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November 16, 2011 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-16

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8B ednesday, November 16.201 The Statement


After completing fall semes-
ter of my junior year,
decided to change things up
a bit. I was lucky enough to get a job
offer, and instead of registering for
classes to complete another semes-
ter in Ann Arbor, I decided to take
the semester off to gain some work
I was offered an internship
position in Walt Disney World's
Industrial Engineering depart-
ment in Orlando, Fla. Disney, I
learned, has its own set of terms it
uses to describe the layout of the
park. They use "on stage" and "off
stage" to classify different areas on
Disney property. "On stage" was
anywhere an employee could be
seen by guests, and "back stage"
included areas where guests are
not allowed. As an Industrial Engi-
neering intern, I was usually "back-
stage," while working in a building
at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It
was right behind the Rockin' Roll-
ercoaster attraction. I worked on
projects at all four parks as well as
some of the Disney resorts. During
lunch breaks, the other interns and
I would usually go on a ride or two

before getting back to work. ing benefit. L
I was placed in the Project the months o
Development group within Indus- perfect - I!
trial Engineering. The first project winter andr
I was assigned had to do with the beautiful we
closing of Toontown. The area in as a Disney
the Magic Kingdom was going to
be shut down to make room for the "An interr
expansion of Fantasyland. My role
with the project was to identify just a COu
what affect the closing of Toon-
town would have on the rest of the resume."
park. By looking at pages of Excel
spreadsheets and performing admission t
numerous calculations, I was able counts on D
to determine key numbers to get spent the res
an idea of how the closure would apartment's
affect other areas in the park. dios, downtt
The largest project I worked on favorite, Coc
involved the new interactive queue After com
elements Disney has started imple- at Disney I
menting - changing the way park- directly to T
goers wait in line. The goal of the only a few d
interactive elements is to entertain transitioned
guests while they wait in line for internship w
an attraction. I developed a set of Though G
standardized metrics that would sound quite
be used in the future for any calcu- World, GMi
lations for a queue with interactive more as a p
elements. vided free st
Living in Orlando was an amaz- interns, who

eaving Michigan from
f January to May was
got to skip a horrible
move to a place with
ather every day. Also,
employee, I had free
nship can be more
ple of bullet point
o the parks and dis-
Asney merchandise. I
t of my free time at my
pool, Universal Stu-
own Orlando and, my
oa Beach.
pleting my internship
drove from Orlando
troy, Mich., and I had
lays to spare before I
right into my second
ith General Motors.
eneral Motors may not
as exciting as Disney
is where I developed
rofessional. GM pro-
udent housing for the
o quickly became my

close friends.
I worked as a global purchas-
ing and supply chain intern in
the Outbound Vehicle Logistics
group. My responsibility was to
communicate with different car-
riers, present sourcing recom-
mendations and reward business
to the best fitting carrier for vari-
ous vehicle distribution centers
across the United States. I was
also in GM's Ambassador Pro-
gram, which allowed me to test
vehicles. I had a yellow Camaro
SS (Bumblebee from "Transform-
ers") in June, and orange Corvette
Grand Sport in
than August. Between
my friends and
s on a I drove at least
one fun car each
week, and we took
full advantage of
the opportunity.
When I first began my search
for an internship, and when I
eventually got a job offer in my
junior year, I honestly had no idea
what to expect and didn't know
where I would end up or what the
internship was good for in the long
run. However, looking back on
this past year and the experience I
obtained through my internships,
I realize how much I learned
about myself in the process.
Not only did I get a better
understanding of myself through
these internships, I found out
what I wanted out of a career and
formed some great friendships

with the other interns.
I've always been the kind of
person who likes to experience
and learn new things. I want
to continue to learn and move
around as much as possible.
Interning in the Midwest and then
driving to the South allowed me to
do exactly that. From developing
strategies, to making a parkgoers'
experience better, to test driving
brand new sport cars, I learned
what I needed to focus on while
building my career.
Going into my full-time job
search, the past year has steered
the type of positions I have looked
for. My main focus has been look-
ing for positions in consulting
firms because I feel it's similar to
the internship experience: travel-
ing to different locations, learn-
ing about different companies and
working with different people as
the projects evolve and grow.
Typically, I have always viewed
the word "internship" as a sum-
mer job that would look good on
a resume, but I found out that the
relationships, experiences and
self-development that come out
of an internship are real rewards
that I will live with forever. An
internship can be more than just a
couple of bullet points on a resu-
me - it's a guiding experience that
gave me confidence I can survive
in the rat race.
- Courtney Murphy is
an Engineering senior.

From Page 5B
because of the University's pres-
tige and the employment aid
alumni provide.
"I think (finding a job) is get-
ting better as the economy gets a
little better," Zikakis said. "But
I think at other schools that cer-
tainly remains an issue that there
are not enough jobs available for
all the undergrads that are finish-
ing up. I think we just happen to
be in a really good situation here
at Michigan."
The University has more than
500,000 living alumni - making
it one of the largest living alum-
ni bases in the country. Luckily
for University students, Sebille-

White said many University
alumni look to hire fellow Wol-
verines when possible.
"U of M has such an extensive
alumni network and alumni who
are just so passionate about }the
institution and giving back to the
institution and helping current
students and recruiting current
students," Sebille-White said.
"I've seen it make a difference."
Along with a strong supportive
alumni base, even just the words
"the University of Michigan"
helps students when applying.
The number of University
graduates at a company is used
as a statistic of pride for many
employers - similar to the num-
ber of University of California-
Berkeley and Harvard University
graduates, Sebille-White added.

"U of M is always on that tar-
get list," Sebille-White said.
"(Employers) may not always be
able to hire, (and) they may not
always be able to hire in the same
numbers, but U of M is probably
going to be one of the last institu-
tions that they drop off their list."
Steele Paddon said she feels
like the University name will
help her, even if it's just ensuring
recruiters will read her resume.
"I think people might look at
my resume a little bit faster, being
like 'oh, University of Michigan.
It's a super prestigious name, they
produce great students, they have
a very rigorous academic pro-
gram,"' she said. "But at the same
time, if I don't have any experi-
ence to back that up, it doesn't
really mean a lot."



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