Tuesday, December 7, 2010

P&H Mining Equipment Inc. Internship

Ekaterina Zakharevich

I am currently a Planner/Scheduler Intern in the Aftermarket Department at P&H Mining Equipment Inc. P&H Mining Equipment is one of the two operating units of Joy Global Inc. (worldwide leader in mining solutions). Another one is Joy Mining Machinery which specializes in equipment and support of underground mine operations, where P&H Mining Equipment specializes in surface mining operations. The machines that P&H Mining Equipment manufactures and supports are used to mine coal, copper, silver, gold, diamonds and more.

My responsibilities as an intern include a wide variety of daily/weekly/monthly activities. Some of them are: evaluating lot sizes and issuing purchase requisitions, extending parts to other facilities, creating material master records, running reports and other various projects. I also assist Aftermarket Department with planning, scheduling, and calculating inventory levels.

I can say that I have learned a lot in these three months. Now when I go back and look through the notes that I made when I just started this internship I sometimes laugh thinking to myself – “How could it be so hard for me to understand such a simple thing?” Obviously I do realize that there is still a lot to learn and I want to learn as much as I can while I have this opportunity. I was also able to apply what I have learned in my SCOM classes.

There were few challenges. One of the hardest was developing a “habit” of doing certain processes/procedures working only twice a week. The good part of it is that every time I do something I remember how I did it last time and I analyze the necessary steps to complete a task. So by completing certain tasks every day when I work I manage to learn new things, exactly because I am not doing it automatically yet and I need to think what else is there I can check into to make a better decision. My supervisor and coworkers have been extremely helpful in teaching and mentoring me. They also have been very patient with me. In return for their help I am trying to learn things faster by making detailed notes and looking through them before going and asking for help. I am also constantly trying to relate what I have learned at work to what I have learned in classes and vice versa.

I found this internship at a perfect time in terms of the classes I am taking this semester plus I still have plenty of time to expand my knowledge and increase my desirability as a potential employee. This internship helped me to understand what types of skills, what knowledge and experience I should have upon my graduation to be successful in finding a job. This internship made me even more passionate about supply chain.

I would recommend everyone to start looking for an internship as early as possible, and not just for an internship but for something you think you may want to do after graduation. I am extremely glad and thankful that College of Business has this internship program.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Miller Internship

Jason Vanden Berg

Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is an industry leader in manufacturing arc welding and cutting equipment designed for manufacturing, fabrication, construction, aviation, motorsports, education, agriculture, and marine applications. Miller is owned by Illinois Tool Works (ITW), where it holds worldwide leadership by setting the standard for reliability, quality, and responsiveness.

I am currently an Operations Management Intern with the Portable Power Group at Miller Electric in Appleton, WI. I assist in day to day operations with ordering, shipping, and receiving. I am also involved with quoting, setting up production lines and long term, and other various company projects. It is a very interesting job that is teaching me a lot.

The thing I like the most about this internship is that I’m involved in decision making. I was able to be the leader in a project that set up and organized a production line for two very important products Miller produces. This allowed me to work with many different people within the Miller organization. This also allowed me to be in contact with suppliers and understand that side of the business. Along with setting up that production line I am able to work on cost savings projects. These projects are awesome because it allows me to use my business knowledge along with incorporating things that I have learned from school.

I am learning an enormous amount of knowledge at Miller. This internship has absolutely helped me with my future career goals. I would recommend Miller Electric to any college student looking for an exciting and rewarding internship.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Voith Internship

Adam Pritzl

I am currently a tax intern at Voith Paper in Appleton. Voith is a multinational company with its headquarters in Heidenheim, Germany. The company has been around for almost two centuries; it started as a family business and still is privately held by descendents of the original owners. Worldwide Voith employs just fewer than 40,000 employees, and has locations on four continents. Last year we had gross sales of around 5.1 billion euros, and net income of 77 million euros. There are four main sectors that make up Voith. They include a Hydro division, a Turbo division, an Industrial Services division, and of course a Paper division.

My duties are on a more regional scale. In the tax department here in Appleton we are in charge of all North American tax returns, ranging from Canada to Mexico. We are responsible for around 30 federal tax returns, and around 50 state and provincial tax returns annually depending on mergers.

So far at Voith I’ve had the opportunity to experience many different aspects of a multinational tax department. I assist in quarterly installment payments, filling of amended returns, and provision and extension return work. I also work with our fixed asset system, investment portfolios, and local accounting software. Another large part of my experience includes researching new tax law changes and how it will effect our situation.

While learning all types of accounting systems, software, and many tax rules and procedures; there is another entire side to this internship. I guess I would call it the common sense learning. What I mean is not only do I learn things on the computer, but I get to interact with professionals and go to meetings and seminars to get the full effect of the business world. I think some of the best experience I will walk away with is how to go about doing the work, and how to approach certain people, things that they never talk about in the text books.

My experience here at Voith is priceless and it is a great way to learn about the accounting world. Although at times it seems overwhelming and unattainable, my supervisors have never given me something that I am not able to do. They have been more than willing to sit down and teach me anything I ask about. Overall, it has been a great experience.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thill Logistics Internship

Yushuang Shan

Thill Logistics, Inc. operates as one of the largest fulfillment operations in the Midwest, offering third party logistics support for its clients in the areas of fulfillment, customer service, outbound telemarketing, e-commerce, and real-time analytics.

I am currently the outbound telesales consultant at Thill Logistics. Many people have said that telemarketing is not a very good job to start with, but in my opinion, I prefer to start from the beginning. I work with our team to achieve sales goals; our job is to try to maximize the sales savings of our campaign.

We call customers that have previously ordered products, and try to convince them to reorder more products. Many sales techniques are used during the conversation. When I first started at this internship, I had no idea what to say, or how to respond to customers’ questions. There are always times that customers will come up with questions that I hasve never heard before.

At my internship, I have the opportunity to work on different campaigns. The products vary from drinks that help relieve arthritis to mascara that enhances the thickness of eyelashes. Recently, I started working on a slice machine that is a digital cutter that cuts out letters or shapes.

In order for us to gain more sales, we have to have a really good understanding of each product that we are selling. The most challenging part of this job is when customers ask questions that I am not familiar with.

When I first started, I always referred to my notes when having conversations with customers. As time goes on, I think I have learned a lot from this job and I feel this is really good practice for my future career.

For my future career, I still want to be a sales representative. This internship has gained my knowledge on sales techniques, and it has also improved my professional speaking.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wheel and Sprocket Internship

Marc Prellwitz
SCOM/ Purchasing Intern

I am currently a purchasing and sales intern with the internet sales division of Wheel and Sprocket. Wheel and Sprocket is one of the top bicycle retailers in the nation and includes six stores as well as two different web based stores. I currently work out of the Oshkosh store, which also contains the mountain bike parts division of the online sales program.

In my position I am responsible for a wide variety of daily and monthly activities relating to the web store development. I work closely with industry representatives and distributors to find closeout components and parts that we sell online through various platforms. On a daily basis I must assess the items we are bringing in or will potentially be bringing in and weigh the risks associated with them. The goal is to be constantly improving the quality and price of the items we bring in in order to improve our sales.

In addition to focusing on the purchasing side of our internet sales, I also am responsible for managing the inventory when we receive it. I developed and implemented a simpler and easier to use ID system for our items once they are activated on the web stores so that it is easier for our shipping employees to find products. Prior to the system, an employee who was supposed to ship required a rather in-depth knowledge of different types and characteristics of the components. With the labeling system I developed, it is much easier and faster for people to simply use the system instead.

The final part of my internship focuses on evaluating sales figures and deciding what we should bring back and what items we should avoid. I have been surprised multiple times with this part of my job. Items that I was sure would be high grossing and fast sellers have sat for weeks while items I was sure wouldn’t succeed have flown off the shelves.

My internship has taught me a lot about inventory management. It has allowed me to put to use some of the knowledge I have gained during my time here at UWO and utilize techniques developed in much larger companies. It has allowed me to grow and stand on my own with a large amount of responsibility. Especially during the winter months storefront sales are down, so my department becomes a much bigger part of the sales during the time period. With my applications of large-scale corporation techniques to our smaller web based sales department we should be able to improve over last year’s sales and utilize our money better with smarter buys and faster sales.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oshkosh Corporation Internship

Jared Petersen

Oshkosh Corporation is a Fortune 500 Company that designs and builds the world's toughest specialty trucks and access equipment by working shoulder-to-shoulder with the people who use them every day. Oshkosh is continually improving the perfect by making it their business to understand the struggles of their customers' jobs, and to than deliver vehicles that out-perform anything else on the market. Oshkosh is then able to back those vehicles with a 24/7 global service network. Oshkosh has been able to maintain their excellence because they strive for diversification and with this; they are able to leverage their technologies to create profounding competitive advantages across several different markets. This strategy has earned Oshkosh a top leadership position in every truck market they enter.

I am currently the Shared Treasury Intern at Oshkosh Corporation, working directly with the V.P. of Finance and the Treasury Team to ensure our cash is being used as effectively and efficiently as possible. Our team focuses on activities such as cash management, lender management, hedging management, investor relations, and bank relations. Each responsibility is divided out among each member of the team based on each individuals strengths and areas of specialty.

As an intern I have the privilege to be involved in a little bit of each responsibility listed above. My daily responsibilities consist of EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) verification, prior day reconciliation, account balance tracking, remitting EFT’s, calculating and positioning current day cash balances, and distributing the debt message and dashboard to senior management. The most important responsibility assigned to me is the current day cash positioning. I pull the bank reports, calculate the overall balance in all of our accounts, and then let senior management know if we are positive or negative. If we are positive, we then pursue short term low risk investments such as Treasury Bills; if we are negative we will decide where to redeem our cash with the lowest penalty.

Other than my daily tasks, I was also given various projects. These projects include creating an internal auditing database, lender analysis, bank account fee analysis, bank entitlement form organization, and credit application processing. I enjoy these projects because it allows me to see different departments within Oshkosh, and gives me a taste for the type of work they each do. Any time a project is offered, I am more than happy to take it to further my understanding and knowledge of the different business activities.

Whether it is a project or a daily task of mine each responsibility requires reporting. There are two main daily reports which I distribute all the way up to the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) level. These two reports are the daily treasury dashboard and the daily debt message. Both reports show our daily activity, interest expense, debts spread, and weekly debt forecast. The difference between the two reports is the dashboard is sent via e-mail, where the debt message is sent verbally over voice messaging. Being given the responsibility to report directly to senior management is very rewarding to me.

My experience with Oshkosh Corporation has been nothing but excellent. I have been able to provide Oshkosh with an internal auditing database, a foreign currency analysis spreadsheet, a more efficient foreign exchange filing system, and an automated dashboard. On the other hand, Oshkosh has demonstrated to me the importance of a hard work ethic, has taught me fundamental business ethics, has increased my knowledge of accounting procedures, has introduced me to the corporate environment, has surrounded me with the most knowledgeable and talented personnel to work with and learn from, and most importantly, showed me the qualities and attributes of a company I would enjoy working for full time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oshkosh Corporation Internship

Emily Merten

I am an Accounting/Finance Intern with Oshkosh Corporation. Oshkosh Corporation currently has four business segments: Access Equipment, Defense, Fire and Emergency, and Commercial. McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing is part of the Commercial segment and one of Oshkosh Corporation’s nine major business units. One of my responsibilities in the Shared Credit Services department is to identify accounts with credit risk for McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing. With this responsibility, I must contact McNeilus’s customers to ensure accounts are within their assigned credit limits. It is important to any company, as it is to Oshkosh Corporation, to promptly collect their credit sales to keep their business running. I also facilitate credit card transactions, gather information on dispute issues, collect delivery information, and distribute copies of statements and invoices to customers.

Along with my everyday responsibilities, I am able to strengthen my professional development in other ways. I sit in on conference calls with our customer support representatives located throughout the country so that I can get a greater understanding of how my department’s responsibilities fit into the “big picture” of the company. I also attend meetings with other departments that inform the employees on what is happening with the business and what its goals are for the future.

I have found that everyone is very helpful at Oshkosh Corporation. My supervisor and coworkers are very willing to take the time to explain any questions I have. They motivate me to not only work hard in the office, but in my schooling as well. It was humbling that from my first day, everyone in my office was so welcoming.

The College Relations department work to insure that interns enjoy their experience with the company. They are always willing to listen to any problems interns may have and help to find a solution. Also, the College Relations department sets up events for the interns to further their experience and professional development. These events allow you to get to know other interns and learn about their role in the company.

My experience so far with Oshkosh Corporation has been wonderful and has taught me many skills that I can use in future roles. I have been able to grow not only as a student, but an employee as well. I am so grateful for knowledge I have gained throughout my short time with Oshkosh Corporation.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sarah Kissinger
BBA: Human Resources

Society Insurance is located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. It is a regional niche player in insuring commercial-only small to mid-size businesses in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. They specialize in insuring restaurants, grocery stores, taverns, cleaning services, and other niche markets like movie theatres and dining restaurants. If you take a walk in downtown Oshkosh, all those types of businesses are what Society insures.

I am currently the Human Resources Intern at Society Insurance. One of my responsibilities includes assisting in the recruitment process. This involves job posting, entering candidate information in the applicant tracking system, assisting with phone screens, setting up interviews, and administering testing. I also help with the on-boarding process when we hire a new employee. I prepare salary analyses for open positions by collecting data from various reports; I submit internal salary data to authorized data vendors, and track insurance institute training. I also work on different projects assigned and help with coordinating employee events.

Along with all my responsibilities, I am able to shadow my supervisor to experience everything that is done in the Human Resources Department. For example, I was able to sit in on a court hearing over the phone. This was a really neat experience for me to be able to see how the law fits in with Human Resources and apply the knowledge from my classes to the court case. My supervisor tries to include me in on as much as he can so I can grasp the full aspect of what it is like to work in the Human Resources department.

Society Insurance has an internship program that has taught me a lot about insurance. In this program, we attended presentations where we learned about each department and then went on various job shadows. This showed me how Society Insurance runs as a whole and not just in the Human Resources department.

I have learned a lot in the first few months of my internship. I have been able to apply what I have learned in the College of Business to real life experiences. This has given the opportunity to grow as professional and not just as a student.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Special Olympics Internship

Alicia Bridge

I started my internship with the Special Olympics Fox Valley Region this August. The Special Olympics is a non-profit organization providing people with cognitive disabilities the right to compete as athletes. Although we are required by UW Oshkosh to complete an internship before graduation, I feel honored to have gotten myself this internship. I can go there, knowing I am making a difference in people’s lives while still being "at work". Not many people can say this! I have spent the beginning of my internship in event planning working on the event Bowl for Champions. The Special Olympics teams up with the local police forces to hold this event and raise money while bowling.

My favorite part of this internship is how much my job relies on the community for help. It has shown me that the community will come through and help for a good cause. At first I was shy asking for things such as donations, but this internship has helped me gain the self confidence I will need when entering the real world. I also love the fact that every time I go into the office I complete multiple different tasks. I am usually always doing something different which is nice for a change of pace. Some duties include finding donations, getting volunteers, getting companies to support us, Bowl for Champions event, Lock Up A Cop, creating awards and prizes and lastly and most importantly, the Polar Plunge. I am very excited to start working on the Polar Plunge event. Last year, nearly $380,000 was raised during Polar Plunge and it is a very big event that I am happy to be a part of.

My experience with the Special Olympics has been a huge success. I honestly couldn't be happier with an internship program. My supervisor is very nice and willing to help with any questions I have. I also love that it has given me so much hands on experience with event planning, considering that is not a major or minor offered by UW Oshkosh. It has helped me realize I am capable of succeeding in business and gain confidence within the community. It has also made me really want to get a job within a non-profit, or at least volunteer. I now plan on being a lifetime volunteer with the Special Olympics. The only problem with this internship is there isn't much opportunity for growth considering there are only two people in the office, although continuing with this organization would be awesome!

ThedaCare Internship

Katelyn Frassetto
Accounting/Finance Intern

I am currently an Accounting/Finance Intern with ThedaCare. ThedaCare is community health system that includes four hospitals, twenty-two physician locations, residential facilities for senior citizens and multiple ThedaCare at Home, ThedaCare at Work, and ThedaCare Behavioral Health Services locations. Through all of our locations we provide medical care for over 150,000 individuals each year. As the intern at our corporate office, I have the opportunity to experience many different aspects and be involved in many of the processes of operating a non-for-profit organization.

In my position I am responsible for a wide variety of tasks, which is one of my favorite aspects of the internship. I am not tied down to just journal entries or just asset management. So far I have been involved in many processes and responsibilities. My largest project has been compiling information for our 990 tax return and learning the tax requirements of a non-for-profit organization. Through this experience I was able to learn a lot about the account structure and flow of assets in hospitals, physician services, our corporate office and other entities. I also had direct contact with our outside public accounting firm, which gave me great experience in building professional relationships and confidently communicating financial information.

Some of my other responsibilities or projects I have been or will be involved in include asset and capital management, preparation of end of year financial statements, mileage and account audits, liability insurance renewals, balance sheet and bank reconciliations, regulatory research, cost justification, company audit, other tax reporting requirements, retention program improvement, automation of documents and still others.

One of the few challenges I faced is when I first started. I was completely unaware of what to expect. To my delight, the people here are all very helpful. I was worried I was going to be overwhelmed and thrown into projects larger than what I was capable of. But I was proven wrong very quickly. My supervisor is very understanding and knows how to motivate people. He allows someone to grow in their position in their own way. He knows how to give just enough guidance and let you run with it. He helps me strive to reach my full potential even if I don’t know what that is or how to achieve it.

I have learned so much in the little time I’ve been here so far. Working at ThedaCare is helping me define my career path choices. I know an organization like ThedaCare would definitely be somewhere I would want to work. I know to look for a culture and company that values and motivates its employees. Due to the varied experiences I now have, I also know more about which area of accounting I want to pursue. I have also learned how to professionally present myself.

The biggest difficulty I have encountered so far is my lack of confidence. Being in a professional environment surrounded by very intelligent and successful people was quite intimidating at first. Yet, the most significant improvement I have noticed is the confidence I now have in myself and my abilities. Initially I was inhibited and afraid to ask for projects or things to work on because I was afraid I would be unable to succeed, fulfill the requirements or do something wrong. My supervisor and coworkers have been extremely helpful in mentoring me and teaching me that everyone make mistakes and needs assistance. They have showed me how much I learned from the College of Business and how I truly am able to apply that knowledge. Now, I willingly ask for projects because I am much more confident and I realize they are opportunities for me to learn, not to fail. I encourage anyone starting an internship not to hesitate. You will miss out on very rewarding and beneficial learning opportunities.

My experience so far has been very rewarding. I feel very appreciative for this opportunity. I have gained an extraordinary amount of hands on experience and real world knowledge. Overall it is an honor to be a part of the ThedaCare team and work with such amazing people. ThedaCare’s accounting/finance department is making huge leaps in providing better quality and cheaper costing healthcare and I am honored to be a part of their success and innovation.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Georgia Pacific Internship

Christopher Bauer
Georgia Pacific Internship

I am currently a Systems Analysis / Programmer for Georgia Pacific. GP is a leading manufacturer and distributor of paper products around the world. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, GP employs over 50,000 people across the globe. I work out of the Green Bay office supporting the Transportation division.

The team that I am a part of is responsible for the Information System that moves over $1.3 billion dollars worth of paper products each year. The system is a home-grown beast which processes information from different locations across North America. We process this information and present it in an organized fashion for users. Every day is a new experience and I never know what the system is going to throw at me. My responsibilities include re-writing program code, in-depth analysis of the system to determine where improvements could be made, debugging code to find bugs and making hotfixes, and participating in projects during the full project life cycle.

This experience has been very rewarding and has helped confirm my choice in studies here at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. It has given me the hands on experience needed outside of the classroom to apply my skills that I have been taught and build additional knowledge. Additionally, it has helped me increase my business skills including proper etiquette, better communication, and problem solving abilities. This experience has also helped me realize what is all involved in operating a large scale information system.

I have had many different challenges that I have had to overcome since beginning my internship back in June. I have always thought that I was a very organized person, but when I am trying to juggle 4-5 projects, monitoring emails, team meetings, system alerts, etc., I found that I wasn’t as organized as I thought. It took a little while to adjust to the workload, but after a couple weeks of getting in routine everything started getting done in a timely fashion. The other big challenge was trying to figure out how the system worked. With so many large pieces flowing into the system, it took a while to figure out all of the pieces to the system and why there were there. Once I knew how the system was designed to work and how each part goes with another, it made analysis much easier and writing program code much simpler.

I am honored to be a part of Georgia Pacific’s Transportation IT team and would not trade this experience for anything. I have been able to take the tools I’ve learned here on campus and apply my new found knowledge at the corporate level.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pursuit magazine now available to students

Along with nearly 120 students on this campus, I am excited to see Pursuit magazine making it into the hands of College of Business students today.

This publication is an example of a successful collaboration between two departments on campus (Marketing and Journalism) and contains forty-four pages of know-how for students by students. As project advisor, I can attest to the fact that countless hours have went into this publication to ensure that the content is relevant, interesting and useful. We have included tips and tools for every business student such as steps to picking a major, ways to improve the chances of earning a scholarship and creative ways to get an internship. The editorial staff has laid out resources for nontraditional students, researched ways to use social media as a professional, included a how-to studying abroad and created tips for setting yourself apart from your future competition in the job market.

The feature story takes readers through a day in the life of three College of Business alumni: Katy School, Adam Bremberger and Dan Washkoviak. (Thanks to Katy School who is featured on our front cover.)

If you haven’t heard about Pursuit magazine before, I invite you to check it out at www.uwosh.edu/cob/publications or grab a free copy from the College of Business Undergraduate office in Clow 151.

Junior and seniors will receive their copy from the College’s Student Ambassadors in classes this week (and maybe next) and copies will be available at College Networking Night on September 22nd. Pre-business students will receive their copy during advising sessions and copies will be available in the undergraduate office.

From my experience in the field, I know there is nothing better than seeing your story in print. I am excited for all of the students that contributed to this publication get to see their hard work in print this week. I am also eager to learn the student’s response to this publication. Feel free to contact me at baumgard@uwosh.edu or leave a comment to this post.

Happy reading!

Dana Baumgart

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

5th Annual COB Networking Night

5th Annual College of Business Networking Night
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Oshkosh Convention Center
5-8 pm

UW Oshkosh College of Business Networking Night:
An event that connects more than 700 College of Business students to over 200 employers by creating relationships while students explore career options within their major and develop/enhance their professional networking skills.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The College of Business Networking Night is quickly approaching!

This incredible opportunity to network with professionals is perfect whether you are looking for an internship, full-time position or just need more direction on what you are looking for in a career. Even if you are not currently seeking an internship or full-time position, this event is a great way to learn and practice professional networking skills.

Are you prepared?

With less than a month to go, now is a great time to start gathering your professional attire and creating your business cards. It is also a good time to start researching potential companies you would like to network with at the event. Below is a list of businesses that will be in attendance.

2010 Businesses in Attendance:
(as of 8/25/10)

Platinum Sponsor:
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network - The Holter Group

Alta Resources
Baker Tillly Virchow Krause
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.
Direct Supply
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Federated Insurance
Frito Lay
Great Northern Corp.
JJ Keller & Associates
Miles Kimball
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network - The Blevons Group
Oshkosh Corporation
Primerica Financial Services
Schenck SC
SECURA Insurance
Society Insurance
The Knight Group
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
US Bank
Vogel Consulting
Wells Fargo Financial
Wipfli LLC

Watch for upcoming emails with event details.
For more information, schedule of events and event preparation, click here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tocqueville Asset Management

Brian Krieger
BBA: Accounting

Tocqueville Asset Management focuses on contrarian value investing. The firm has about $8 billion under management. Tocqueville has six funds as well as many private accounts. I spend most of my time working with the Tocqueville Gold Fund.

The internship has a lot of freedom. The theme is you get what you put into it. I basically have the freedom to choose my own path. I told my superior I was interested in the precious metals industry and I was immediately introduced to the senior analyst of the Tocqueville Gold Fund. I have been working under him ever since. We do have somewhat of a “base” program, but the majority of my time is spent doing work that I have direct influence on.

Typically, I am given (or I choose) a company to look at. I start by trying to understand the industry if I am not familiar with it. Then I start looking at the company’s annual report and quarterly filings and building a financial model. For example, I am looking at platinum mining companies right now, so I started by learning the platinum and palladium markets (supply, demand, industrial uses, etc). After I understood the platinum industry, I started researching specific companies within it.

Having a background in accounting has helped me immensely. Knowing how the financial statements flow together is vital to my position since we often recreate them and project out into the future.

I have learned a lot in the first month of my internship. Some of the most valuable knowledge I gain is from our internal meetings. I am able to absorb how very intelligent individuals think about the market. It’s something that you will never learn from a textbook.

We (there are 3 other interns) are also allowed to sit in, with some limitations, meetings with CEOs, CFOs, industry analysts, etc. It is a great experience. I also have access to a variety of information sources that I would never have been exposed to if I was not working here.

The other analysts are always willing to help the interns out. They take time out of their day to show us what they are working on and give us a lot of valuable information.

My main challenge was encountered the first week of the internship. I had no idea what to expect. To my (pleasant) surprise, the work environment is very easy going and promotes self discipline. Spending all day surrounded by individuals on a whole different intellectual level as yourself creates motivation to put in extra time and effort to learn as much as I can while I’m here.

I didn’t really know what to do at first. My expectations were that I would show up and they would just tell me what to do. It took me a few days to realize I was going to have to put myself out there to get the most out of this experience. The challenge was having the courage talk to my superiors to open up new opportunities. In hindsight, I should have never hesitated since the culture here eliminates the typical company hierarchy. Overall, its a great experience being able to work alongside so many intelligent people.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Alexandra Bourke
BBA: Human Resources

Target is a company that has a large focus on leadership development, along with being the best company ever. When many students think of an internship, they think of filing paper, refilling coffee, and making copies. The internship program at Target could not be farther from that. I have spent the first half of my ten-week internship learning and working in various areas of the store, and the second half is spent on a special project that focuses on improving the store specifically and possibly even improving Target’s fast, fun, and friendly culture.

The biggest challenge I faced transitioning from a college student to an executive intern was definitely the fact that I had no Target or retail experience in the past. However, as the internship progressed, I realized it was not a challenge at all. Tasks can be learned, it is energy, and passion that can’t be. In my position, I am a leader in the store. I have leadership experience daily in the forms of leader on duty, helping team members, and assisting guests in various areas of the store. In five short weeks I have gained leadership beyond what I imagined, and a love for business. In Target, the fast, fun, and friendly attitude is something that you see on all levels of our team. The team members are willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear to anyone that needs it. I am honored to be a part of this team!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kiersten Beecroft
Finance & Human Resources Management

I am currently a Financial Planning Intern with Thome Benefit Solutions, a financial services provider that offers financial strategies and products to clients, including insurance, investments and retirement planning services. As an intern working alongside principal financial professional and president of Thome Benefit Solutions, Kate Thome, I have the opportunity to experience many of the different aspects and perform many of the responsibilities involved in operating a financial services business.

I am responsible for completing a variety of different tasks that are different every time I come to work. That’s one aspect of being an intern at Thome Benefit Solutions that I really enjoy; each day I do something different and learn something new, which keeps the experience interesting and fun. My responsibilities so far include preparation of client presentations and account documents, client file organization and maintenance, and communication with various clients, producers, and vendors. I have recently started working on an e-newsletter project that will be my responsibility to oversee the process of getting it distributed to Kate’s clients.

My experience has been very positive and rewarding in providing me with new knowledge, hands-on experience, and personal growth. Among other things, it has helped me improve my communication skills and gain confidence in my ability to apply some of the knowledge I've learned in my College of Business courses to actual business scenarios.

It has also helped me realize how operating a business involves many different aspects and requires much more learning in addition to what I have already gained from classroom instruction. I believe this internship experience will continue to provide me with valuable knowledge and help me further develop skills that will be very beneficial to a career in finance.

The biggest challenge I have faced so far is remaining organized and keeping on task. I will be given 3-4 projects at a time, and then other additional things will come up, so it is important to prioritize in order to get everything done in a timely manner.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Northwestern Mutual Financial Network - The Holter Group

Jeffrey Magedanz
BBA: Marketing

Northwestern Mutual Financial Network is a Mutual Insurance company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company has been in existence since 1857 and provides several financial services, including life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuity services, mutual funds, and employee benefit services. The company is the largest individual life insurance provider in the country, and has maintained the highest ratings possible for insurance financial strength from each of the 4 major rating agencies. Among these rating agencies, A.M. Best, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings all awarded Northwestern Mutual with the highest possible rating level. Northwestern Mutual IS the standard that other insurance companies strive to achieve.

Northwestern Mutual has been financially strong enough that they have been able to pay out a dividend to their policy owners every year and have never had to take a government bailout to ensure their stability. The company was largely un-phased by the financial downturn of 2008, and was still able to provide its policyholders with an increased divided from 2007 to 2008. While many companies have been laying off employees or making wage reductions in the wake of the financial recession, Northwestern Mutual increased their hiring rates of new Financial Representatives in 2009-2010 by planning on adding nearly 3,000 new reps nation-wide, understanding that in order to grow their business, the financial representative is the one who must participate on the front lines. The company is the strongest in its industry and intends to remain that way with a commitment to growth, and first rate training of new employees to ensure a confident and versatile sales force.

As a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual it is my job to help my clients achieve financial security in life. Financial security means different things to different people at different times in their lives, generally it addresses such issues as dying too young, becoming sick or injured where you are unable to earn a paycheck, and addressing certain financial planning ideas for the future such as retirement and estate planning. As a financial representative I act as a conduit between my clients and the different products and services that Northwestern Mutual has to offer, I create individual accounts and help to service them as needed throughout the length of their contracts.

I have learned a lot about the products and services offered through the Financial Services industry, as well as the importance of believing in the products that you are selling. I have had the opportunity to go on meetings with several full time representatives and hear their different styles of selling, which have helped me to develop my own language when meeting with potential clients. I have also learned how to handle objections and rejection in general, there are many days where I will make 40 phone calls and only set meetings with 2 or 3 prospects, and it can sometimes be difficult and frustrating to deal with. This internship has already done a great job of teaching me to manage my time effectively, and is really giving me a crash course in how to run my own business.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wenger Roofing and Sheet Metal

Benjamin Richardson
BBA – Economics
Graduating: December 2010

Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal is in the market of both commercial and residential roofs, flat roofs, sheet metal and siding. Wenger is a growing family business with a welcoming atmosphere. Unlike much of their competition, they are professional in all aspects of the business from start to finish. Each client is treated with respect regardless of their needs even when it is evident that Wenger will not be the lowest bid for a job, the importance of giving a potential client the courtesy they deserve shines through. This has paid off since Wenger has received clients based on the treatment they received in the past. They also repair their competitor’s roofs when things go wrong; even though Wenger did not have the winning bid originally, they benefit from the trust they have created and will maintain. The way Wenger treats its customers has led to success through the tough economic times we are currently facing. While competition struggles, Wenger is on schedule to increase the jobs they complete this year in comparison to last year. The increasing business has caused Jake Wenger, my supervisor and Vice President, to look for ways to decrease the time between bids and costs associated with bidding turnover. Jake, a UW-Oshkosh graduate, had been looking for a way to pay it forward as an alumnus. He made room in the business for an intern to create data mining resources for Wenger.

This is a project based internship, the breadth of which is creating a working database Wenger can use to structure around the core of their business’ prospective jobs, job in progress, completed jobs and the costs/revenue, forms/reports and tasks associated with each. Other assignments include creating excel spreadsheets for financial management, researching prospective software packages, helping to define various internal processes and researching potential new markets.

Up to this point I have created a few financial spreadsheets and finished the first phase of the database project with customized forms and reports specific to Wenger’s needs. It was an exciting moment when I received an email from Jake officially informing his staff about implementing my work into the company. I am currently researching a software package called GoldMine, if implemented this program would be used to organize and streamline contact between Wenger and its clients.

My internship with Wenger is a unique experience. I work alongside Jake as he calls the shots and explains his decisions. Jake has taken me to job sites and let me shadow him providing a great chance to watch and learn as he handles the everyday obstacles of business such as: employee issues, time constraints and handling the ups and downs of enterprise. All of this has given me a real world view of what I can expect to see in my post graduation employment. The learning experiences I’ve received from watching and listening to an entrepreneur run business is likely unmatched by many other interns.
In the next few weeks I will be working to finish up the second and third phases of the database and it is important this project be completed before my internship is over. The database must be fully functional to replace some of the paperwork currently used, to decrease costs and increase the amount of bids Wenger can output daily. I will also be creating templates for streamlining and automating the job bidding processes.

So far this internship has challenged me to learn on the go and use my knowledge to help garner Wenger’s future potential. It feels as though I have gained more than I have been able to give and I am thankful to both Jake and Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal for that. I expect the second half of my internship to be demanding, but I am looking forward to the experiences and knowledge I will acquire.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The UW Oshkosh SHRM Trip to New Orleans in Review

In the past two days, I have been reflecting on the trip. I have done this knowing that I really needed to post one final blog entry. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I feel a little like Anthony Michael Hall’s character in The Breakfast Club. I am having difficulty putting my feelings about this trip into words. To some this trip might seem like a cheap way for students to go to a cool place over spring break. However, just like that Saturday morning detention in The Breakfast Club was much more than detention, this trip was much more than a trip. I can honestly say that this has been the most fulfilling experience I have had as an educator.

Why was this trip so fulfilling? Why was it so great? This trip was planned and made possible by students. The funding for the trip came from a grant from Target (The UW Oshkosh SHRM executive board applied for and received the grant funding.), the College of Business, and the student participants themselves. While I admit that these students all had the opportunity to experience New Orleans, they all spent a majority of their spring break getting up early to paint, mix cement by hand, dig holes, and install baseboards. Further, each student lived for a week in close quarters with four other people who the student likely did not know well prior to the trip.

This information will help you to understand, why I was so extremely proud when on their last day of service these students agreed to stay late on the Habitat site to insure that two cement pads that needed to be poured were finished. If you have ever mixed cement by hand, you will understand why leaving would have been a very attractive option. Our site leader gave our team the option to leave. Without hesitation, the students said they did not want to leave without finishing the job.

I also think this trip was great because it was a tremendous learning opportunity. I believe all of the participants including me learned a little more about each other, teamwork, New Orleans, and community service. The students showed a thirst for knowledge. They wanted to understand each other better. They wanted to learn how to work together to properly install baseboards. They wanted to venture into the 9th Ward to see what progress had been made toward reconstruction. They wanted to understand how human resources practices had been impacted at companies such as Emeril’s. They wanted to know why our 25-year-old site leader was working for Habitat. This curiosity and willingness to learn is inspiring to observe.

Finally, this trip reminded me that our student body consists of some really great people. I know some parents have been reading this blog, and I hope that they have continued to monitor it. It has been my pleasure to work with your sons and daughters (some for the week, others for a year or more). You should be very proud.

In closing, I would like to thank Target and the College of Business for helping to make this trip possible! We could not have done this without you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fun with Tools

Today, we completed our third day of work. We were painting the interior walls and trim in the house. We are getting better at all of our tasks; however, we still make a few errors. Two of our students cut a board too short. After this happened, our site leader Aaron asked them to go find a board stretcher in his truck. They obliged. Please watch this video footage of one of the students explaining her experience.

We will complete a half day of work tomorrow and head home. Good bye New Orleans!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Paint, BBQ, and Brad Pitt

So, last night we bumped into Brad Pitt while eating dinner. He was extremely kind and offered to take us all out for coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Just kidding y'all...it did make you read the post didn't it?

Today was our second work day. We felt like the day went better. We have several students who are interested in putting in base boards and painting for faculty for free. I'm full of jokes today! We did accomplish a lot, and we should be able to begin painting interior walls tomorrow.

Our site leader recommended a great BBQ restaurant for us. We ate at "The Joint" on Poland. We had brisket, ribs, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and more. We then drove deeper into the 9th Ward to see what progress has been made in that area since Hurricane Katrina. We found Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's "Make it Right Project". Please see our videos below.

We are off in search of souvenirs and more beignets!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

UW Oshkosh SHRM's First Day of Work with Habitat for Humanity

Today we completed our first day of work with Habitat for Humanity. When we originally arrived at the site, there were over 100 volunteers. We were split into smaller groups for work. We are doing trim work in a house in Harvey, Louisiana. Our site leader is named Aaron. We are working with another small group, and three AmeriCorp volunteers.

We worked on painting, installing base boards, and installing doors. Members of the group learned how to use saws, staple guns, and nail guns (no injuries yet). We are on our way to Cafe Du Monde and to ride the trolley into the Garden District.
The SHRM club members have arrived in New Orleans. This is what Professor DeArmond had to say about their first day.

So, we are now in New Orleans. We had a good trip down. We arrived at noon on Sunday and spent time exploring the French Quarter. Today we visited Emeril's Corporate Headquarters (Bam!), and learned more about their human resources function. We ate at Acme Oyster House. This is where Adam Richman from Man vs. Food recently ate 180 oysters. We sampled oysters, gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya and more. We also went on a swamp tour. Tomorrow we start work with Habitat for Humanity.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Marketing Club to Nashville

On Friday at roughly 1:15AM, the Marketing Club left Oshkosh to explore Nashville for the weekend and gather some knowledge on the workings of the music industry. We arrived at Chicago Midway before 5:00am and waited around for our flight to depart at 7:50am. Everyone was pretty tired, but yet excited at the same time. The majority of people rested up for what further entailed that day.
The sun rising was a welcome sight as we knew we would be flying out soon.

Our flight departed on time and we arrived safely in Nashville with a welcoming temperature in the 50's. Although not too warm, but it was still warmer than Wisconsin. The first event planned for the day was to visit Belmont University and get an inside look at what is going on the music industry today.

Belmont University is a school of over 4,500 students that offers both a Business degree and a music business degree along with many other degrees. We met with former UW Oshkosh faculty member Dr. Jeff Cornwall, now in the entrepreneurship program at Belmont and some other people straight from the music industry.
Scott Rouse, is an energetic producer who has received Grammy nominations and now focuses on producing blue grass music.
Rachel Barnhard, who is originally from the Midwest and now heads an interactive data based Marketing agency that focuses on the music and entertainment industry in Nashville.

There was a lot of energy in the room as it was very interesting to hear about some of the insides and evolution of the music industry. A popular topic was how the music industry was evolving in the digital age. They explained about the new mediums that the internet and other technology provided to market the music industry. Traditional media was on the way out as Itunes, phone apps, internet campaigns and more were the new next big thing.

The most interesting topic of note which can be related back to all students was the importance of creating relationships and networking with people. They all stressed how important this was being one of the bigger factors of being successful in the music industry. As the popular saying was, "It is not what you know, but who knows you and what they think about you."

After the great visit to Belmont, we were off and headed to Capitol Records to get the story from their CEO and various marketing departments.

The presentation from Capitol Records was great as it provided a different outlook on the music industry than Belmont offered. Capitol Records used more of a traditional method to market their signed artists. The one reoccurring topic from Belmont to Capitol Records though was the importance of creating relationships and networking with people. Each speaker told their story of moving to Nashville and developing their relationships to achieve their job position. After the Capitol Records presentation, the whole club was lucky to receive Cd's from some of Capitol Record's artists including Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Keith Urban.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Construction on the new academic building, which will be the new home to the College of Business, is moving right along! Sections of walls are being poured this week.  If you'd like to view photos of the progress, please visit our Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Point Alpha

Today after class we took about a 40 minute bus ride to see Point Alpha. Point Alpha was an American post on the border between East and West Germany. It was established during the cold War as it was the point at which the Soviets would likely invade West Germany. It would have taken them less than an hour to get to Frankfurt!

This is the American observation tower.

The view from the observation tower, showing how close an East German town was. Residence in these border towns was heavily restricted.

The observation tower, from the former East German side. You can see how close it is. Notice the fence; it is not actually at the border but about 30 yards within the former East Germany. Sometimes people would get over the fence but not realize they were still in East Germany and get shot. The Americans could see them, but could not shout to them to get up and run.

A model showing the different East German Fence lines.

The students listening to a presentation in the former recreation hall. About 40 men would be stationed here at one time, with 4-6 weeks tours before going back to the main base in Fulda.

St Boniface

As I may have mentioned, the area in and around Fulda was founded by St. Boniface and his followers in the early-mid 700's. Many reminders of him remain. This is the Dome Church where his remains are.

One of the many small sub-chapels within the church. This one is dedicated to Mary.

The altar below which the relics of St. Boniface are buried. I cannot describe the feeling being so close to a saint. A good friend of my wife and I passed away recently, so I lit a candle in her memory here.

All along the sides of the main chapel are beautiful works of art like this.

One of the figures in a large sculpture within the church.

Sights of Fulda

The Orangerie fulda, directly across from the palace.

One of the many churches in Fulda. It seems on every other corner there is a church, each very ornate. This was the "common folk" church.

A statue on the side of a building. Many buildings have statues of religious figures on them.

The meat market.

The entrance to the palace.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back from Berlin

We are all back in Fulda! The students are taking an exam, and all have happy looks on their faces.

Yesterday in Berlin we went to the Berlin Aquarium. It was spectacular. Here are some pictures:

The aquarium has a walk-through crocodile exhibit. This is a large Nile crocodile.

This is a unique exhibit--ants. They had several species, this one was on a tree---others had tubes along the ceiling.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Reichstag

Saturday evening we went and toured the Reichstag, the German capital building. It is primarily the building for the Budestag, one house of the the German congress. Our host were able to arrange a tour for us with a very good guide. Here are some pictures along wiht some text.

The room where the Budestat meets. Next week is their budget approval process!

The symbol of the Reichstag...

These are signatures and other information from Soviet soldiers who took the Reichstag back from Nazi hands in 1945. These had been covered up with some remodeling work in the 1960's and forgotten, but were found during some renovations in the 1990's.

The Brandenbug Gate (Tor) at night. This was the gate to the city in the 1800's when it was part of Prussia.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Berlin Pics

The sculpture atop the Brandenburg Gate.

The Holocaust memorial. It consists of over 2000 cement blocks of varying heights. Its location was chosen because it is close to where the Nazi headquarters was.

A view of walking in the memorial.

Yours truly in front 0f a remnant the Berlin wall.

Walking Tour of Berlin

This morning/early afternoon we had a walking tour of Fulda. It was pretty cold so our hands and feet suffered a bit, but our eyes were certainly rewarded. here are some pics:

The entrance to Olymic Stadium, where Jessie Ownes won all of his medals.

This is the sign at checkpoint Charlie at the former line between East and West Berlin. We learned it was called Checkpoint Charlie becuase it was the third checkpoint (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie)

Here is checkpoint Charlie itself.

The "TV Tower" at Alexandarplatz.