Having an internship is an important part of a business student's college experiences. In addition to allowing students to apply what they learned in class, they get a sneak peak into what it is like to work in the "real world" after graduation. Added bonus: many COB internships are paid.
We asked 40 business students to share their summer internship experiences with us. You can find their stories on the COB Facebook page. We hope their experiences will get you excited about starting your own search for an internship.
Here’s what we learned . . .
Our interns were open to relocating. While most our students worked in Wisconsin and Minnesota, our interns also worked for companies in Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. Three students worked internationally: one student spent part of her time in Mexico, while two students interned for companies in Egypt!
We were literally blown away by the work students did. Our students were given meaningful projects that allowed them to build on their skills and knowledge. They attended department meetings, performed audits, did market studies, analyzed and consolidated data, sold products through distributors, managed social media, drove continuous improvement initiatives, created dashboards and interactive reports, supervised employees, developed computer applications, filmed historic and cultural sites, and even ran their own business. In every case, our students stepped up to the challenges given them.
While our interns worked hard, they had fun, too. There were plant tours, baseball games, golf outings, trade shows, special luncheons with corporate executives, community service projects, and travel to cultural and historic landmarks. Many students commented on the new friends they met, many of whom they are still in contact with.
The experience taught them more about themselves. Our students had many good insights about their experiences. Here are just a few. Accounting major Leen Wadi mentioned that the experience “forced her out of her comfort zone and made her not afraid to ask questions”. Professional sales marketing majors Christian Kittleson and Carter Koleske noted that “hard work works” and "to always go above and beyond what is asked of you.” Still others mentioned the personal satisfaction they felt when writing a big order, “nailing” an important presentation, or coming up with a cost saving approach to doing a job better. Isaac Mousel, an accounting and IS student working in North Carolina, learned “that moving to a different part of the country can be intimidating and difficult, but also rewarding and beneficial." Business economics and finance major Elizabeth LeMay noted the important role people played in her experience. “I spent a lot of time at work this summer and luckily, I enjoyed the work, but the thing that made me want to keep coming in day after day, were the people I got to meet and work with. In my future career, I hope to be someone who people look forward to seeing when they come into work.” People also had a profound impact on Joshua Wigchers. The international business major who worked in Egypt remarked, "I met some of the kindest strangers who were always willing to help a random foreigner who didn't speak their language."
Special thanks to . . .
Our interns for sharing their experiences: Nicole Acker, Camila Bedoya, Brooke Boegli, Amanda Bower, Allison Brunner, Marcus Bugni, Natalie Clark, Katie Dietlin, Dustin Dolgner, Annika Ekblad, Johannah Erffmeyer, Zach Gillis, Brett Geurts, Andrea Gonzales, Abigail Johnson, Cullen Johnson, Christian Kittleson, Carter Koleske, Jessa Kristjanson, Chong Lee, Sophia Montana, Ola Mustapha, Elizabeth LeMay, Justin Mack, Kevin Miller, Isaac Mousel, Brock Offerdahl, Madeline Ouellette, Matthew Pergolski, Ryan Prekker, Mary Laura Samples, Austin Samsa, Hailey Schultze, Brock Schauer, Phuong Vo, Leen Wadi, Lucas Weisenberger, Joshua Wigchers, Justin Wilcox, Jenna Williamson
The organizations that hired our students: 3M, Amazon, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce, College Pro Painters, CUNA Mutual Group, Deluxe Corp., Ecolab, EY, FDIC, Gartner, Hormel Foods, Huebsch, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks, Kemps, Kohl’s. Liberty Mutual, Lee Farming and Laboring Inc., Lockheed Martin-Missiles and Fire Control, M3 Insurance, Mashtal Egypt, Mondelez International, Northwestern Mutual, Oshkosh Corporation, Planned Parenthood, Restaurant Technologies, Schlumberger, Steinhafels, Stephan Company, Tom James, Tourisma, WPS Health Solutions.
Our COB faculty/staff who were the instructors on record for students taking internships for academic credit: Raj Aroskar, finance; Jessica Gardner, professional sales marketing; Tony Keys, IS; Jerry Kollross, general marketing; Kristy Lauver, business administration, international business; Paula Lentz, BCOM; Brenda Thalacker, accounting; Terry Wells, general management, HR, and operations/supply chain management.