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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

The Importance of an Internship

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By: Brie White, Senior Writer

Mary Hurston Zuelke ’17 is no stranger to interning. In the summer of 2015, she worked in Manipal, India in IT consulting at Manipal Technologies Limited. This past summer she had a marketing internship with Bank Independent in Florence, Ala. This past semester, she completed a corporate communications internship with BMW Manufacturing LLC in Greer, S.C. alongside her full time student course load.

While at BMW, Zuelke worked on assisting BMW Plant Spartanburg in building a new intranet, which went live on Dec. 9.

“The communications department where I worked was the project lead for the entire plant,” she says. “Working closely with my supervisor, I helped build the skeleton of the web pages. I also provided web content support to 12 other departments—creating manuals, editing photos, proofreading web-pages and one-on-one tutorials on how to create and edit web content. With BMW I was responsible for a real project that over 10,000 associates are now using.”

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The BMW experience was not without it’s difficulties. Some of those challenges included inter-office communication.

“Overall, the associates, whom I helped with their intranet pages, were open to learn and appreciative of my help,” says Zuelke. “For those associates who were more challenging to work with, I learned not to take their criticism personally and be patient with them. Being a 21 year old intern teaching a 50 year old employee (who has worked at BMW longer than I have been alive) how to edit web content was intimidating at first, but the more I met with people the more comfortable I felt working with them.”

Zuelke credits caffeine, better time management, like doing homework on lunch breaks, and the support of her advisor Dr. Anne Rodrick to her survival. “I owe her innumerable thanks for helping me manage my most stressful semester in college,” she says. “I am also grateful for Dr. Christine Dinkins and Professor Linda Powers, who worked with me to get my academic work in alongside my internship.”

Mrs. Jennifer Dillenger and Dr. Mary Beth Knight passed along the information about the BMW internship and encouraged Zuelke to apply. She says, “I am incredibly grateful to both of them for facilitating the experience… To say that these internships were a powerful learning experience would not only be cliché, but also an understatement. Through these internships, I have learned about a variety of career fields, how to handle stress in the work place and I’ve learned about my own strengths and weaknesses.”

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