Georgia Pacific Internship

From GB to GP: UW-Green Bay Students Turn Internship into Gainful Employment

Heading into her internship with Georgia-Pacific, Madelyn Skalecki hoped it wouldn’t be just a ‘go-fer’ coffee and bagels position. She, and intern Elizabeth Johnson got their wish.

 Madelyn Skalecki
Madelyn Skalecki, ’19 Graduate

For 12 months Skalecki was credited with an internship, but worked as a full-time employee, getting to know the company, its supply chain practices, and what each step of the supply-chain process would cost the company. The December 2019 graduate began working at Georgia-Pacific as an employee of the company’s supply chain division immediately following graduation.

For students from UW-Green Bay and managers at Georgia-Pacific, the program is a win-win. Students are able to put what they learn into practice, and managers at the company are able to recruit and retain key talent. It’s the high-impact, problem-solving approach for which the University and the Cofrin School of Business is known.

“I would be doing something in the office, and I’d think to myself ‘I remember learning this in a book,’” Skalecki said. “And then after I was finished with the internship, I’d be sitting in class during a lecture learning about something and think ‘Oh my gosh! I did this!’”

Skalecki said her past internship experiences were more like busy work. But this experience was different.

“The previous intern’s project was to create a timeline of what our team, Supply Chain Outsourcing, did on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “My project was to take the previous intern’s project and develop a time and cost analysis for it, which had not been done prior. This transformed how my team understood the impact of their day-to-day work and educated the other cross-functional teams we worked with on a daily basis. The project also provided a value-added comparative advantage for us as we are now able to test scenarios that can be more cost and time efficient.”

Jason Danforth
Jason Danforth

Skalecki’s manager, Jason Danforth, said the internship program is a way for Georgia- Pacific to create a hiring pool that the company already knows is worth the investment.

“I think the program allows our company to create a pipeline for future talent,” he said. “We look at it as a six-month interview.”

The competitive internship and co-op experiences are utilized throughout the company.

“It is definitely competitive regardless of what college or university a student comes from, but Georgia-Pacific actively recruits from UW-Green Bay and attends all its career fairs. We have different departments that attend those career fairs such as Georgia-Pacific’s transportation team called “KBX Logistics,” along with our sales team “GPXpress®,” which play the biggest roles in recruiting from the University.

Danforth has been with Georgia-Pacific for six years and a manager of the Supply Chain planning and purchasing team for more than two years. Over that time, he’s seen a number of interns go through the program that started before he began working with the company. While the program helps the interns build their professional resume and learn about working in the corporate culture, interns help the company by bringing new insight and a fresh perspective into processes as well as provide system improvements to help streamline the organization.

Jason Danforth with interns Jason Danforth with inters Elizabeth Johnson and Madelyn Skalecki and Elizabeth Johnson
Once Georgia-Pacific/UW-Green Bay interns, Madelyn Skalecki (right) and Elizabeth Johnson (left) were able to land full-time employment with the company. G-P Manager Jason Danforth (middle) says mentoring is the favorite part of his job.

“The biggest payoff for me personally has been serving as a role model and a coach for these students,” he said. “I get to not only develop their softskills, but also to develop their supply chain knowledge of processes.”

Georgia-Pacific is a worldwide leader in making tissue, pulp, packaging and building products, producing everything from paper towels to bath tissue. Danforth works in the supply chain planning and purchasing department, which supports the buying of finished goods from outside suppliers. When one of its mills is over capacity or does not have the capabilities to make a product, his team secures the finished goods from outside suppliers, then stores the inventory at Georgia-Pacific’s fulfilment warehouses for their customers. His team’s main responsibility is to manage outside supplier production requirements with domestic and international suppliers—from the purchasing of raw materials to be converted into finished good or just straight buying of finished goods.

“The internship in the supply chain of Georgia-Pacific is a six-month program that provides interns with a job offer at the end of the time period if they are successful within the program,” Danforth said.

Elizabeth Johnson
Elizabeth Johnson

Between May and November of 2019, Elizabeth Johnson served as an intern at the Georgia-Pacific plant in Green Bay. Handling day-to-day operations helped her utilize her education in business with a focus on human resources and supply chain management. After graduating in December of 2019, she took a position at the company’s Atlanta headquarters.

From there, she was assigned a mentor, also a former intern, who helped her to get acclimated to the plant and working for the company, as well as to encourage her through the process.

“When I took the internship, I didn’t think it would lead to a position,” Johnson said. “It’s been a really great opportunity. I would encourage anyone to take the chance and do it.”

– Story by freelance writer  Liz Carey

‘Voyageur’ accepting applications for spring 2020 interns

“Voyageur: Northeast Wisconsin’s Historical Review” is now accepting applications for editorial interns for the Spring 2020 semester. “Voyageur,” a nonprofit magazine dedicated to preserving the history of a 26-county area of greater Northeast Wisconsin, is published by the Brown County Historical Society in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Editorial interns will help prepare the magazine’s articles, photographs and image captions for publication. The position involves editing, writing and some research, as well as collaboration with the magazine’s graphic design students. The internship will be overseen by the magazine’s editors, Associate Prof. Eric J. Morgan (Democracy and Justice Studies) and Associate Prof. Daniel Kallgren (History).

If you have an interest in history or digital and public humanities, or a desire to work in writing or publishing, consider applying for this unique opportunity. The internship will count as three credits in Humanities, or with approval of the History chair, as an elective credit in History.

To apply, complete this very brief Qualtrics survey by Friday, Nov. 29th. If you have any questions about the internship, please contact Associate Prof. Morgan at morgane@uwgb.edu.

Third annual Internship Draft Day at Lambeau Field

Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Manufacturing Alliance and Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA) will be sponsoring an Internship Draft Day, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at Lambeau Field, North Atrium. This free event gives students the chance to interview for more than 300 internships with more than 60 companies, while networking and hopefully landing a paid job in their field of interest. Scholarships will also be awarded to the top two “draft picks” at the event. There will be food, refreshments and a free Draft Day Jersey for participants. For more information or to register for the event, go to www.internshipdraftday.com.

Presenting… first-ever ‘Internship Tuesday’

A new weekly social media initiative, “Internship Tuesday,” featuring UW-Green Bay students with interesting internships has been kicked off by Social Media Specialist Jena Richter Landers and intern Anna Katner. The inaugural feature is on Danielle “Dani” LaPorte, a senior communication student, and her former position with NorthCoast Productions, which allowed her to “bump biceps” with Clay Matthews at a commercial shoot. Do you know a UW-Green Bay student with an interesting internship? Please submit a response to this Qualtrics survey. Questions may be directed to Jena Richter Landers at richterj@uwgb.edu.

New website connects employers to UW student talent

The UW System recently announced the launch of its Career Connect website that connects Wisconsin employers with students for internships, job shadowing, and potential careers.  Career Connect was created in-house to help students get experience in their chosen field, while employers have the opportunity to capitalize on the talent at UW institutions. “This is a win-win-win for employers, our students and Wisconsin,” says UW System President Ray Cross.  “We can efficiently and effectively connect employers with resources their organizations need while our students get valuable career experience.  We know internships often turn into job offers.  A meaningful job experience can lead to more graduates staying in Wisconsin to raise their families, becoming an integral part of our workforce and economy.” Read more here.

Grant of $441,000 from Great Lakes will fund internships for UWGB students

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has been awarded a three-year, $441,324 Career-Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to create nearly 250 new paid internships over the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years.

The grant will be used to create paid internships for juniors and seniors who don’t receive enough financial aid to cover college costs. UW-Green Bay will work with local businesses and nonprofit agencies to identity placement opportunities for eligible students.

“Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers,” says Richard D. George, Great Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer. “Students gain meaningful workplace skills and are more likely to earn degrees and use their internship experiences to help secure good jobs upon graduation.”

UW-Green Bay has a significant number of students who are first-generation college attendees, and many are of modest means. Great Lakes and UW-Green Bay officials note that those with financial need are often unable to accept unpaid internships because they need to earn a paycheck. By passing on internship opportunities, they miss out on valuable, real-world experience in their fields of study.

“Through the Career Ready Internship program, UW-Green Bay can enable students to achieve educational and professional goals while meeting personal and family obligations,” said Ashley Heath, associate director of the Center for Public Affairs, which is administrating the program at UW-Green Bay in collaboration with the school’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI).

UW-Green Bay is one of 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin receiving a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for their students with financial need. This is the third Career Ready Internship grant UW-Green Bay has received from Great Lakes.

Following three months of administrative planning, employer outreach and student recruitment this fall, UW-Green Bay will place eligible juniors and seniors in paid internships beginning in January 2016. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018.

How to participate as an employer:
Businesses and organizations in Northeastern Wisconsin interested in hosting UW-Green Bay student interns by way of the grant program should contact Ashley Heath of the UW-Green Bay Center for Public Affairs, at (920) 465-2608, or John Arendt, EMBI associate director, at (920) 465-2953, for more information.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation:
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established in 1967 as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $154 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.

15-124

Superior vision: Why a Northwoods diesel specialist invests here

brian-wendt_top-storyUp in the northwoods of Wisconsin, an upturn in manufacturing is picking up speed, often to the satisfying hum of a finely crafted diesel engine.

One company in particular — with new ties to UW-Green Bay — is both driving and benefitting from that resurgence. Superior Diesel, headquartered in Rhinelander, customizes industrial-grade diesel engines for commercial users for whom there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all.

“We’re proud to be the largest value-added distributor of John Deere engines in the world,” says president Brian Wendt.

Engines are shipped directly to the plant, located in the forest along Highway 8 in the industrial park west of town. Warehouse shelves are lined with products by Deere, Kohler and other manufacturers awaiting testing and tuning at the hands of Superior’s skilled production specialists.

Each job begins long before, of course. Clients can expect field visits and exacting analysis of their intended end-use applications. Specialists in mechanical, electrical and design engineering pore over schematics and blueprints. Powering an electric generator is different than pumping water. Emissions requirements vary by locality. Drive-train components perform differently in 110° conditions than at minus-20°.

When Superior’s team devises a solution, the custom-designed components are jobbed out, usually to a local supplier or metal-fabricating shop within a 150-mile radius of Rhinelander.

Wendt is proud that Superior’s success is spinning off employment across the north. There’s also satisfaction in knowing high-torque diesel power remains in demand for logging and agriculture in Wisconsin and beyond, and in new industries, as well.

Partly in appreciation of its local roots, partly anticipating the need for future engineering, purchasing, sales, accounting, production and product-support people, Superior has established two endowed scholarship funds at UW-Green Bay.

Scholarships are open to residents of Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Price and Forest counties. Wendt hopes local students will pursue the education that will make them even more valuable when they return north. One of the scholarships is reserved for UW-Green Bay’s new program in engineering technology, and Wendt is hopeful of setting up internship opportunities, as well.

Last call: Nominate now for Academic Excellence Symposium


The 14th Annual UW-Green Bay Academic Excellence Symposium which showcases the academic excellence of our undergraduate and graduate students, and internships, will take place Tuesday April 7, in the Phoenix Room of the University Union, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Faculty are reminded to nominate students to present work, and have them complete the application proposal. The deadline to submit a proposal is Tuesday March 10. Direct questions to Terri Ternes.

Aurora BayCare commits $107,000 to renew EMBI grant

The Environmental Management and Business Institute at UW-Green Bay has received $107,000 in grant funding from Aurora BayCare Medical Center to continue a multi-year community partnership through 2017. The arrangement, which began in 2010, provides opportunities for EMBI interns to work directly with the healthcare provider to assess and evaluate environmental performance through benchmarking. The students help to identify potential areas for improvement in water reduction, energy efficiency, solid waste management, waste minimization and pollution prevention. Interns work under the direction of an EMBI faculty member and staff from the healthcare provider. To date, eight students have benefited from the real-world experience provided by the grant.