Jessica Wieck '14, Communication Studies major
(Profile prepared April 2014)
Where I’m doing my internship:
I am completing my internship at CUNA Mutual Group, a company that offers products and services to credit unions, their employees, and their members. My position focuses on three main areas; tradeshows; webinars; and the speakers’ bureau. For tradeshows, I work with sales market managers to plan what we do in our booth and work on the logistics for industry events across the country. With webinars, I setup and run the technical side of things, as well as train others on how to use the technology, and create how-to guides for others to reference. And with the speakers’ bureau, I assist with whatever projects arise that I am able to work on.
How I chose this internship opportunity:
I was attending Madison College at the time and the job description fit well in with what I was learning in my program. But honestly, I chose it merely because it was a paid internship and other opportunities were not. I had heard that CUNA Mutual Group was a good company to work for but I had no idea what they did or what they were all about. I did also have an instructor at the time who was to become my manager.
Important things I’ve learned through this internship:
The most important thing I’ve learned in my internship is what my work means to others in my organization and even on a larger scale. Before starting at CUNA Mutual Group, I had been a bartender for many years and it’s difficult to find meaning in that. In this position, I was helping people around me to improve processes, to determine new ways to get things done, to provide a better experience, and many other things. And the fact that we’re in it for credit unions and co-ops makes it even more rewarding.
Connecting Communication Studies classes and the internship:
My Communication Studies classes helped prepare me to deal with the different communication obstacles that arise in the workplace. I felt more confident about myself and communicating with my peers, and even senior leaders became less scary to talk to as my confidence rose. I also learned a lot about writing skills that I was able to incorporate into the different documents I prepared, and to enhance the comprehension in my daily email interactions with co-workers.
Benefits for my career choices:
On top of the plethora of valuable skills I practiced and lessons I learned, I also now have very broad professional experience which looks great on a resumé. I’ve had the chance to work with people in many different areas of the company, and through this I’ve learned about other careers and expanded my professional network. I may have the opportunity to even transition into a full-time employee upon graduation.
The value of internships:
Internships are incredibly beneficial, and I believe they even help you to do better in classes, because you learn how to take what you do in classes and apply it to real situations at the same time that you’re learning it. It makes the comprehension of a lecture or in-class activity so much more meaningful. Internships also provide you with much-needed experience to add to a resumé when you’re job searching after graduation.