Intern Spotlight: Michael Van Den Bosch ’08

A new feature on the UW-Whitewater Student Internships Blog is the Intern Spotlight. UW-W students are doing great things as interns and have important stories to share. The Intern Spotlight will provide insight into the internships UW-W students and alumni have completed. Featured individuals share their internship stories and provide advice to current and future interns.

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Our first featured intern is Michael Van Den Bosch ’08. Michael completed a Research & Program Managment Internship with the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) from April to December 2008. After his internship, he was hired on as the Director of Business Development for WCEDA.

Describe your internship experience.

I did a great deal of research, analysis and report writing for WCEDA. Some of the research that I did involved searching for new legislation coming out of Madison, WI and Washington, DC and determining the effects it would have on local businesses. I also did a considerable amount of research on grant and business incentive programs through federal and state departments.

Since the organization was only a few years old when I started my internship, I also found myself working on a marketing plan, reviewing and writing business plans for clients, forecasting future staffing and financial needs, and providing the technical expertise for the organization.

What was the greatest benefit of this internship?

The greatest benefit of this internship was the wide range of areas that the internship covered. Since I was able to dabble in management, marketing, operations, finance and IT, I was able to see what areas suit me best and plan my career around them.

What advice would you give to current or future interns on how to be successful in an internship?

Be willing to speak up. The company that I was interning with was fairly young, and they had no idea of the wide range of skills that I possessed as a student. Also, letting them know my limitations gave them a benchmark to measure my success when I exited the program. As students, you study the many different ways companies operate and that type of knowledge coupled with a fresh perspective is valuable to any employer.

Other thoughts or advice?

As an intern, try to learn as much about the company and how it operates as possible. Doing things that are outside your “Job Description” shows them that you are versatile and worth holding onto. Companies generally are not going to spend extra money training someone new to do the same things that you already know to do.

 

If you have an interesting internship story to tell and you would like to be considered for an Intern Spotlight feature, please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me at MorrowL@uww.edu.

 

Photo by cmcgphotography (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmcgphotography/ / CC BY 2.0)

Water Industry Internships in the Milwaukee Area

In an earlier post, I mentioned connecting with the Milwaukee 7 Water Council. There are some great opportunities flowing through that pipeline right now that the Council and I hope UW-Whitewater students take advantage of.

The Milwaukee 7 is an economic development group focused on attracting, retaining, and growing businesses and talent in the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin (including Walworth County and the community of Whitewater). Its Water Council is pursuing a mission to make this region the global hub for research, development, and education on freshwater resources and industry. In fact, the Milwaukee Region is already home to operations of some of the world’s largest water firms. The Council is made up of business, university, and government leaders who all work together to acheive their mission.

My introduction to the Water Council was at their recent internship “best practices” seminar. Industry leaders who already offer quality internship opportunities wanted to educate others in the industry about the value interns add to an organization. I was there to sit on a university panel addressing how employers can best connect with universities to find interns. The seminar was a very educational experience for me as well, and I met several great people that day. I left the event very enthusiastic about connecting UW-Whitewater students with internship opportunities in the water industry.

With the help of Spreenkler, the Water Council is hosting a student night. The event is your chance to learn more about the water industry in Milwaukee and the 30 internships available this summer. Rich Meeusen, CEO of Badger Meter and UW-Whitewater alum, will be the keynote speaker. After hearing him speak at the internship seminar, I can tell you he’s an amazing speaker who will get you pumped about the water industry, too. If you’re a business major, ITI major, or Integrated Science and Business major, definitely plan on attending. And bring your resume!

The Summer 2009 Water Industry Internships event is Tuesday, March 24 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Bucketworks in Milwaukee (1340 N 6th St). RSVP by Monday, March 23 at www.meetup.com/M7Intern or send an email to info@spreenkler.com. I know it’s spring break, so if you can’t make the event, you can email your resume to Steve Glynn, founder of Spreenkler, at steve@spreenkler.com.