Summer internships: an opportunity to gain real-life work experience that college students covet. It makes you more marketable and gives you invaluable knowledge and skill sets. Many want one, some even need one, but finding one is another story.
Earlier this year, I found myself hunting for a summer internship along with every college student in the nation, but at a slight disadvantage; I only had one year of school under my belt. For a freshman in college, finding an internship that does not require a minimum of junior standing is next to impossible. You are just too young and inexperienced, and many companies do not want to take that risk. After many failed attempts at securing an internship, I received information about a marketing position at a company called IWCO Direct. I had never heard of them and, to be honest, I had no idea what direct mail was. But I decided to give it a shot.
So I sent in my resume and waited. Then, two days later, I received one of the best emails of my life: the marketing team wanted to interview me! I kid you not; I had to keep myself from screaming I was so excited. I had to submit writing samples and write an essay about why I wanted this job and why IWCO Direct should want me. A little more than a month later, I found myself hired as the marketing intern at IWCO Direct.
Now, I have to admit, I was more than a little nervous coming to work on my first day. I was terrified that I wouldn’t fit in, that I wouldn’t have the proper skill set, that I’d make too many mistakes. But upon meeting my team members, I realized none of that mattered. I was instantly welcomed into the company with opened arms, and within a few days, I had learned more about direct mail and marketing than any textbook could have taught me. No matter how many questions I asked, there was always someone to answer them. No matter how many mistakes I made, there was always someone there to help me fix them. No matter how much help I needed, there was always someone there to guide me.
And there was not one intern that did not have this same experience. Across the board, every intern said he or she was blown away not just by the kindness and attention shown by everyone at IWCO Direct, but by the invaluable knowledge gained this summer.
What’s more, IWCO Direct created incredible opportunities for the interns inside the company. Just this summer, the HR department at Chanhassen gave interns the chance to organize a United Way event that not only provided funds for a worthy cause, but also gave us real-world experience to put on our resumes.
Words cannot express how honored I am to have been given the opportunity to intern for IWCO Direct. It has been an unbelievably amazing three months, and I can now walk into my sophomore year standing taller, knowing that this experience pushes me that much closer towards my career in the business world.
IWCO Direct 2014 Summer Interns:
- Jacob Austin, Information Technology, Hennepin Technical College
- Michael Bolen, Information Technology, University of Minnesota, Duluth
- Cesar Buitrago, Scheduling/QA, University of St. Thomas
- Grace Deck, HR/Safety/Wellness, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
- Brianna Dvorak, Customer Service, Winona State University
- Joe Fafinski, Benefits, University of Missouri
- Bethany Fischer, Marketing, Drake University
- Charles Frempong-London, Print, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
- Elliott Gaddis, Customer Service, University of Wisconsin-Stout
- Stephanie Jenkins, R&D, Hamline University
- Zachary Leirdahl, Finance, University of Minnesota.
- Rachael Maguire, Sample/Sign-Off, University of Chicago
- Caitlin McCabe, Prepress, University of Iowa
- Xena Mei, Sample/Support, East Stroudsburg University
- Patrick Murphy, Information Technology, Minnesota State University, Moorhead
- Tyler Myrvold, Business Services, University of St. Thomas
- Madison Schumacher, Customer Service, University of Rochester
- Layla Sethuraju, Project Management, University of Minnesota
- Christine Silikowski, Client Services, Indiana University
- William Silikowski, Scheduling, University of Iowa