Who knew that attending a business career fair could open so many doors? For Holly Evey it opened a door that led to a two-year business internship with The J.M. Smucker Company.
“I was fortunate that such a successful company was willing to hire sophomore students,” said Evey, who is interning at Smucker for the second year. This year, she is an intern for the shopper marketing department, a team where she plans, coordinates and executes marketing plans and promotions centered around shoppers.
Evey credits a class lecture in giving her an edge in attaining her internship. “I doubt I would have been offered my first internship if it wasn’t for a guest lecture on shopper marketing during one of my classes.”
What Evey learned during that presentation by Dr. Marcel Zondag, assistant professor of marketing, helped her land the internship by giving her the knowledge about shopper marketing that is required for the position. Evey’s experiences in the classroom also helped prepare her for the challenges she faces in the corporate world.
“Internships are the real ‘class projects,’ where you can use what you have learned to achieve tangible results,” says Evey, who encourages every student—including first-year students—to complete at least one or two internships before graduation.
“Students have to get involved and interact in the business world to set themselves up for success,” says Evey.
Evey’s classroom experiences have helped prepare her for the hard work it takes to complete an internship, but the lessons she has learned and the people she has met add value to these lessons.
“My favorite part of the internship is the people. Every day I am excited to go to work at a company that values my efforts, teaches me and makes me feel a part of a family.” Learning what values to look for in a company is vital when you are looking for a long-term career.
In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, Evey presented at Smucker’s weekly corporate staff meeting about Western Michigan University’s food and consumer package goods marketing program.
“The curriculum and student experiences are so unique and beyond most marketing programs,” says Evey.
For Evey the presentation was a chance to share her passion for her major and also show her gratitude to Smucker for creating the internship she has participated in for the past two summers.
With her experiences and the network of people she has met through her two-year internship with The J.M. Smucker Company, Evey is on the fast track to having a successful career in the shopper marketing industry.