Risky Business: A Day in the Life of a Risk Intern

For the past five weeks I have had the pleasure of being an Advisory Services Intern with Ernst and Young. More specifically, my service line falls within the Risk practice. Since I am working for a “Big Four” accounting firm, many may think my only task is entails crunching numbers, but this job entails far more than meets the eye. In order to be successful in Advisory Services, one must be able to effectively grasp complex business practices and articulate such findings with the intention of ultimately assessing risk components of a business.

Senior, Angela Bennett, intern at Ernst & Young

My first week on the job, all of the interns traveled to Chicago to learn a little more about what EY was all about. This was a great opportunity to network. As I have learned in several of my Albion College business classes, networking is an important component of increasing your own human capital. I met with interns from all over the Midwest region, and learned more about the Risk practice in general. This opportunity set the stage for the rest of my internship, and really motivated me to plunge right into the next phase: working at the client site.

My engagement assignment has been with the same client the entire time, which turned out to provide a plethora of opportunities to gain field work experience. On a daily basis, I am interacting with different Ernst and Young employees, as well as top management from the client. The Internal Audit team I work with is considered a co-source. Whether my co-worker happens to be a staff member, or a partner, everyone is happy to answer any questions I have, and provide career guidance when needed.

Since my internship is at the half way point, I am working to personify the idea that an intern can achieve a high level of performance by seeking out relevant knowledge and resources and through the utilization of relevant experiences, become more efficient. Right now I am traveling with my engagement team to perform an Internal Audit in Alabama at a client plant. This is my first real business trip, and I am certainly trying to apply the knowledge I have acquired during my internship. My main goal is to comprehend and apply the scope of various business processes; I am also focusing on increasing the client’s current internal process optimization by being conscious of ways to improve/further implement current control protocols.

Overall, I could not have asked for a better summer internship to catapult me into my first experience in corporate life. I can honestly attribute part of my internship success to the education I have received with the Gerstacker Institute at Albion College. Many companies, especially accounting firms like Ernst and Young, recruit at Albion because they understand the quality of education being administered. Now I look forward to taking my internship experience back to Albion as I start my senior year.

Angela Bennett

Albion College Senior ’12

Posted in Internships, Student Spotlights, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Aaron Croad at Ernst & Young

My name is Aaron Croad and I will be a senior at Albion in the Fall of 2011. I have been a part of the Gerstacker Institute since I started at Albion. Gerstacker has provided me with many opportunities – from the unique business classes, to tutoring within the Institute, from a part-time internship with Humanergy in the Fall of 2010, to resume and cover letter advice, as well as unquantifiable support and networking.
This summer I have also been making the best of another Gerstacker opportunity. Last fall, through Gerstacker, I learned of an internship opening at Ernst & Young. After successfully making through the interview process, I was selected along with 4 other Gerstacker students to intern there this summer. Up to this point, I could not be happier with where I am and what I am doing. EY sent me to Chicago for four days for orientation and training, and since I have been working in Detroit, Auburn Hills, Rochester HIlls, and Northville. Additionally, I will be heading to Orlando for an internship end leadership conference.
At EY I have been working in the Advisory practice for Enterprise Intelligence. We work on a lot of process improvement projects utilizing our business knowledge and our mathematical skills. Not only am I getting to work on great projects, I am also meeting some very intelligent people and I am learning what it is like to work for a big time company.
In conclusion, my internship to this point has gone great and I can only hope for more great things to come!
Aaron Croad
Albion College Class of ’12
Gerstacker Institute
Posted in Internships, Student Spotlights | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Finding a cure for cancer…..

Well at least trying….

Hi Everyone, My name is Kimmy Leverenz. I am a junior with a Biochemistry major and a minor in Economics and Management and a member of the Gerstacker Institute. I am currently halfway through my internship this summer at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor. This is definitely an amazing experience for an undergraduate student and I feel very lucky to have been awarded this opportunity! The skills that I have learned are invaluable and it is extremely hard to share everything that I have learned over the last 5 weeks.

There are eight students that take part in the Cancer Research Summer Internship Program (CaRSIP) through the Cancer Center. Although I do not work directly with any other undergraduate students, the time spent working with Ph.D.’s and graduate students has allowed me to grow educationally. I work directly with a medical school professor on a daily basis. Our lab works in the Thoracic Surgery department, dealing with esophageal and lung cancer. This summer, my research is focused mainly on esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is a deadly disease and has survival rate of less than 10% for 5 years. Recently, the prevalence of esophageal cancer has increased 5-fold, due to the large increase in obesity

Every day brings something new and I never know what I am going to see and do when I arrive at work. This is my favorite part of my internship because I am not doing the same thing day after day and I’m always learning new things. The very first day my mentor and I walked to the Cardiovascular Center to pick up tumors from surgery department. We would then spend the next two weeks isolating RNA from human tumor cells. Each tumor was sectioned and frozen. After we would take a small sample and isolate the RNA from the DNA and proteins in the cells. After we isolated RNA from 102 tumor samples, we analyzed the data and compared that information to the patient’s survival information. This way, we could see immediate results of any genes that were over-expressed in the tumor and deduced, seeing which genes were present in the poorest outcome group.

Although my internship is heavily science based, there are definitely areas that can be tied back to the business aspect of the job. I have seen first-hand the difficulty of getting funding to continue and complete research experiments, especially with downturn of the economy over the last few years. In order to gain necessary funding, ideas need to be creative and innovative, along with having a clinical aspect tied in. In the end, everything comes down to the funding available.

My experience in the classroom has prepared me for the challenges that I have faced throughout the internship. My classes at Albion have definitely pushed me to think outside the box and think of things in a new light. When I graduate from Albion I plan to go to medical school, so this experience is helping to put me in the right direction. Many medical students learn the skills that I am developing now much later in their career and I feel like I have a leg up now because I am learning these skills early. On the first day, my mentor told me to think of this internship as a learning experience, not a job. This couldn’t be more true. I’m excited to see what the next 5 weeks have in store!

Kimmy Leverenz

Albion College 2013

Posted in Internships, Student Spotlights | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why’s Everybody Goin’ to Texas?!?

For those seeking pure enlightenment, you’ve come to the right blog. As a 2009 Albion graduate and member of the esteemed Carl A. Gerstacker Institute, I jumped at the opportunity when asked if I would contribute to a “Where Are They Now?” segment. Well, a la Fire Marshall Bill, “Let me tell ya somethin’!”

After graduation, I had my sights set on Dallas. There were a variety of reasons for the move, but one in particular that I find relevant even today is the fact that Texas really endured the Great Recession better than most states. Unlike the north, and specifically Michigan, Texas didn’t experience the job market shrinkage and rolling layoffs that became the norm back home. The mass exodus that resulted left no surprise that Dallas is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, absorbing a lot of the southern migration. I was a part of that movement.

Once I got here, I cycled through various interviews until I landed an informal internship with a cart and kiosk company. The initial offer was informal because I was given the chance to still pursue other job opportunities that came my way, while at the same time, testing my meddle in their sales department. Well, fast-forward two years, and I’m still at Bella Design Group as an Account Executive, no longer looking for a job. In short, we are a retail manufacturer. Working closely with the top commercial real estate developers and retailers under the guise of their expansions and renovations, we contribute by supplying their store fixtures, carts and kiosks at malls, and exhibits at various tradeshows throughout the year.

I can say that although I had no idea I’d working in the fixture and exhibit industry, I had a clear understanding of my skill set. Knowing that makes the process of landing employment much easier because I put myself in a flexible position. The best advice I can share with any of you on the cusp of your job search efforts is to really grasp what your strengths and weaknesses are. This understanding will help direct you to an ideal job. In addition, I encourage you to always keep an open mind—you never want to sell yourself short of an opportunity by ‘pigeon-holing.’ That next interview you think isn’t for you could turn into the career you never knew existed.

Now, of course, as an Albion grad, I would be beside myself if I wasn’t involved in something outside of work. For me, this took the form of a rugby team. I’ve been playing for the Denton RFC for two seasons now, and I currently hold the Vice President position, overseeing the club’s accounting. The team’s become my second family down here, and I’m really fortunate to be a part of something that I can call my own.

As a parting comment, for those of you who end up relocating for either a job or further education, you have my full endorsement. You’ll grow exponentially as an individual, and home will always be there.

Blake DeCarlo

Albion Alumni

Class of 2009

Posted in Alumni | Tagged | Leave a comment

Summertime Baseball with Matt

Hey! My name is Matt Ankenbrandt and I am a senior at Albion College.  I am currently participating in my second internship as part of the Gerstacker Institute.  The company I am working for is, Dugout Media.  They specialize in mobile marketing tours and target youth and their families at a variety of different sporting events.  I am working primarily with the baseball youth fan fest tours.   I am spending the summer in Oneonta, NY at the Cooperstown All Star Village.

Matt, Intern with Dugout Media

So far this summer has been a blast.  I am having so much fun and I am meeting lots of new people.   From the beginning I had to get to know the other people that are on the tour.  We have five people on our tour from Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.  It may sound scary, moving to a new town and starting a new internship not knowing, but let me tell it has been great! I couldn’t have asked for better people to be around and I have made friends for life.

My job is to market and sell to youth baseball players and their families.  The booth that I am working for is Akadema; this is great because I actually use their product as a college baseball player.  I spent the first week in Kentucky completing training.  I was able to speak with the owners about the company message and branding.

I learned a lot from them that first day and it has really helped me get off on the right foot for the summer. I sell gloves, sunglasses, catcher’s gear, sandals, t-shirts, and performance bands at my booth.  The main goal is to sell the product, but even more so it is important to interact with the customers, teach them about the product and get them interested and through that I have learned to interact with individuals of all ages.

Being a part of the Economics and Management Department and the Gerstacker Institute has fully prepared me for both of my internships.  With the combination of learning in and outside the classroom I feel that I was prepared for the challenges I have faced.  I participated in mock interviews before applying for internships and was able to see small business at work during Summer School 2010. Without the Economics and Management department, the Gerstacker Institute and Albion College all working together, I would have never have been able to have such amazing experiences over the last ten months.

My plans after graduation are to continue on in sports management and I believe this internship will help me significantly. After completing this internship I will have experiences talking to business owners on a weekly basis, interacting with many different types of consumers, and taking care of the inventory. These are areas that I will work with daily in my future career in sports management.   I am looking forward to the rest of my internship here in New York and can’t wait to see what the next seven weeks have in store!

Matt Ankenbrandt

Albion College 2012

Find out more about Matt’s summer adventures in Baseball by checking out his blog.

Posted in Internships, Student Spotlights | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Can we go back to Chicago?

That is the question that keeps being raised as I sit here studying with a few other fellow
Gerstacker Summer School students. We had a blast on the Gerstacker sponsored trip that
wrapped up this past Saturday. It was organized by the Chicago Center for Urban Life & Culture and incorporated visits to several businesses and organizations.

For instance, we were able to meet with a panel of Gatorade employees to discuss the organization and its business model, tour an urban farm and learn about its unique mission—to provide transitional employment and training for individuals in Chicago, and even had the opportunity to spend time talking with Albion alumni in the Chicago area at a private business function held at the spectacular John G. Shedd Aquarium. All of these experiences were valuable and gave us the chance to think critically and apply the concepts we have learned thus far in our Gerstacker curriculum to a “real world” context.

Here are a few of the pictures for our wonderful trip!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Chicago trip isn’t all that we are buzzing about here on campus. Last week, several
companies came to campus to complete “mock-interviews” with us. Each student had 3-5
interviews that day with recruiters from a field that he or she is interested in going into. The interviews were about an hour long, with time set aside for both the interview and feedback. The experience was incredibly rewarding, especially seeing as most students are gearing up for internships next fall or spring.

I have truly enjoyed my time spent here for Gerstacker Summer School and can’t believe it is almost time for us to pack up and head home until the fall semester begins. I feel I have absolutely developed as a professional and am more confident heading into my internships and second half of my undergraduate career. I’m not even sure I want to leave! I’ve built great friendships with the other students here and with professors that I hadn’t had the chance to have class with during previous semesters. This summer semester has been a lot of work, but it has been completely worth it.

Time to get back to studying. Are you sure we can’t go back to Chicago?

-Natalie Hewitt

Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management
Albion Class of 2013

Posted in Summer School | Tagged | Leave a comment

Internship Spotlight with Katelyn Stringham

Hi Everyone!

My name is Katelyn Stringham and I am currently in the middle of my second internship to complete my Gerstacker experience. I am working at Coyle Funeral Home in Toledo, OH and love every second of it. I really like helping people at their most difficult times. Coyle is a small family owned business that has been around for the past 125 years! Coyle is in a transition stage in its history by trying to increase its visibility in the Toledo community.

For the past month I have helped call on the community to enlist them in helping Coyle with their new campaign with Cell Phones for Soldiers. I am working closely with the hired marketing company to increase exposure for Coyle. My boss has also been working closely with a Business Coach and I have been able to sit in on some of the meetings and they have really been eye-opening for me. This is where I made my SMART goals which help me guide what I do every day.

During the past month I have also stepped into the role of Office Manager when needed. During those times I carry many hats such as answering phones, taking first call information from new clients, collection information to complete proper forms for Ohio, delegating tasks, record payments, assisting the director in creating a positive experience and communicating with clients to assist in meeting their needs.

The next two months of my internship will be helping Coyle transition to new software to help them in their daily processes. My job for this will be collecting all the information needed to populate the software with all of the things specific to Coyle. Once the software is up and running I am going to help the directors learn how to use the software proficiently and teach them the skills that they will need to use the software correctly.

I am really looking forward to the rest of my internship because there is never a dull day at Coyle!

Posted in Internships, Student Spotlights | Tagged , | Leave a comment