Internships & Co-ops

2008 Internship/Co-op Student of the Month Winners

Spring Student of the Month:
Cody Smith, Accounting Major

Cody Smith

Spring 2008, Cody Smith, an accounting major at NIU, was most recently on an internship with Lindgren Callihan Van Osdol & Co., Ltd., working as an accounting intern. In describing his internship, Cody states, “The experience allowed me the opportunity to apply the base-level concepts taught in the classroom to real-life scenarios. It is an eye-opening experience to watch the education from the classroom pass through to an actual job setting. This ‘pass-through’ is necessary for academic growth.” In summarizing his internship experience Cody said, “My internship experience was great for my growth as a student. It has given me a competitive edge for potential employers. The value-added to my academic path cannot be valued. The value-added to my career path cannot be valued. However, I can say that an internship is one of the most valuable experiences I have had during my academic career.”

LCV Director of Human Resources, Kim Penticoff, praised Cody’s work by stating, “Cody’s job performance exceeded expectations of a new staff accountant. I can say that his strong work ethic and exceptional communication skills will allow him to succeed at his future accounting career. Cody is an intelligent and motivated individual. He is more than capable of managing and prioritizing a heavy workload.”

NIU Department of Accountancy Assistant Professor, Bradrick Cripe, commented on Cody’s internship experiences relative to his academic studies in accountancy. He stated, “In my class, Cody’s group benefited frequently from his knowledge and delivered a superior product. His logical thinking skills and hard work ethic were demonstrated in the final product his group submitted for my review. I’m sure the same diligence and skill, combined with a passion for hard work and intellectual curiosity served him well on his internship.”

JUNE Student of the Month:
John Yednock, Computer Science and Math Major

John Yednock

John Yednock, a computer science and math major at NIU, completed a systems analyst and programmer internship with Texas Instruments in Plano, Texas. Yednock said, “This internship related directly to my major in computer science because it involved a great deal of programming. The main focus of my assignments was on analyzing and automating processes performed on the mainframe used by Texas Instruments. Texas Instruments recently acquired a new storage system and my tasks involved optimizing the use of this new storage. This required me to write programs in the assembly coding language. Toward the end of my internship, I was asked to develop a website for one of the IT groups. Participating in an internship with Texas Instruments has given me a competitive edge because I was able to experience mainframe programming first hand, which few students are able to do. I was also equipped with the tools to allow me to create an entire website. I experienced working for a large corporation and established relationships with very intelligent and skilled individuals.”

Terry Thompson, Manager of Mainframe Operations at Texas Instruments stated that, “John’s professionalism, competency, prolificacy, and his maturity exceeded my expectations. John was well liked by his team members, technical leads, and other TI employees that he met. In summation, John had a spectacular internship and has been a great under-graduate representative for Northern Illinois University.”

Penny McIntire, NIU Computer Science Undergraduate Advisor commented on John’s academic performance by stating, “I was amazed that a student who has completed only two years of college-level study was able to accomplish all that he accomplished. The tasks he was assigned were difficult, and he was working in assembler, the most difficult of programming languages.”

JULY Student of the Month:
Paul Berkes, OMIS Major

Paul Berkes

Paul Berkes, NIU OMIS major, is the July 2008 winner. Berkes interned with Nissan Forklift in Marengo, Illinois, as a Supply Chain Analyst Intern. In describing his internship experience, Berkes stated, “I can say with confidence that I have never learned more information in a summer that was so applicable to my life and my academic goals than what I learned as an intern. My experience has proven to me that there is no better way of connecting what our professors are teaching us every day to a truly palpable understanding of the material, than by being thrust out into a real working environment. I was immediately forced to take what I had just learned in the classroom and apply it to my daily activities, and I don’t believe that I would have developed a true understanding of the concepts had I not been made to test them in a situation that might actually produce consequences. My recommendation to every student at NIU is to spend the extra time needed to work at getting an internship.”

John Arnold, Senior Manager, Production Procurement, with Nissan Forklift, spoke highly of Paul stating, “The two core projects developed for this internship were the applications of lean principles to the NFC supply chain concentrating on inbound freight and Electronic Data Interface (EDI) opportunities with our supply base. Paul greatly exceeded our expectations on each of these projects. In regards to inbound freight, Paul defined our current state, established metrics, benchmarked our operation against other similar size companies, and identified opportunities for improvements. Based on Paul’s recommendations, NFC’s projected annual savings on inbound freight is a minimum of $320,000. Within days, Paul blended in well here at NFC becoming an integral part of the NFC team.”

Regarding Paul’s academic work, Dr. Chang Liu, DBA, NIU Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, says, “I have had the great pleasure of seeing Paul’s diligence and passion towards his work. He has been an outstanding student. Paul is a hard-working, self-starter who invariably understands exactly what a project is all about from the outset and how to get it done quickly and effectively.”

AUGUST Student of the Month:
Ashlie Jarosz, Theatre Arts Major

Ashlie Jarosz

The August Internship/Co-op Student of the Month winner is Ashlie Jarosz, an NIU theatre arts major, who interned with the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival as a Business Intern. In describing her internship experience, Jarosz states, “I had previously taken various business classes, courses in communication, and dance classes, but I have learned so much more here than I ever could sitting in a classroom. From operating aspects in the development department, to work with real life patrons in a box office/ticket selling situation, to team work and organization in a production department’s intense changeover work night, there was a little something of everything I got to experience. That was besides working in the business office all day and learning the organizational systems of reconciling account information, day-to-day arts organization, financial management, and the aspects of data entry. It’s literally the hands-on experience that you receive in real life, outside the classroom, that benefits you the most.”

Dennis Thomas, Director of Finance at Jacob’s Pillow, praises Ashlie’s internship with the following words, “Ashlie accepted the pace and workload of our Business Office with great aplomb and understanding of our team efforts, dealing with a wide range of responsibilities. As part of the internship, I always encourage self-defined inter-departmental projects. Ashlie’s interest in fundraising strategy, combined with her business skills, made her voluntary participation in cross-departmental weekly meetings a particularly exceptional example of her aptitude, depth of understanding and analytical skills, and skillful attention. Ashlie will prove to be an asset to any project or position she undertakes.”

Paul Frasz, NIU School of Theatre Dance professor, commented on Ashlie’s academic work, “Ashlie is not only a dedicated performer, but a leader of the student body. I know her work, her artistic ability and her organizational talent well as teacher, choreographer and advisor. It is a difficult task to find a position where your art and your ability to make a living can go hand-in-hand. Ashlie was able to achieve this in her summer internship and will, I know, continue to do the same in her future employment.”

SEPTEMBER Student of the Month:
Chloe Huber, Nursing Major

Chloe Huber

September 2008 winner, Chloe Huber, a nursing major at NIU, completed an oncology internship with St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. In describing her internship experience, Huber said, “The internship I completed at the St. Alexius Medical Center Oncology Unit was the most rewarding experience I could ever have related to my academic studies. I am mostly a visual learner; the opportunity to work at the hospital let me see almost everything that I have learned this far into my education. I improved on patient interaction, committed to memory multiple medications, and learned how to critically think better. I worked with nurses, doctors, directors and surgeons. I was allowed to tell them what I saw in patients, suggested solutions, and aided them in bedside procedures. I did not feel like a student on the floor; I felt like I was one of the staff. The internship experience strengthened my drive to pursue nursing.”

Claudia Conroy, RN, APN, AOCN, ACHPN, Oncology Advance Practice Nurse at St. Alexius Medical Center stated that, “Chloe exhibited a true desire to learn during this time. Chloe was eager to see any procedure that was being performed and to be involved with the most complex patients. She was respectful of patients and listened to their concerns. She had a positive outlook on life which impacted patients as well. Chloe’s patients always had kind words to say about her. The staff at St. Alexius has already asked that Chloe return to us as an RN.”

Cathy Carlson, RN, PhD, NIU Assistant Professor, School of Nursing commented on Chloe’s academic performance by stating, “Chloe had only finished her first medical-surgical class and was not as far along in the nursing curriculum as most of the other students. Chloe performed at a higher level than the others. In fact, she performed at a higher level than any other student during any internship for which I have been responsible.”

OCTOBER Student of the Month:
Davorka Zeba, Management Major

Devorka Zeba

Davorka Zeba, NIU management major, is the October 2008 winner. Zeba interned with Kohl’s in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, as an Intern. In describing her internship experience, Zeba stated, “My ten weeks at Kohl’s were so amazing that I decided to pursue a career in retail. I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best management teams in the retail industry. Every day that I went to work I learned something new about being a manager. It wasn’t always a good day, but there were more good than bad. During my internship with Kohl’s, I dealt with diverse groups of people, managed difficult employees, witnessed an internal sexual harassment case, saw the Family Medical Leave Act in action, and saw the impact of a struggling economy on the retail industry. At the completion of my internship, I knew I wanted to stay with Kohl’s; and, on my last date, I got offered a Management in Training position upon graduation.”

Paul Weibel, Store Manager, Kohl’s Chicago Ridge, spoke highly of Davorka stating, “Davorka quickly learned the retail business and by the end of her internship was a valued member of our store management team. Davorka possesses a strong desire to learn and has a very positive attitude which helped her fit into her role as an intern. She was able to learn many of the technical aspects of the business such as point of sale operations, customer service, markdown processing, ad set, replenishment and merchandising. Davorka also developed her skills as a leader, helping others with these various store functions.”

Regarding Davorka’s academic work, Dr. Luis G. Flores, NIU Associate Professor of Management, says, “Davorka was my student in one of the most difficult courses of the undergraduate business program. She was a very active, hard-working, interested, eager-to-learn and involved student in my class. Her personality and passion for learning helped me establish a very positive learning environment in my class. I also had the opportunity to interact with Davorka outside of class. She is a member of the Management Student Advisory Board and the Dean’s Student Advisory Board. Those two organizations require developing and maintaining strong relationships with faculty and students throughout the entire University. Her transparency in character, authenticity, care and ability to relate to people has helped her well to become an effective student leader. ”