As an intern at C&A industries, I have had what some might call a good experience and others might call a great experience. I prefer to think of it though as the best opportunity I’ve ever had to show what I can contribute to a company and that I can make an impact. Internships are typically thought of by college students as something productive to do in the summer or as a resume builder. That’s what I thought coming in, but I got way more than I bargained for or even hoped for when I applied for the internship.
Since I have been here, I have had the chance to be directly involved with creating training material for a major companywide database upgrade. To do this, I started with no prior knowledge of the database and with only the old manual, some basic training, and very little in the way of guidelines as to what was expected. I jumped in head first, reading the old manual and stumbling my way through the new database clicking buttons, trying things, and learning along the way. Eventually I got to the point where I knew enough to start making the training material. Long story short, after some initial revisions, my training was approved and the company is going to use it to train a huge portion of the company.
This then led to being asked to create e-learning versions of the same material. I agreed to that as well and got started. I learned how to use Adobe Captivate to create e-learning material from the ground up and my training will become a part of the company’s regular training process!
Because of my role in developing the training material, I have had the opportunity to be involved in a lot of executive meetings and have been able to work with a lot of people that I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to be exposed to.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to make this a great experience, I also had the opportunity to present my work at a manager’s meeting which included every manager in the entire company in one room. Not many internships give this much visibility across an entire company! The opportunity to showcase what I have done at that level was something I never anticipated.
All things considered, if you are a perspective intern and are reading this wondering what you’ll be doing or if this is a good internship, I highly encourage you to apply. If you get accepted, take every opportunity you can to make it the best experience possible. Take on the huge projects and go for it as best you can. Also, talk to people. The networking opportunities here alone make it worth it! Oh and by the way, did I mention that I was paid at this internship?
Blaine Richter is a senior at Hastings College, majoring in Communication Studies. He was an intern in the Training department at C&A Industries during summer 2014. When Blaine is not working, he shoots competitively in trap shooting for his college. In addition, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and being with friends.