Jan 06

2014 Outsanding Employer Internship Program

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Each year MACIC recognizes an organization that is dedicated to internships by engaging with colleges and universities, offering a structured internship program that provides its intern(s) with work of a professional nature and valuable feedback, and provides opportunities for its intern(s) to grow professionally. MACIC awarded IndependenceFirst with its Outstanding Employer Internship Program award at the annual Employer Appreciation Event in June 2014.

IndependenceFirst MACIC Award

Melanie Hupfer (right), Fund Development and PR/Marketing Coordinator with IndependenceFirst, accepting the 2014 Outstanding Employer Internship Program from Megan Anderson, representative from nominating institution, Alverno College.

Congratulations IndependenceFirst!

Mar 08

2012 Outstanding Employer Internship Program

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Kohl’s was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Employer Internship Program award at the June 2012 Celebrate Internships Employer Appreciation Social.

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Aria Higgins, University Relations Coordinator with Kohl’s, accepting the 2012 Outstanding Employer Internship Program award from Kristin Adler, representative from nominating institution, Marquette University Career Services Center.

Kohl’s offers a complete internship program that allows students to have hands-on experience in the retail industry. Internships are available in a wide range of disciplines including accounting/finance, compliance, e-commerce, information services, learning and development, logistics, management, marketing, merchandise analysis, and purchasing. Kohl’s strives to develop students into professionals with a strong skill set and knowledge base.

Kohl’s interns are provided with sufficient training and go through a strong orientation process. All interns complete a day-long orientation filled with Kohl’s history, an introduction to corporate culture, and expectations of interns that are specifically designed to enhance internship success. Well-defined, measurable goals are established with interns, and most departments have a curriculum and training guide for interns that provides a clear understanding of what is expected of them during their time with Kohl’s.

Kohl’s intern managers provide constructive feedback and mentoring to interns. Each intern is also assigned an Intern Coach, a recent college graduate who meets regularly with their mentee to provide training and guidance. Interns also participate in three “College to Career” classes, where they learn about corporate communication, presentations, speaking on the spot, and other skills necessary to be successful in the corporate world.

Interns have many opportunities to demonstrate their learning through projects in their departments, but all interns also participate in a Final Impact Project. Interns select a problem and present their proposed solutions at the end of the internship. This final presentation is not only given to their team and manager, but to upper level management in their department. Almost all of the solutions get put into place for the next season or cycle after the interns complete their experiences.

Given Kohl’s strong focus on community involvement, the company developed “Interns in Action,” a day of service for all interns (200 Corporate Interns + 425 Store Interns). Interns can participate in a variety of “getting to know Milwaukee” activities, all designed to encourage networking. Ultimately, Kohl’s interns are integrated into the company as if they were permanent members of the team.

According to nominating institution, Marquette University Career Services Center, Kohl’s is one of Marquette University’s most engaged employers. Kohl’s participates in on-campus career fairs, and representatives from the company are always willing to speak to students in classes, programs, and student organization meetings. They participate on advisory boards, are willing to provide informational interviews, and post internship opportunities on university/college job boards.

Congratulations to Kohl’s for providing an amazing internship program for college students!

In an effort to honor employers and partners from business, industry, government and other nonprofits, MACIC developed the Outstanding Internship Program award. It recognizes organizations who have distinguished themselves by developing quality internship programs. The award criteria include:

  • University Engagement
  • Structured Internship Experience
  • Professional Development Opportunities

MACIC members submit nominations, and the MACIC Awards Committee selects the winner or winners. In any given year, as many as three Outstanding Internship Program awards may be given – Large Employers, Small Employers (fewer than 100 employees), and Nonprofit/Public Sector.

Want to see more images from the 2012 Celebrate Internships social? Visit the photo gallery.

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Dec 20

Recap: Internship Best Practices Employer Panel

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On Friday, December 2, 2011, MACIC hosted its Fall 2011 Professional Development Program. Internship Best Practices: Employer Panel Discussion brought together employers and college internship professionals to learn about the internship programs of area employers. Speakers on the panel included:

  • Dori Tooke, Director of Inpatient Rehab Services, Aurora Health Care
  • Wade Krogwold, Campus & Community Recruiting Manager, Direct Supply
  • Ellen Burgermeister, IS Recruiter/Campus Recruiting Consultant, Northwestern Mutual
  • Heather Seager, Director of Clinical Development, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
  • Ana Maria Guzman, Client Services Specialist, Wisconsin Public Defender’s Office

Attendees learned about the organizations’ internship opportunities and best practices for their respective programs. Panelists shared their organizations’ perspectives on tailoring supervision to a specific student intern, important work skills needed for an internship, and the role of a student’s major in intern recruitment. After a Q&A with the audience, each panelist wrapped up the discussion by sharing three or four attributes they seek in an intern.

Highlights from the Panel Discussion

  • “Soft skills” were crucial for intern success. While technical skills might get a student an interview, it is the soft skills – critical thinking, communication, teamwork – that will get the student hired. And more importantly, students need to be able to articulate how they possess these skills. Some of the key attributes employers are looking for include:
    • Flexibility
    • Initiative
    • Critical Thinking
    • Customer Service
    • Communication
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Passion
  • Major is not the most important factor for most employers when hiring an intern. While some positions may require specialized training (ex. IT or engineering), most roles do not. Again, it comes down to soft skills. Hire interns with strong communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills, and train them to do the job at hand.
  • Interns will make mistakes. As an employer, create an environment in which students are comfortable with asking questions or seeking help before an issue becomes a major problem.
  • Schools and employers are partners in the internship process:
    • Schools need to be clear about the intent of an internship from their perspective. Make sure everyone shares the same expectations.
    • Schools need to understand what tactics work best with their students. What works at your institution in terms of marketing opportunities with students?
    • Employers want to collaborate. Instituting advisory boards and including employers on those boards is a great way to partner for the gainful employment of students.

Additional details about the event, including contact information for each panelist, is available in the Professional Development Program Archive.

Jun 28

2011 Outstanding Employer Internship Program

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Direct Supply is the inaugural recipient of Outstanding Employer Internship Program!

Inaugural MACIC Employer Award
Sarah Broker, accepting the award on behalf of Direct Supply, with MACIC President-Elect Juli Pickering and President Tom Kipp

Direct Supply, one of Milwaukee’s fastest growing companies, is America’s leading supplier of equipment, services, and eCommerce systems to the long term care profession. Because of their continued growth, there is incredible opportunity at Direct Supply in a wide variety of areas, from sales to supply chain service to software engineering.

According to Wade Krogwold, Campus & Community Recruiting Manager, the company’s internship program is “not viewed as a short-term fix as Direct Supply is looking for long-term talent.” The current conversion rate from intern to full-time employee is 80-87%.

Direct Supply is very engaged with Wisconsin’s university community. They are active in on-campus recruiting by posting jobs, conducting on-campus interviews, and participating in career fairs. Representatives from Direct Supply are engaged in Employer Advisory Boards, serve as guest lecturers and panelists, and participate in mock interview programs.

Direct Supply also provides professional development opportunities for students. Interns go through a multiple orientations. A corporate sponsor program offers each intern a mentor from a cross-functional area and there is an intern-specific professional development series. Finally, Direct Supply values to learning focus of an internship. Each intern’s progress is determined by goals and objectives that are focused on outcomes.

Overall, Direct Supply encourages growth, embraces creativity, and provides a nurturing and supportive environment for interns.

Congratulations Direct Supply for the excellent work you do with your internship program!

In an effort to honor employers and partners from business, industry, government and other nonprofits, MACIC developed the Outstanding Internship Program award. It recognizes organizations who have distinguished themselves by developing quality internship programs. The award criteria include:

  • University Engagement: The employer proactively establishes relationships with colleges and universities.
  • Structured Internship Experience: The employer provides a well-structured internship experience.
  • Professional Development Opportunities: The employer provides opportunities for the intern to grow professionally.

MACIC members submit nominations, and the MACIC Awards Committee selects the winner or winners. In any given year, as many as three Outstanding Internship Program awards may be given – Large Employers, Small Employers (fewer than 100 employees), Nonprofit/Public Sector.

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