A Look Back At Our 2017 Summer Internship Program

August 10, 2017 • Posted in Culture

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

When you see a college-aged person, wide-eyed and balancing one too many Starbucks ventis, the word “intern” may automatically pop into your head. However, at M. Holland, you’re more likely to see our interns at plant check-ins and project meetings than sitting down to memorize the office lunch order. Our internship program gives students from various disciplines the opportunity to get their feet wet in the corporate world and see what awaits them upon graduating.

M. Holland internships are more than resume buffers. We give students the potential to launch their careers by tasking them to find innovative solutions to real-world problems. Take, for example, Griffin Ortale, a senior marketing and sales leadership major from Michigan State University. During his time with M. Holland Automotive, he created an “automotive customer map” to increase efficiency when planning in-person sales meetings. “I saw a definite need for a tool that would allow sales personnel to see the physical locations of customer facilities,” Ortale explained.

For other students, an internship at M. Holland further solidifies their desire to begin a career in plastics distribution. Monica Toledo, an information and decision sciences major at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), knew she wanted to be part of the M. Holland family after being selected for the distinguished and sought-after UIC Business Scholars program. One of her multiple responsibilities included familiarizing herself with the Service Now platform and helping in its wider integration. “I found myself strongly identifying with M. Holland’s eight core values – it’s a good fit for me,” Monica said.

We welcomed back returning intern Mack Drummond, a senior sports management and marketing major with a minor in business administration from Miami University in Ohio. This summer, Mack learned about what goes into securing and developing new business. Mack got hands-on experience researching prospects within the 3D printing and color and compounding markets, which, he explains, taught him “the importance of being prepared with research and strategy when approaching a new business opportunity.”

An impactful internship shouldn’t just give students insight into a particular industry or company. It should also expose them to the workplace environment and allow them to witness teamwork in action. In addition to gaining experience with an ERP system while improving M. Holland’s transportation process, Roland Wilson, a junior majoring in operations and supply chain management at Indiana State University, also developed his professional skills. “Being in the workplace and working as a team helped me to improve my project management and time management skills,” Roland said.

Cole Walsh, a junior finance major from the University of Missouri, spearheaded an analytical review project to provide historical financial comparisons, as well as a shareholder tax project to aid in payment verification. Not only was Cole able to advance his knowledge of Excel and ERP systems, but Cole also explained that “the experience helped shaped the direction I wanted to take with my major and ultimate career choice.”

Our internship program is not just about what we can provide students. It’s also about the value they bring to M. Holland. From brainstorming sessions or sales meetings, we are always learning from our interns and their fresh perspectives. When our interns question processes and challenge “the way we’ve always done it” mentality, students gain confidence and Mployees gain unique insight. We were honored to welcome our 2017 summer interns into the M. Holland family and thank them for their dedication, creativity and contagious enthusiasm and energy.

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