Being a UW–Madison student means having the qualifications and the credibility to compete for some of the top internships across the country and the world. Many Badgers used their summer break to do just that — gain vital job experience while also learning about new cultures and having a lot of fun.
“Internships have become increasingly important for students as a way to enhance their workplace-applied skills,” says Joel Clark, who advises students and helps facilitate internships for the political science and sociology departments and international studies majors. “This kind of experience is exactly what employers want to see.”
Here’s a sample of some of those amazing internships:
Hometown: Hartland, Wisconsin
Major: Finance and political science
Internship: Central Japan Railway Company, Tokyo, Japan
If you attend the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and don’t get lost, you might have Drescher to thank.
During his internship with Japan’s busiest high-speed rail operator, the UW–Madison junior assessed station signage, ticketing information and train schedules, then made recommendations to address problems that could flummox foreign visitors.
He also helped write 30 pages of English language guidance to assist station staff and train crews, and, in a highlight, gave a presentation to the company’s chairman.
“The internship broadened my global perspective and helped me better understand how the world works,” he says.
Bonus perk: Traveling 310 mph aboard the world’s fastest ground transportation system at its not-open-to-the-public test track.
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Major: Chemical engineering
Internship: AbbVie, a developer of biopharmaceuticals, at its facility in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico
Mondin spent a lot of her summer in a sterile environment — in a good way.
The UW–Madison senior learned how to don layers of protective gowning to prevent contamination on days when she shadowed operators inside the manufacturing area at AbbVie’s biological plant.
“That was a new experience for me,” she says. “You felt like a surgeon when you were done getting ready.”
Mondin worked with a team at the plant that studies and tests how to bring greater efficiency to manufacturing processes. She also helped take step-by-step operational processes, or “recipes,” and convert them from paper-based directions to electronic ones.
She appreciated the opportunity to apply her classroom learning to the real world.
“As an engineer, what we take to the workplace is not the thermodynamics theories or fluid dynamics problems we have learned in class, but the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills we develop from solving all those textbook problems,” she says.
Bonus perk: Learning how to make mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish with fried plantain as its main ingredient.