IWCO Direct hired 23 interns to work in various areas of our operations this summer. In today’s post, two of them – Mitch Millard and Joey Puk – share their final thoughts on what they learned as they head back to school.
This summer, IWCO Direct offered us and 20 other fortunate young professionals internships at its Chanhassen headquarters. We were all provided with the priceless opportunity to see and learn what it takes to make a company operate. We know we’re not just speaking for ourselves when we say we knew nothing about direct marketing at the start of the summer. That changed quickly thanks to the mentoring of supervisors and help from our wonderful co-workers to get acclimated. Ultimately, it has been a great pleasure to learn the ins and outs of IWCO Direct and gain first-hand experience in the direct marketing industry.
We quickly began to realize what makes IWCO Direct a leader in direct marketing ― the dynamic group of people who work here. Everyone we came in contact with always made themselves available to help us, or just asked how our experience this summer was going. Every intern will tell you the personal and professional growth they experienced this summer has been substantial.
We all learned something upon starting our internships. Chris Knoll, a Marketing Services intern, said, “I was surprised at how much work went into creating one mailpiece.” Every department has a specific role in getting the mailpiece into the hands of the consumer, which is something that puts the “we vs me” mentality at IWCO Direct into action.
Internships at IWCO Direct Involve Giving Back
During our three month stint at IWCO Direct, we were given the chance to work on many different projects. One project that involved all interns and stands out as a highlight is the United Way fundraiser. We worked collectively to prepare for and carry out the week-long fundraiser, and it was a huge success for the United Way, IWCO Direct and the interns. United Way giving increased more than 13% compared to last year’s effort. The campaign provided us the opportunity to work together to organize an event for the company, and for an honorable cause. It also comes with the added bonus of looking great on our résumés. This real-world experience taught us the importance of communication and that having everyone on the same page is a key factor to success.
We also took a project management course which gave us time to reflect on the United Way fundraiser, discuss what went well with the preparation, and what didn’t work out quite as well as we anticipated. This was a great learning experience for all of us because we were able to discuss the areas where we could have improved when preparing for the event. This allowed us to work out the kinks within the planning process so these issues can be avoided in the future. We also learned the key components that should be implemented when planning any project. This is something we can take with us and apply wherever we go next, whether it’s back to school or off to other ventures.
IWCO Direct’s full team of 2015 interns included:
- Patrick Andersen, HR Safety Intern, University of Arizona
- Bradley Anderson, Client Services Intern, University of Wisconsin – Stout
- Michael Bolen, IT Intern, University of Minnesota – Duluth
- Joe Fafinski, Content Development Intern, University of Minnesota
- Brett Grengs, Maintenance Intern, South Dakota State University
- Ben Heinz, IT Application Analyst Intern, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
- John Hope, Client Services Intern, University of St. Thomas
- Chris Knoll, Marketing Services Intern, University of North Dakota
- Zachary Leirdahl, IT Application Analyst Intern, University of Minnesota
- Mackenzie Lunde, Marketing Services Intern, Kent State University
- Mitch Millard, Marketing Intern, University of St. Thomas
- Tyler Myrvold, Business Services Intern, University of St. Thomas
- Nicole Potter, Scheduling Intern, Mankato State University
- Nicolas Pouliquen, IT Technical Writer Intern, Ohio State University
- Kimberly Promnitz, HR Wellness Intern, Northwestern University
- Shara Pryor, HR Assistant Intern, Concordia University – St. Paul
- Joey Puk, Marketing Intern, University of St. Thomas
- Madison Schumacher, Client Services Intern, University of Rochester – New York
- Christine Silikowski, Sample Coordinator Intern, Indiana University – Kelley School of Business
- Zach Sisk, Creative Services Intern, University of Wisconsin – Stout
- John Statsick, Daily Operations and Employee Accountability Intern, Ohio State University
- Nick Statsick, Production R&D Analyst Intern, Iowa State University
We are grateful to have been a part of the IWCO Direct team this summer and will carry the new skills and professional development we gained for our future endeavors.
Joey is a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas, where he is pursuing a degree in marketing with a minor in Spanish and playing for the Tommie’s football team. He is looking forward to learning more about direct marketing and continuing to gain deeper experience in the marketing industry. He hopes to enter the medical device sales and marketing industry.
Mitch is a senior at the University of St. Thomas, working toward a degree in entrepreneurship. He hopes to complement what he’s learned at St. Thomas with new marketing skills he’s learned during his internship. In the future, he hopes to apply these new skills and experiences to start a business of his own.
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