Internships & Co-ops

2009 Internship/Co-op Student of the Month Winners

FEBRUARY Student of the Month:
Tracy Cione, Accounting Major

Tracy Cione

Tracy Cione, accountancy major, completed a federal tax internship with KPMG in Chicago, Illinois. In describing her internship experience, Cione said, “My internship was a wonderful experience. It was enjoyable, educational, and rewarding. It allowed me to build relationships, network, and increase my technical skills. My internship experience related to my academic studies by allowing me to leverage the valuable experience I received from my undergraduate and graduate program studies at NIU. I was very well prepared by NIU for my internship. The reason I was well prepared for the KPMG internship learning experience is that the learning objectives for the NIU M.A.S. program correlated well with my internship experience. This internship confirmed my interest to pursue a career in tax, and KPMG ultimately provided me with a fulltime job offer to work within the Federal Tax Group for summer 2010.”

Grace Zhu of KPMG speaks highly of Tracy saying, “Tracy left me with very positive images of NIU. She has a very good work attitude, is professional and takes initiative. Tracy has great time management skills, is a team player and takes ownership of her work. We are very much looking forward to her joining us in 2010!”

Bradrick Cripe, Ph.D. CPA, Assistant Professor, NIU Department of Accountancy, commented on Cione’s academic performance by stating, “Tracy is a bright, energetic, and passionate student who embraces challenge and has unbounded intellectual curiosity. She is a natural leader who has earned the respect and admiration of her peers. Her logical thinking skills and hard work-ethic were demonstrated in the final product her group submitted for my review.”

JUNE Student of the Month:
Yuliana Hermanto, OMIS Major

Yuliana Hermanto

Yuliana Hermanto, OMIS major, completed a wireless software engineering internship with Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. in Naperville, Illinois. In describing her internship experience, Hermanto said, “I was assigned to the Network Level Testing (NLT) Stability, Capacity and Performance Department. My responsibilities involved ILR load run set up, execution, data collection, and basic analysis. Several tasks that were assigned to me included creating simple programming scripts as tools to do analysis and data collection, helping with problem analysis, working with users to solve problems, and performing internal training. Having the technical and analysis background skills from school allowed me to contribute early to the group. Doing this internship not only gave me experience in a real world situation, but also opened doors that may lead to my future career while helping me academically and financially. I was able to see, experience and reflect the concepts that I have learned at school.”

Thayer Johnson, Director of Wireless Development, of Alcatel-Lucent speaks highly of Yuliana saying, “We are so delighted with her productivity over the period of her internship that we are transitioning her to our co-op program in order to extend her stay with us. Not only does she have high productivity, she establishes great relationships with peers, her manager and her team leaders. Yuliana is a quick study and very open to learning new ways to apply technology. She used her prior knowledge of computer languages and systems to take her assignments to levels beyond expectations.”

Brian Mackie, NIU Associate Professor of MIS, by stating, “Yuliana definitely excelled in class. She always did 110% on each assignment or project. Yuliana was accepted as a team member for a project developed by Children’s and Young Adult Literature to create an online resource that would be used by students in evaluating books and developing materials that could be used by others who will teach literacy. Yuliana was asked to create the tool because I felt that she would work very hard and produce a tool that was at least 120% of what they had asked for.”

JULY Student of the Month:
Linda Huber, Psychology Major

Linda Huber

Linda Huber, psychology major, interned with The Prairie Clinic in Geneva, Illinois. Huber highlighted her internship experience by stating, “Through this internship, my goal of becoming a clinical psychologist was reinforced. It increased my desire to help educate individuals about autism, as well as to help other families deal with autism. I additionally have an internal drive for attaining this goal due to what I have learned through my own personal research and the experiences with my children. Two of my children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Direct contact with children diagnosed with ASD helped to further educate me about this disorder. It was fascinating to observe the various behaviors that range in severity and functionality. Dr. Wahlberg of The Prairie Clinic afforded me an incredible opportunity to intern in social skills groups. I was able to gain experience by observing and interacting in the social groups at the clinic. I feel that working with Dr. Wahlberg has given me valuable experience that I might never have encountered in an academic setting.”

Timothy Wahlberg, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, with The Prairie Clinic said, “Mrs. Huber displayed a strong empathetic personality. She is a person who truly cares about the wellbeing of others and is willing to go beyond the standard to provide help and services to those in need. I have had the opportunity to work with a number of students and the personal characteristic of empathy is something I feel a person is born with. I feel that Mrs. Huber has this characteristic and it is easy to see this in any conversation she has that involves working with and helping other people. I found her to be a very intelligent, well-spoken individual and would place her at the top of the list of students that I have had the opportunity to work with in the past.”

Regarding Huber’s academic work, Dr. Kevin Wu, NIU Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, says, “I first met Linda during spring 2009 when she completed my course in psychopathology. She received an 'A' and was one of the strongest students in that class. In addition, she completed the course for Honors credit, meaning that she also completed a 10-page paper on a relevant subject of her choice; she chose to focus on autism spectrum disorders. Linda subsequently applied to work in my lab as a research assistant—a position she will begin fall 2009. Linda is a somewhat unique student and has many more life experiences than our typical undergraduate. Linda is a mother who has homeschooled her children since 1995. To put this accomplishment into clearer perspective, one of her sons was diagnosed with asperger’s disorder—a condition on the autism spectrum and a clear reason for her passion about the subject. Her drive and maturity come through even in casual conversations, and I expect that she will bring a sense of professionalism to my lab.”

SEPTEMBER Student of the Month:

Cesar Bonilla, Accountancy Major

Cesar Bonilla

September 2009 recipient, Cesar Bonilla, accountancy major, completed a Talent Development Program internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Chicago, Illinois. In describing his internship experience, Bonilla said, “I was part of the Talent Development Program at PwC. The objective of the program is to identify students after their freshman and/or sophomore years in college and provide them with two to three internships with the firm. In my first year during the summer of 2008, I worked in the campus recruiting department. In the second year of the program, we are assigned a non-profit organization where we work in their accounting department and get some real-world experience as we prepare for a career in public accounting. I was assigned to Junior Achievement of Chicago. It was great to see how many things we had talked about in my accountancy courses came up in accounting reports that I had to work with at Junior Achievement. Overall, I feel that my academic studies helped me be successful during this internship. Through this internship, I have decided that I want to pursue a career in tax within public accounting because I feel that is where my skill set can really bring value to a public accounting firm.”

Brian Buchheit, Campus Recruiting Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers, speaks highly of Cesar saying, “Cesar demonstrated a high level of performance as it relates to relationship building, acquiring and applying technical expertise, communicating with impact and focusing on self-development through shadowing and coaching opportunities. Cesar’s supervisor at Junior Achievement reported that Cesar carried himself in a professional manner, approaching tasks he was assigned with enthusiasm and a sense of pride in his work product. His tasks were completed timely and consistent with expectations. Based on this feedback, it was clear that Cesar was a high performer.”

Natalie Churyk, Ph.D., CPA, NIU Caterpillar Professor of Accountancy, stated, “I have known Cesar for approximately three years as faculty advisor of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) and also as his professor. Last year Cesar was President of ALPFA. As president he arranged the presentation schedule, greeted the firms when they arrived, and organized and ran board meetings. He did a wonderful job keeping the organization running smoothly. While being active in ALPFA and pursuing other volunteer activities, Cesar has excelled in the classroom. My colleagues and I are quite fond of him because of his great attitude and his hard work.”

OCTOBER Student of the Month:
Megan McCarthy, English Major

Megan McCarthy

Megan McCarthy, English major, is the October 2009 Internship/Co-op Student of the Month recipient. McCarthy interned with the Village of Clarendon Hills in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. Megan had a second internship with the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders in Naperville, Illinois. McCarthy highlighted her internship experiences by stating, “I found two internships to utilize my knowledge and skills, and most importantly, expand them. My internship with the Village of Clarendon Hills allowed me to apply my knowledge of proper writing concepts to completing their Narrative Analysis of the 2009 Community Needs Survey. As a psychology minor, I was extremely interested in being accepted for a second internship with the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, or ANAD. Several courses I have previously taken taught me about certain mental and physical disorders; therefore, conducting research and responding to those in need on the organization’s website enabled me to apply my educational experience to a suitable work environment while simultaneously advising those concerned about individuals suffering eating disorders. Not only has the internship experience given me the confidence that I can accomplish my career goals, but I now have the professional work experience that companies look for when hiring new employees. I would strongly recommend every student obtain an internship if the opportunity arises. Internships enable students to apply their acquired knowledge and skills to a real-world work environment, while gaining a sense of pride and accomplishment as a professional.”

Jennifer Johnsen, Assistant to the Village Manager, Village of Clarendon Hills said, “Over several months, Ms. McCarthy has been involved in a variety of projects which have demonstrated her hard work and commitment to her schooling and continuing education. She has taken on several responsibilities including but not limited to the completion of an annual survey and analysis, communication preparation and distribution, and public service research. Ms. McCarthy has been a great asset to the Village of Clarendon Hills and has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the administrative department.”

Shelly Schmitz, Office Manager, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, speaks highly of McCarthy saying, “Megan has impressed me as being able to focus despite a work environment that is frequently disruptive, and ambitious because she stays beyond the set hours of her internship to complete complicated projects. Megan has taken on any project regardless of how tedious or daunting the task. She is creative in obtaining knowledge and careful in the execution of her work. Megan would be welcome to continue her career at the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. She has proven to be a professional asset and pleasant to have in our work place.”

Regarding McCarthy’s academic work, Susan Callahan, NIU Associate Professor in the Department of English, says, “Megan is a strong student, especially on papers that require her to write succinctly and analytically. She is a young woman with strong personal integrity, good organization skills, and a focused work ethic. I am certain that Megan will be a valuable employee and put her many talents and skills to good use.”