Intern Spotlight: Matthew Granum ’12

Matthew Granum

Matthew Granum, Senior (May 2012)
Major: Information Technology – Network & Security Emphasis
Internship: Information Technology Group Intern with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

 

How did you find out about the internship? What interested you in the internship?

I started searching for internships for summer late into the spring semester. In early April, I used indeed.com to start looking for internships around Chicago. I am originally from Chicago, and it is very difficult finding jobs back home while studying at a Wisconsin school. Indeed.com helped greatly in my search. Blue Cross Blue Shield was one of the first employers on the list. I applied, and within about two weeks I secured a position as an Information Technology Group intern.

I would also like to add that Twitter was very helpful in my search. Right after I had found the job on Indeed.com, I saw a tweet from @bcbsil mentioning the job.

Describe your internship experience.

As an Intern, I assisted with researching and documenting many of the current tasks and projects assigned to the Enterprise Architecture Services department. I learned the basic core principles of Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, OK, NM, and TX, and also developed communication and cultural skills within a large corporation. Other tasks included working on consumerization of the enterprise. This included working with iPads and other consumer products for best practice enterprise use.

What did you learn during your internship experience? How did this opportunity relate to your career goals?

In a previous internship in a hospital IT department, I gained valuable technical skills. In my internship at BCBS, I gained valuable corporate skills. These skills included everything from effectively communicating to different types of people while using an enterprise tone of voice, proper documentation of research, and corporate policy.

As an IT student at UW-Whitewater, I really felt the value the business school gave me from business-orientated classes rather than simply IT classes. All students should really try to remember that a business is not run on what your major is. It is a group of different strengths that come together and form a community. It is important to have a fundamental knowledge of every part of a business to be successful.

What advice would you give other students about internships?

Do not set your heart on your dream job or internship. One mistake I recently made is being set on job I was applying for. A position may end up being something you are not looking for, or you might get rejected late in the interview process. Nothing is set in stone. You always should be actively looking for your passions and pursuing them. Until you get the job contract signed, don’t assume anything.

What did Andrew’s supervisor have to say?

I have worked with other interns who just sit back and take on easy tasks just to pass the time, but Matt really jumped right in from the start and not only did he provide value, but he came up with ideas that we are still leveraging today.

To me Matt Granum was much more than an intern, but he really became an extension to my team and his contributions went well beyond that of most interns.

Congratulations Matthew on being selected as UW-Whitewater Intern of the Month for April 2012!

 

Are you having or have you had an outstanding internship experience like Matthew? Tell employers, faculty, and, of course, fellow UW-W students what makes/made your internship experience so great! Be featured in the Intern Spotlight! To learn more, visit the UWW Intern of the Month Program page.

Intern Spotlight: Mitch Paschen ’10

Mitch Paschen

Mitch Paschen, Senior (December 2010)
Major: Information Technology Infrastructure
Minor: Geography
Internship: Intern with US Customs and Border Protection in Alexandria, VA

Describe your internship experience. Where and when did you complete your internship?

I worked at US Customs and Border Protection, TASPO division (Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Office), last summer in Alexandria, VA. It is not complete yet (I am going back this coming summer to finish it).

What did you do in your internship?

I helped to ensure the upkeep of all the computers in our office (specifically working with the LAN support team). There were about 350 of them in all. I also worked with making an inventory list of who works at each computer and helped with the launch of about 150 new computers that arrived my second day of work.

What did you learn from your internship?

I learned a lot of very small things that are helpful to know about computers. I learned about what it is like in the real world versus at school. At school, things are all set for you to do and they will usually work out just right. The real world is not like that. I also learned what it is like to work at a professional office.

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

If you are not satisfied with the exact work you are doing, ask your supervisor if you can do something you are more interested in doing. The internship is there for you to learn what you want to do with your life. Also, ask questions. If you don’t know how to do something or want to learn a little more about something, ask. Internships are not only a job experience, but they are also a learning experience.

Other thoughts or advice?

If you see an internship offer that you never think you are going to get, apply for it anyway. What do you have to lose? I applied for the internship in DC and never thought I would get it.

Have an interesting internship story to tell? Would you like to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight feature? Please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me, Laura Jacobs, at MorrowL@uww.edu.

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.

Internships with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

In an earlier post, I mentioned attending an internship event with the Milwaukee 7 Water Council. At the program, I learned about the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) internship program. MMSD internships are paid and are available in a wide range of areas: IT, Human Resources, Laboratory Tech, Outreach (PR), Program/Business Analysis, and Water Quality Research. There are a lot of opportunities in the water industry!

The MMSD internship program has been around for a number of years and is a high-quality, well-structured program. If you’re interested in learning more about the internships and/or applying, go to the MMSD Summer Internships website.