selection thanks to Voith. My real-world experience in the accounting field reaffirms me that accounting work involves all the things I enjoy doing. I plan to intern more throughout my remaining time at UWO and hopefully end up with the perfect career after graduation. My ability to take on work and problem-solve through the challenging responsibilities at this organization has given me the confidence and skill sets to do anything. Nothing’s impossible.

Internship Spotlight: Aaron Sellier, RR Donnelley

Aaron Sellier, Accounting

Company Overview

Before being acquired by RR Donnelley, the company I am currently interning for was known as the Banta Corporation of Menasha Wisconsin.  They were a major printing and imaging company for over one hundred years in Wisconsin.  In 2006, Banta was sold to the Chicago based firm RR Donnelley, another commercial printing company.

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

I started in May of 2011 as an Accounting Intern.  The school’s resources such as the career fair and titanjobs both provided me with interviews at a handful of companies.  RR Donnelley was at the top of my list because of their positive image in our community and there is a large opportunity for advancement after graduation.

Highlights So Far

Aside from my monthly duties and projects, there are a few things that standout for me so far in my experience here at RRD.

I was lucky to participate in an inventory audit by our internal audit group from corporate RRD.  This was a large scale audit that investigated our physical items on hand and also the financial documents related.  I was able to shadow one of the auditors through their process.

Being put in charge of an annual physical asset audit was my second highlight.  Each year, corporate RRD requires a listing of assets be evaluated for disposals, transfers, ext…  My supervisor gave me the responsibility to conduct this audit for each department.

The main highlight for me was my interaction with so many professionals.  Throughout my time there, there were people from every department that I had either worked with or at least had a significant conversation with.  The connections I made are most valuable to me from this experience.

Advice from My Experience

The one thing I would like to pass on from my experience is that a lack in confidence is normal before landing an internship.  I wasn’t sure if I was capable of reaching an internship, let-alone performing well in one.  I wish that I had not put so much stress on myself early on because now I have realized that my internship was actually there to build my confidence.  This is something I will remember when applying for jobs out of college.

Spotlight Internship: Erin Severson, Lakeview Credit Union

Erin Severson, Finance

My name is Erin Severson and I am a Finance Major graduating in December 2012. I am currently interning as a Business Services Specialist at Lakeview Credit Union in Neenah, Wisconsin. Lakeview was founded in 1934 by nine Kimberley Clark employees with the intention of establishing a credit union for the employees of the Lakeview Mill. Originally the organization was run by volunteers. Today the board of directors is still made up of member-volunteers however there are currently 41 paid employees. Lakeview has three branches, two in Neenah and one in Appleton.

How I Obtained the Position:

This June marked my seventh anniversary as an employee of Lakeview Credit Union. My career with Lakeview began as a high school student teller. Over the years, I have experienced working in member services and the accounting department.  When it came time to fulfill my internship requirement for my bachelor’s degree, the organization was very accommodating and offered me a position in the business services department. I began my internship this June and the plan is to stay in the department after graduation this winter.

My Roles and Responsibilities:

As a Business Services Specialist I work with our commercial loan accounts. I am responsible for reviewing each note to be certain that compliance requirements are met.  This includes verifying collateral, working with insurance companies to ensure adequate coverage, and making sure that each file has all of the necessary documentation to support the loan. I also work closely with our credit analyst to compile data for specific reports. I am very excited to continue learning the ins and outs of the department in the coming months.

My Advice:

If I were to re-do my college career, I would look for opportunities to intern in different positions much sooner. I have learned that the more you express your interests and needs the more your employer is willing to expose you to different areas.  Don’t be afraid to network and get to know the employees at all levels of the organization, you may find mentors where you least expect it. In my opinion experiencing different jobs before graduation helps to decide what areas of your major you would like to make a career.

Internship Spotlight: Marquise Jones, EAA

From left to right is: Nate Smaglik. Tom King, Cari King, Brian Lutze, and Marquise Jones

How many people actually know what EAA stands for……? I didn’t either until about a couple weeks ago.

I was looking for an internship on Titanjobs and found a company looking for an intern to be a computer technician. I applied immediately. One of the resources that I used in applying for this position was my professor. He was really involved in my search to find an internship and was happy to see that I did indeed find a internship that he had knew about. One of his friends was in the IT department here at EAA. Next thing you know, I have an internship!

I started my internship on June 5th .  The first day was really me going around meeting and touring the buildings.  After all the formal stuff was done, we got right to work and started unloading computers and starting to take them to where they needed to go. That day, my boss bought the whole staff lunch from Pizza Hut.

My first impression was this was a great place. It’s really laid back and easy going and everyone is nice and willing to help, which was a surprise. I was coming into this internship not knowing what to expect; the interview was formal yet laid back.

The coursework that has come from the internship has been ok. It was difficult to catch on since it was an online class so things weren’t getting turned in on time but I think that would change. Some of the challenges that I had come across during the internship happen to be how to find drivers for printers and wifi networks, because each vendor has their own way to set things up and sometimes it is difficult to find the right drivers to process the information.

Now that I have some experience I believe that I have chosen the right path, and it has also showed me another section of IT that I would be willing to explore now that I have a better understanding of what the job entails. My internship involved working with another intern who was really cool and we worked well together. He is from Platteville and he is studying Engineering, but he is interested in computers as well.

The most important thing that I have learned at my internship was to have an open mind and that communication is very important when working in any organization. I also learned what EAA meant- Experimental Aircraft Association.

Internship Spotlight: John Flanigan, Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC

John Flanigan, Finance

 

My name is John Flanigan I plan on graduating in December 2012 with a Marketing degree. I’m currently working at Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC as a Marketing/Scheduling Manager. Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC has been serving the Fox Valley since 2004, and is one of the top companies in its field

How I Obtained my Internship

I have been working at Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC since 2004 when the company first opened. I have always felt at home with the company so when I told my boss I needed to complete an internship for the College of Business, he created a position for me with more duties and responsibilities.

The decision was easy for me to make, Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC has always respected me as an employee and I didn’t want to pass the opportunity to “move up” in the company. When given the new position at Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC, I also thought I would be able to use the knowledge I have learned from my education to better the business.

My Duties and Responsibilities

When first discussing my new position with my boss, he asked me “What do you want to get out of this internship”? I told him I wanted to experience what it was like to run a small business, and I wanted some face-to-face interaction with customers.

A typical day for me starts at 6 A.M. when I arrive at our shop. I need to organize all of the crews with the proper equipment, and I also need to make a schedule for each crew to follow that day. After that is done, my boss and I will then meet with potential customers and give estimates and quotes. I end my day back at the shop going over what jobs crews completed during the day. I usually will leave the shop roughly around 4 P.M.

I also have some tasks that I do on a weekly and monthly basis that I need to find time in my schedule to do. Those things consist of balancing the company’s accounts and going over some of the companies goals with my boss. I’m also always on call throughout the work day to aid crews with any problems that present themselves such as equipment breaking, customer questions, or anything else that may present itself.

My Future

After I finish my schooling I’m going to look around for a job that best benefits my family and allows me to use my education to the fullest. I would love for Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC to offer me a job with roughly the same job description as I have now. If they don’t, I will continue to work with Kelly Green Lawn Care LLC until I find a job that benefits my family and I to the fullest.

Internship Spotlight: Kimberly Fenske, First State Bank

Kimberly Fenske, Finance

My name is Kimberly Fenske and I work at First State Bank as a Consumer Banking Assistant. First State Bank is an independent community bank which was first built in 1933. There are six branches located in Waupaca, Outagamie, and Shawano counties.  Our main branch location is in New London which is my primary working location. However, I also travel to the other branches in order to fill in while other Consumer Banking Assistants are on vacation.

How I Obtained the Position

I have worked at First State Bank for about four years now.  When I was in high school, I was a co-op student and began my banking career as a teller. After high school, I was able to maintain my teller position while I attended college.

When I was a junior in college, I became a Loan Servicing Assistant. After one year of working in the loans department, I informed Human Resources that I needed to complete an internship in order to satisfy the College of Business requirement. Human Resources immediately started making arrangements in order to fulfill that requirement. After accepting the internship offer as a Consumer Banking Assistant, my training started May 21st.

My Roles and Responsibilities

As a Consumer Banking Assistant, I work with customers to both open and close accounts, complete maintenance on account, start the loan renewal process, complete projects for Senior Management, etc. Each and every day is different when working with customers and their financials.  Whether a customer wants to dispute a transaction on their account or close their Certificate of Deposit, every transaction is different.

Challenges

Since all banks have countless regulations to follow, I am extremely cautious about following compliance policies. Also, working at a bank requires a high degree of professionalism with little margin for error.  Accuracy is key to being successful and gaining the customer’s trust.

When I first started my new position, I was so nervous about making a mistake and it was affecting my efficiency. A coworker confronted me and said, “There is no mistake that can’t be corrected.” This statement helped me gain confidence and I am now more proficient in completing my job responsibilities. Instead of worrying about what mistakes could be made, I focus on completing the job tasks the way I was trained and gaining new knowledge along the way.

Internship Spotlight: Jesse Christianson, Thedacare

Jesse Christianson, Accounting

Company Profile

The beginnings of Thedacare can be traced back almost 100 years ago to the opening of Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, WI. From the humble beginnings of a 20-bed hospital, Thedacare has grown into the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin boasting over 6,100 employees. It currently consists of a family of five area hospitals, 22 physician locations, multiple senior care facilities, and numerous foundations. Thedacare is a not-for-profit organization and is owned entirely by the communities which it serves. They are the recipients of numerous awards including 2011 Business of the Year, awarded by the Post-Crescent for their positive impact within the community.

Getting the Internship

I am a nontraditional student with family responsibilities.  I needed to find an internship that was within a reasonable commuting distance. This worried me because limiting the geographic area in which I could search for an internship also limited the pool of internships available to me. I was afraid it would be incredibly difficult to land a quality, challenging position in which I could hone my communication and analytical skills. So I enlisted the help of several faculty members and paid several visits to the COB internship office. To make a long story short, a couple weeks later I was offered a position to work in Thedacare’s corporate accounting office located in downtown Appleton.  I am extremely happy here. Thedacare is the perfect fit for me. I thank all those involved in getting me here.

My Role at Thedacare

Right now it is tax season at Thedacare. This is my main focus right now and will be for the next couple of months. I am currently creating tax documents which breakdown compensation, revenue, and expense figures. I need to ensure that these figures tie into last year’s audited trial balance. In addition to learning about not-for-profit tax, I am also responsible for creating, charting, and sending out all corporate invoices, as well as month-end reconciliations. Once tax season is done I look forward to getting involved in the management of fixed assets and an upcoming insurance renewal. By the end of my internship I will have a wide variety of experiences in almost every aspect of accounting.

My Advice

My advice to anyone currently looking for an internship is to find a company to intern with that fits not only your expectations regarding experience gained but that fits your personality. Company culture has a great deal to do with how happy you will be during the course of your internship. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during an interview in order to discover the culture of the office. The better you fit in at a company the more comfortable you are and the more likely you are to ask questions and to learn. Don’t give up if you fail to get an offer after the first few interviews. You will be the perfect fit somewhere. Be persistent!

Internship Spotlight: Jamie Churchill, Materials Converting, LLC Company

Jamie Churchill, Accounting

Company Overview

Materials Converting, LLC is located in West Allis, WI.  They specialize in processing primarily flexible materials.  These processes include converting materials by sheeting, slitting, laminating, shearing, die cutting and any combination of these to meet the customer’s needs.  Because service is the most important aspect of the business, they strive to provide quality products in as little time as possible.

How I Got the Position

I received my internship through personal connections.  While going through the process of looking for an internship, I was using Linked In as one of my primary resources.  I noticed that the owner of Materials Converting, LLC, who is also my sister’s boss, had viewed my profile.  After mentioning it to my sister she put in a good word for me.  I emailed the owner my resume and met with him and his wife. They then offer me the position.

My Role

My responsibilities consist of every day accounting tasks done by the organization.  I am doing everything the accountants that actually work for the company do, which I love.  This includes the daily task of creating and sending out invoices, receiving and entering cash receipts, and matching purchase orders to received invoices.  Weekly I enter payables and payroll for both our company and our sister companies.  At the month end I enter the bank reconciliation and soon I will be involved in a quarter end.

Am I happy with my major selection?

Yes, because there are many different aspects associated with this job.  I am gradually beginning to understand the company, its customers, and suppliers.  I am learning something new everyday while still doing the staple responsibilities, such as invoicing and cash receipts.

Correlation to Course Work:

The basic knowledge I learned in my accounting classes comes in handy.  By knowing the basics, I can see how the transactions flow through and impact the organization.  Journal entries aren’t just used in the classroom!  Also, we use a computerized system here at Materials Converting and the experiences I had in my Accounting Information Systems course definitely helped introduce me to using a computerized accounting system.

 

 


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