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True Benefits of an Internship

By Ethan Haydock, Training SErvices InternEthan Haydock

Many people underestimate and undervalue the rewards of being an intern.  Most think internships are great tools but mainly favor the employer for hiring a student for the extra work they’ll provide for little to no cost.   I 100% disagree with that statement.  Although internships do provide employers a great chance for completing extra work, they also help the intern tremendously by providing a small glimpse into what their career path may entail.  My time spent interning with Training Services of Northwestern Michigan College has certainly surpassed my expectations and has propelled my career forward for the better. In this article I hope to persuade fellow students my age that attaining an internship is in their best interest.  With my internship coming to an end, I have grown and been helped in mainly four key areas: industry knowledge, contacts, awareness of my abilities, and confidence. 

When I first started this internship, I had no prior knowledge of Lean Manufacturing and its many facets (5S, standard work, visual management, etc.).  I am a rising junior at Purdue University and am studying Industrial Management; my past and current classes have not and will not cover Lean concepts in my coursework.  During my internship, I have been able to participate in training sessions, improve 5S in the training area, and create a visual management board that displays the location of companies with whom we do business.  All three of these things allowed me to improve my organizational and planning skills, things I would not have learned in class.  Having this internship gave me many opportunities and chances to gain knowledge that will certainly help me in the future. 

One thing I am beginning to realize is that it is a great thing to have people to ask for advice and also people that are willing to vouch for you.  A prime way to gain these contacts is through an internship.  Not only will you potentially start a good relationship with your employer, but also with employees of companies with whom they do business.  I have been very fortunate to have been involved with NMC Training Service’s clients, so I have been able to tour and ask for advice/questions from several companies (Britten Studios, M R Products, and TentCraft).

Being able to have an internship in my preferred industry has allowed me to put my skill sets to test, which has ultimately given me confidence in attaining more responsibilities.  Training Services has entrusted me with many projects and tasks that many people aren’t given the opportunity to try.  An example of this is when I helped organize and host the Manufacturing Council’s Supplier Networking Day.  I was entrusted to run a marketing campaign by creating flyers, calling companies, setting up the event, and following up with surveys and questionnaires.  I gained knowledge and confidence in a piece of the marketing atmosphere, which is something I would not been have able to do with my major.

Subsequently, my opportunity with NMC Training Services will allow me to use the knowledge and contacts I have gained, stay in tune with skill sets I discovered, and help me capitalize on confidence I have gained.  I strongly encourage all students to apply for internships in the manufacturing industry to gain experience early and to help their future careers get started.

Ethan Haydock
NMC Training Services Intern
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