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Internships Prepare College Students for Workforce

Summer Interns Gain Mechanical Engineering and Marketing Experience at Intermatic

Summer Interns Gain Experience in Mechanical Engineering and Marketing at Intermatic

On a Wednesday in June at Intermatic company headquarters in Spring Grove, IL, the design engineering team gathers in a conference room for a weekly product review meeting. David Nowak, a senior in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois with a specialization in product design and development, listens to the presentations, asks a few questions and offers several plausible solutions. One of three interns at Intermatic, Nowak is doing exactly what he was hired for: tackling real issues and making important contributions to the team.

Intermatic has offered college students opportunities to gain experience, develop skills and take home a pay check through seasonal summer employment for well over 20 years. At the start of the program, students worked on packaging, shipping and labeling in the warehouse. The program has transformed over the years. Today, interns are on teams in engineering, testing and marketing where they learn practical skills and gain invaluable knowledge. This type of inclusivity enriches classroom lectures and coursework, builds relationships with mentors in the workforce and among other interns, stands out on a resume, and facilitates in landing full-time employment upon graduation.

Intermatic Human Resources Administrator, Teresa Pilcher, has helped shape the company’s program that prepares college grads for career readiness. “We assign our interns to real projects and place them in a contributory position where they have the same responsibilities as a regular employee. This helps interns discover if they can handle the job and gives them a solid idea of what they will be doing when they enter the job market. Plus, they gain employable skills and increase their marketability,” explains Pilcher.

Becoming More Marketable

Summer Interns Gain Experience in Mechanical Engineering at Intermatic

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be brightest for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology. Nowak’s summer internship experience at Intermatic is certain to give him an essential edge.

Some of Nowak’s summer projects include prototype testing, reconfiguring designs and ensuring a design meets specifications, in particular, updated NEC codes. This requires some reverse logic detective work on his part as he searches through the product lifecycle database. The experience at Intermatic has helped him apply and appreciate what he has learned in the classroom. “My sophomore year in the engineering program was really hard, but I learned a lot and now nothing that is said here on the job goes over my head,” he states.

Honing in on a Major

The USA Today reports 80 percent of college students nationwide change their major at least once before graduating. Intermatic intern Danny Scigalski, a senior in marketing at Loyola University, thinks working on a variety of activities in the bustling marketing department of a global company will help him pinpoint his area of concentration. Scigalski’s projects include gathering competitive analysis on a product; finding leads for the sales team; researching Google Analytics, participating in social media advertising, and assisting on video shoots. “Working on so many different programs, from Excel to Google Adwords, is going to give me such a better understanding of my classroom work,” Scigalski says.

Summer Interns Gain Experience in Marketing at Intermatic

Do you have a college internship or co-op experience you’d like to share, or advice for recent grads entering the job market? Connect with us. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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