Cornerstone University Celebrates National Intern Day
by Danielle Barton (B.A. ’19)
From the business world to ministry opportunities, internships allow Cornerstone University students to receive practical work experience. Today is National Intern Day, and three traditional undergraduate students are completing summer internships to apply what they've learned in the classroom and to gain real work experience in their fields of study.
Alexis Boven (B.S. ’19), a business finance and accounting major, is currently interning at Yanfeng, the world's leader in automotive interiors. With plants located across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Yanfeng creates products like floor counsels, door panels, hard trim and almost anything else that has to do with the inside of a car.
As a product cost intern, Alexis serves at Yanfeng's Holland Tech Center, one of two Yanfeng headquarters in North America. One of her major responsibilities involves looking at overhead rates of the company.
"My team specifically works to determine how much it will cost us to make a particular product for a customer," Alexis explained. "When a customer gives us a request for a quote and tells us exactly what they want the product to look like, we have to work with engineers to determine all of the materials, machines, labor, time, scrap rates, capacity and packaging [needed to make the product]. All of [these elements] help us to come up with a total cost to report [for the customer]."
With the project, Alexis further helps the company remain competitive with its prices. At the end of the summer, she will then present her findings to key leaders and employees of Yanfeng.
"My classes at CU were a great stepping stone for me in my transition to this work experience," said Alexis. "Part of the reason I took this product cost internship was because I loved my Cost Accounting class at Cornerstone. The class was a different aspect of accounting; it was more than just balancing the books. It showed me all the different costs in a company and how carefully we need to look at every cost before pricing our products in order to be profitable."
Alexis finished by adding, "No class is ever going to fully prepare someone for the work world, but Cornerstone has given me the important skills I need, as well as a passion for the career I am pursuing."
Owen Longjohn (B.A. ’19), a worship arts and audio production major, is currently the worship and production intern at Peace Church in Middleville, Mich. Having a regular attendance of around 800 people, Peace Church serves as an Evangelical Presbyterian Church led by Pastor Adam Barr.
"I've been regularly attending Peace Church for almost two years," Owen stated. "When I met Ethan Ezikian, pastor of worship arts and community life, we connected quickly. When I began to get involved in the worship team, we had a couple conversations about what it would look like to do an internship at Peace."
After some time, an internship was made available to Owen. His responsibilities include being involved in planning Sunday morning liturgy, writing music charts for the musicians, operating sound for services and events, installing audio/visual technology and leading worship teams alongside Ethan and other volunteers.
"My classes [and experiences at CU] have absolutely prepared me for this internship experience," Owen said. From theory classes to being a part of the University Chorale to taking ministry classes, each touch point has played a significant role in preparing Owen for his future career.
Christine Kollen (B.S. ’18) serves as an underwriting intern at Farmers Insurance. Farmers Insurance is an agency that helps people of all walks of life plan wisely for unexpected occurrences by offering home, life, business, car and many other types of insurance policies. Unlike Alexis and Owen, Christine isn't receiving academic credit during her internship, rather she's putting her academic course work to the test in a professional setting.
As an underwriting intern at Farmers Insurance in Caledonia, Mich., Christine's responsibilities include both casualty underwriting and property underwriting. More specifically, she is involved in research and data analysis, managing underwriting projects and developing innovative strategies to get projects completed, participating in prototype meetings and giving feedback for new technology solutions implemented throughout the company.
"I have never worked at a corporate company before [working at Farmers Insurance], so getting this experience has prepared me tremendously for the business world," said Christine. "My supervisors are great with providing me opportunities to learn the most and get the most experience with my time here at Farmers."
Along with her internship preparing her better for her future career in business, Christine also explained how her classes at Cornerstone have helped her.
"My business classes at Cornerstone gave me a great outlook on what to expect in the business work environment," she said. "I think it's awesome to say that CU prepared me well for this internship and jobs to come in my career."
At Cornerstone, 100% of undergraduates complete an academic internship or practicum for credit. Students such as Christine are further positioning themselves for success after college by gaining additional real-world experience. Whether their internship or experience be in accounting, worship, music or management, each internship provides students with valuable work experience for their future career.