2010 Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award Winners

Keith Anderson Name:
Keith Anderson
Slane College of Communications & Fine Arts
Music Business
KHS America, Inc.

As a Music Business major, I spent a large portion of my college career without the slightest idea of what specific career path I wanted to take. After visiting the NAMM show on a trip with the Bradley Music Business program, I knew that I wanted a career in the music products industry. I then searched for an internship with a music instrument manufacturer, and was offered a fall internship at the musical instrument distributor KHS America in Nashville, TN.

Though I was nervous about spending an entire semester away from Bradley and moving to Nashville, the experience proved to be well worth the risk. I was quickly submerged in a variety of different projects that pertained to the wide assortment of musical instruments KHS America distributes. These projects included writing press releases, shooting artist videos, conducting a competitive analysis and many other challenging and interesting assignments. When I started the internship in August, the company had just moved their separate office locations under one roof. I was fortunate enough to witness the company adapt to many administrative changes.

The valuable experience I had at KHS America is largely due to working there for an entire semester. When I left the company, I had felt like I was a regular employee. This tenure not only allowed me to determine the precise career path I intend to take, but also taught me what I need to do to get there. I am now able to graduate with an extensive knowledge of the industry I plan on working in, and for that I am truly fortunate.

Renae Stenger Name:
Renae Stenger
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Individualized Major Program - Museum Education
Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences

Being an intern for the Education Department at Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences has been the best job ever. I have worked and learned at Lakeview for two years, and have accumulated a wealth of valuable experiences. This job has been fun, intellectually stimulating, educational, inspiring, and has shown me what I want to do with my life.

In the Spring Semester of 2009 I went to the Smith Career Center for advice in looking for a part-time job. I was encouraged to attend the Spring Job Fair, and especially encouraged to talk to the representatives from Lakeview Museum while I was there. I was lucky to be hired as the Education Intern in February of 2009.

Working at Lakeview has afforded me with a multitude of experiences. I help create documents such as gallery guides and information labels for traveling exhibits, give science demonstrations and docent tours to school groups, and am the weekend Operator in the Planetarium. I also help plan and organize activities at major Museum events, such as the Meteor Shower - Lakeview's biggest fundraiser of the year. One of the most exciting projects I worked on was in the summer of 2010, when I wrote most of the informational labels for a beautiful new permanent exhibit on the atomic structure of minerals.

Lakeview Museum is a wonderful place to work, and a fantastic resource for the community. I am excited to continue my career with Lakeview after I graduate, in which I will be working on projects related to the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the new museum being built downtown. I am happy to be able to continue with such a remarkable job and to be working with some of the most interesting people I have ever met - the employees at Lakeview feel like my extended family!

Grant Wissman Name:
Grant Wissman
Foster College of Business
Management Information Systems
COUNTRY Financial

As a Senior eagerly anticipating my upcoming May graduation, I can't help but reflect on how many great learning experiences I have had over the course of the last 4 years here at Bradley University. And of all those experiences, there has been none more beneficial than what I was afforded over this past summer and fall as an intern at COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington. Working as an Associate Business Analyst in their Information Technology Systems Department, I was able to gain valuable experience and contribute in a substantive way in a real world business environment-and it felt great!

During my time at COUNTRY, I was able to apply much of what I learned in my Management Information classes at Bradley to the assignments I had during my internship. I worked in the Auto Quotes and Policies (AQP) department as a tester coordinating and troubleshooting the weekly deployments. Additionally, I was the testing coordinator for a social security number-masking project. As coordinator, my responsibilities included creating the test cases, performing the tests, and reporting any problems for the social security numbers masking feature on the AQP and HQP system. When fall came, I was asked to stay on and was selected to work on the Home Quotes and Policies system and put in charge of creating and conducting the test cases for a vendor site/leads project.

Although I have worked every summer, this internship was my first job in a business environment aligned with my major. The knowledge and the experience I gained from attending and contributing to the weekly project status meetings went beyond what I could learn in the classroom and I believe it will make me a more qualified job applicant after my graduation. My positive experience at COUNTRY reinforced for me the wonderful resource of our Smith Career Center here at Bradley as it provided me with many of the tools, resources and support to get me on track in reaching my goal of graduating with first hand business experience.

Joshua Pfaffmann Name:
Joshua Pfaffmann
Caterpillar College of Engineering & Technology
Manufacturing Engineering Technology
Case New Holland

Over the last three years as a Manufacturing Engineering Technology major, I progressively realized my passion for the field. A big contributor to this was my internship experiences at Pafco Truck Bodies and this past summer at Case New Holland. Both of these internships helped develop my personal and professional communication, character, and engineering skills as well as obtain a full time job at Caterpillar when I graduate in May.

My first internship was with Pafco Truck Bodies in East Peoria. One of my responsibilities there was to redesign a product and then verify the operating processes by building the new design. This involved drawings, calculating moments, and using shop machines to create the product. This was a terrific learning experience and I was able to use my class room skills in the real world.

This past summer I was privileged to intern at Case New Holland. My assignment was three fold; participate as a member on the setup reduction team, analyze all weld fixtures on the plant property, and develop a plan to accomplish this organization. Some of the highlights of this experience were learning how to communicate with the shop floor employees as well as give presentations to higher management, understand manufacturing processes better, and learn how a well organized team works together to accomplish difficult tasks.

The engineering principles, methodologies, and hands on applications from these internships were exceptionally applicable to my future career and helped give me a complete new view on my studies as they continue. The success of summer projects has illuminated my understanding. Engineering concepts are exciting, vivid, and easily grasped as I connect class room theory to real world applications.

Anne Marie Dust Name:
Anne Marie Dust
College of Education & Health Sciences
OSF St. Francis Medical Center

This past summer I had the experience of a lifetime working 12-hour night-shifts as a student nurse extern in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) at OSF St. Francis Medical Center. Every aspect of my externship experience provided unique challenges for me, having never worked 12-hour shifts, in combination with not being a night person, and finally with working on arguably the most intense unit in the hospital. Nurses on the CVICU are under tremendous pressure, as doctors, patients, and families rely on their critical thinking and clinical judgment to identify changes in condition and take immediate action. In just three months, I was part of numerous code situations, meaning that the patient stops breathing or has no heartbeat. One of my most intense experiences was seeing a patient's chest cracked open at the bedside because blood from an earlier surgery was suffocating his heart.

Though I witnessed many emergency situations during my externship, my normal duties centered on day-to-day patient care. Like every other extern, I assisted with daily tasks like bathing, assisting with meals and to walk, repositioning patients, changing dressings, taking vital signs, and measuring input and output. However, assisting a patient to walk takes on whole new meaning when, the patient has a chest tube, a portable heart monitor, and a pole with IV medications hooked up to it. Additionally, repositioning a patient every two hours presents special challenges when the patient is hooked up to a heart-lung bypass machine and is paralyzed. Specific to an intensive care unit, I drew blood from existing arterial lines to send to the on-floor lab when immediate results were needed. Two special tasks I performed included removing a patient's breathing tube under supervision and removing a femoral intravenous line placed for continuous monitoring during open-heart surgery.

While I certainly enjoyed being in the thick of the action, my most cherished moments were the often-unceremonious opportunities to share the love of Christ with my patients. My most memorable shift was spent with a patient who had a tracheotomy and could not drink or eat anything. Since he could not speak, we rigged up a system such that he would wave his arm when his mouth felt dry, and I would come in. I gave him ice chips on a green sponge the size of a toothbrush at 15 minute intervals throughout the night, because that was all he could manage. In the space of two shifts caring for that patient, I saw him go from obvious despair to apparent hope for the future. I have never been more proud.

I count myself blessed to have served many patients as a student nurse extern. I am continually humbled by the call of the nurse to use both her hands and her heart for her patients. To bring Christ's light to others, even without saying anything, is my ultimate goal as a nurse. I was able to reach that goal this summer as an extern.