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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: 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: Panda Lee, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh- Office of Equity and Affirmative Action

Panda Lee, Human Resources

Company Overview

I am currently an HR intern at the Office of Equity and Affirmative Action at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  The main goal of the office is to ensure that all members of the University are able to pursue their academics and obtain and maintain employment without having to encounter any type of discrimination.  The office also focuses on eliminating under utilization of and increasing opportunities for women and minorities.

How did I obtain my internship and when did I start

I was able to obtain this internship position through Titan Jobs.  The position appealed to me because it wasn’t a regular Human Resources Intern, I would be able to learn about a different aspect of Human Resources that not many would have the opportunity to experience.  After submitting my résumé and completing an interview, I started interning at the office during the second week of September 2012.

Highlights So Far

So far, I have had the opportunity to attend several office sponsored training sessions.  It has been interesting to see how these training sessions are conducted and how those attending the sessions respond to the training.  I have also been assigned several projects, one being researching consensual relationship policies at Universities.  I am looking forward to having the opportunity to learn more about how policies are written and approved.

My Advice

I would advise other students to start looking for an internship as early as possible.  Taking advantage of every opportunity will help you to gain as much experience as you can.  This can help you to stay competitive and make you stand out as a candidate for other positions you apply for in the future.

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: Adam Schubert, First Source Worldwide

Adam Schubert, Accounting

A First Source Experience

                My name is Adam Schubert, an Accounting major at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  I plan on graduating after this upcoming spring semester in 2013.  I have completed much of my coursework required to obtain my degree with a few classes left for one final year of college!  I had still needed an internship though and was pretty stressed out about finding one.  And then I found an accounting internship with First Source Worldwide.

First Source Worldwide is a supplier that manufactures and distributes chemicals for other company’s needs.  Some of their clientele include Rawlings Sporting Goods, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom.  Many of the chemicals they provide are pigments/colorants used in clothes that we wear every day.

I had stumbled across this internship by signing up for the email program offered through the Internship Program at UW-Oshkosh.  I received an email stating that interns were needed at this company and responded right away.  After completing an interview, FSW had contacted me and they offered me an internship.  I was able to start mid February 2012.

At first I was really nervous about this new endeavor.  I was unsure what to expect besides what they had told me during the interview where they gave me a vague list of responsibilities.  After about a week I realized what I had gotten myself into.  It seemed overwhelming at first but as time went on, I became very comfortable in my role at First Source Worldwide as an intern.

I have been able to incorporate a great deal of my previous coursework in this internship.  One of the courses that I have been able to apply the most is Bus 305 (Accounting Information Systems).  This class had taught me to use Peachtree which is very similar to QuickBooks.  I use this everyday when entering and approving bills.  Another course that I am using in my position at FSW is Quantitative Business Analysis (QBA).  I use Excel every single day and this class has helped me become efficient in using the program.

My main responsibilities on a daily basis consist of entering and approving bills for both U.S. and Mexico operations.  I also help occasionally with some costing projects in order to supply the business with information that helps them price their products competitively.  I also help out with the purchasing department when they need the additional support.  This has exposed me to various areas of the business giving me a fuller understanding of the business operates and a broader overall experience.

Although I have been exposed to various departments of the company, this exposure reassures me that I would like to stick with the accounting field.  I love everything about it and I continue to learn every day I’m at my internship.  I have recently been offered to continue this internship throughout the upcoming school year and I look forward to the additional experiences ahead of me.

Internship Spotlight: William Rasmussen, JL Property Services LLC

William Rasmussen, SCOM

My name is William Rasmussen, or “Tricky” at work, and I am doing my internship at a company called JL Property Services LLC. The company is a year round landscaping company that serves commercial and residential properties alike. The main sources of income for JL are lawn maintenance, fertilizing, concrete work, decorative concrete curbing, snowplowing and salting. I have worked at the company for over four years and have grown exponentially in the company.

In terms of my start, it was pretty uneventful. A good friend of mine was buds with my current boss, Jake Lutzow (hence the JL name). Jake, at this time, had just quit his full time job as a tin worker and decided to dedicate everything he had into this part time business. Jake and his partner, Brad, were growing drastically and needed more workers…and that is where I came in.

When I first started at the company, I was just general labor. Over the past few years, I have gained an extensive knowledge of the business. Thanks to Jake, I am now fully capable of doing any task that JL offers. I know how to operate all of our equipment, know how long things take to do, know costs of labor and materials, and know exactly how to do jobs better than our competitors.

My internship has been a whole new experience for me. I’m now considered one of the top employees in the company, and have gained responsibilities far greater than general labor. Over the last few years, the owners of JL have been shaping me into a sort of prodigy for the company. I was a completely fresh slate for them, and they have been teaching me things exactly how they want me to learn.  The best part about my history with the company is that they have been able to directly influence my college years. Everything I learn in my classes is quickly contrasted with the mass of knowledge I have gained at JL over the years. I’ve never been afraid to tell Jake, my boss, things I’ve learned at UW-O, and he has never been afraid of correcting me of things UW-O has taught me. Jake has showed me the real world application of the incredible knowledge that UW-O has given me.

My average day at JL starts at around seven or eight in the morning. Typically, I coordinate the daily activities for JL’s multiple crews. After everyone is set up for the day, I usually end up at a specific job site. Usually, I am at a certain job because of my experience level, or to train new employees. After the specific job, my day is far from over. While the majority of employees may be done for the day, I need to do my office duties for the day. I am solely responsible for a new system being implemented at JL. This system is likely to be the lifeblood of the company within the next year. All job data, billing information, daily organization, crew direction, and customer information, will be done through the system we are implementing right now. And that means that I need to enter, delete, or alter information in the system on a daily basis.

Nearly all employees are long gone by the time I start working on my additional office work. After a long day of organization, jobsites, and system maintenance, I still am not done. At this point I coordinate with the owner of the company on upcoming plans for the next day, week, or month. Calendars, post-it notes, rough sketches, excel documents, etc. all aid in our planning to maximize efficiency. Lastly, billing is done at our company on a weekly basis. And since I am responsible for our new system (that has all billing information), I am a major part in this process. It is very normal to see 12 hour days for me at a minimum.

While my internship may be highly demanding, I love it. I will keep working at this company for as long as I can. I personally have helped the company grow from nearly nothing; to the awesome company we are now. JL has given me nothing but opportunity, and I intend on continuing to provide them with phenomenal work for years to come. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has helped me become strong academically, and JL has helped me become a true business specialist.


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