Internships are a great way for young, aspiring individuals to not only get a feel for a professional work environment, but to also gain exposure in terms of finding long-term employment. The past two summers, I’ve had the opportunity to work for UAW-Ford Nationa lPrograms Center located in downtown Detroit, Mich. At our headquarters,we address matters of common concern in areas such as product quality, education and development, employee involvement, team structures, work technical skills redesign, health and safety, employee assistance, apprenticeship, and labor-management studies for both the UAW and Ford Motor Company. My first summer working, I served as an intern in the finance department, with my basic responsibilities including preparing financial statements, processing purchase invoices, and assisting in account reconciliations.

As an accounting major, I got the perfect amount of exposure in daily financial accounting, along with training using materials learned in the classroom in real- life scenarios. Challenges did present themselves when completing certain tasks; however, this only taught me patience and persistence in the face of adversity. This past summer, I was promoted to the position ofintern coordinator with the responsibility of overseeing the entire internship program at UAW-Ford. I worked alongside a team of 21 interns, who reported to me on a daily UAW-Ford Internship Opens Doors basis in relation to weekly projects, work responsibilities from program directors, or any general issues. An average day as intern coordinator involved: ensuring all interns were in their departments on time, interns were working on assigned projects, conducting payroll (weekly), going to meetings with directors concerning upcoming projects, and completing my own job responsibilities in the finance department.

Using techniques and information gathered over the past few years from Xavier’s Division of Business, I was well equipped to assume this authority and responsibility. Both summer experiences taught me leadership qualities, built on my interpersonal communication skills, and most importantly increased my situational awareness in the workplace. I recommend all business students eager to get ahead in the business world to apply for an internship; the opportunities that may be presented are limitless.

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