How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship
By Rachel Brumenschenkel ’18
My name is Rachel Brumenschenkel, and I’m a senior marketing and management double major and communication minor. For the second time, I completed an internship at Cooper Enterprises in Shelby, Ohio. Cooper Enterprises is a manufacturer of commercial wood products, including cabinets that you might find in doctors’ offices or fraternity houses as well as retail shelving and displays that are in some of your favorite retail stores. This summer I worked mostly in inside sales, digital marketing and purchasing.
Connections to the Classroom
What I really liked about this internship (other than my awesome coworkers) was that I worked in different departments, which made me better understand the business as a whole. When I worked in the purchasing department, I used MRP (material requirements planning) software to determine what needed to be purchased, which was something about which I learned in my project management class at Mount Union. There were a lot of instances where I thought to myself, “Oh, I learned about this in class!” It is really cool to apply what I learned to a “real-world” setting.
Digital Marketing Analysis
One of my favorite aspects of marketing is making strategic decisions. In my marketing SCE last year, a majority of the course consisted of analyzing case studies and making a recommendation. One project during my internship with Cooper seemed like it could have been part of that class. My boss wanted to implement a new digital marketing strategy with help from a marketing agency, and my task was to contact different agencies and request a proposal. What made it challenging was that the two agencies we were considering had completely different proposals. I had to then provide a recommendation to my boss that was based on research and on the objectives of the digital campaign. Analyzing the case studies for my SCE prepared me to give a recommendation in my internship.
I loved working with different people, communicating with vendors and learning about an industry about which I knew nothing when I began my internship last summer. I learned that I really enjoyed working in this type of manufacturing environment. I think I made the most of interning at Cooper by asking questions and seeking out more information about the company, industry and different departments. It’s cool to see how what you are doing in an internship fits in with the big picture of the company.
It’s rewarding when you are able to make connections between your internship and what you’re learning in school. When you do internships, try to learn as much as you can about the company and industry while enjoying working with your coworkers and polishing your skills—that’s how you can make the most of your internship.