2018 Outstanding Co-op/Intern of the Year Award Winners

Name:
Brooke Engerman
College:
Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts
Major:
Communications - Advertising
Employer:
U.S. National Archives
Growing up, I had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., each summer, and I developed a love for the city’s rich atmosphere. My time spent exploring D.C., thus cultivated my strong interest in pursuing a career in this cultural melting pot of politics, art, history, and media. Inspired by my childhood visits, I applied for, and was fortunate to be selected as, the Communications and Marketing Intern at the U.S. National Archives for the Summer of 2018.

The National Archives is an independent governmental agency established in 1934 to oversee federal documents and record-keeping. The mission of the National Archives is to promote democracy through the preservation and engagement with government documents and civic literacy. I am very proud to have played a small role in this mission, via my work in the National Archives Office of Public Affairs.

My experience as a Communications Intern provided me with the opportunity to engage in applied learning, as I built upon my academic career and grew in my professional ambitions. As an English and communications double-major, my internship served as a harmonious compilation of my Bradley curriculum—calling upon written and oral communication, as well as the application of advanced media analyses.

Within my role as a Communications Intern, I was able to actively apply my knowledge of communication theories and advertising strategies as I produced copious amounts of digital and social content for the Archives’ media platforms, as well as a large-scale analysis and proposal regarding the promotion of Public Programming events. This proposal was submitted for final review to my superiors, as well as to the Deputy Archivist of the United States.

My daily assignments were to create tweets, blog posts, listicles, Instagram posts, Facebook Live events, and press releases to increase the Archives’ social media following amongst younger audiences. Increasing civic literacy and engagement within my generation are causes I am very passionate about, and I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to contribute in the Archive’s outreach to this demographic.

In addition to my work in public outreach and promotion of educational events, I also assisted in executing several high-profile events at the Archives. Those events included the annual National Archives July 4th Celebration, a NASDAQ Executive Board meeting, and several Motion Picture Association of America film premiers.

This past October, I returned to the National Archives, as I was asked to assist with the 2018 National Archives Foundation Gala. The annual Gala honors an individual who has contributed to civic literacy, and this year’s Gala honored former First Lady, Laura Bush. Past recipients include Tom Hanks (2017) and Lin Manuel Miranda (2016).

My internship at the National Archives has been—by far—the best experience of my college career. Walking across Pennsylvania Avenue every morning and ascending the grand marble steps to the Archives’ entrance are memories I will never forget; and I am very grateful for my academic and career advisors for their continued support and assistance.
Name:
Naydeen Musaitif
College:
Caterpillar College of Engineering & Technology
Major:
Industrial Engineering - Logistics & Supply Chain
Employer:
Caterpillar Inc.
In May 2018, I began my Caterpillar journey, in Decatur, IL. No textbook could teach me the technical skills I acquired as a Logistics Planning Analyst (LPA) in Caterpillar’s busy Surface Mining and Technology division. The learning opportunities and challenges prepared me for my future as an industrial engineer and allowed me to grow as a student.

My supervisor challenged me by assigning me two internal suppliers with extreme past due shipments. My goal was to build a strong communication network between myself and the suppliers and lower the number of their past due schedules. I identified and executed supply chain procurement, material schedules, and a logistics plan to implement economic practices without compromising quality and ensuring orderly delivery. Through constant phone calls and emails, I negotiated with the suppliers to prioritize the building of needed cylinders and valves. In the short 12 weeks, I decreased the past due schedules and maintained a positive working relationship with my suppliers.

Although being an LPA was a full time job on its own, I was hungry to learn more. For that reason, I became a part of the Decatur Material Availability Requirement Tool (DMART) project where I validated the tool’s accuracy. By the completion of my internship, my efforts improved the accuracy of DMART from 30% accuracy to over 70%.

My success in Decatur led me to my current internship role. Today, I am an intern for Caterpillar’s Global Quality team in Downtown Peoria, IL. I look forward to seeing what my future holds as I continue to grow as an engineer and make my mark on the world.
Name:
Joseph Pellowski
College:
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Major:
Biochemistry
Employer:
WaterScience Inc. BioTechnology/AgriScience
When I chose Bradley University to be the place where I would conduct my undergraduate study, I did so because it gave me the opportunity to get far away from my comfort zone and experience the next part of my life in my own unique way. I soon discovered bodybuilding is a passion of mine and that studying biochemistry would help me understand myself better in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

During my internship at WSI BioTech, I adopted a philosophy that has allowed me to develop the most important and advantageous part of who I am today, a growth mindset. We used to look up at the night sky for twinkling lights in wonder and awe. As we grew older, we learned that the stars in the night sky didn’t shine for us, they just are. We discovered that we are not at the center of what we call of the universe, and that it is much older than we thought. We learned that we are composed of millions of tiny parts and that we are another temporary stage in history that goes back over a billion years with no specific purpose. However, this perspective allows me to find a meaning for myself and define my own purpose because every mistake or failure of mine is an opportunity to learn. When I find myself in the midst of adversity, I only see two possible outcomes. A triumphant success that’s derived from thoughtful decision making, intuition, innovative problem solving, and teamwork; or a spectacular failure that allows me to reassess the situation, extract valuable lessons, and implement new strategies such that next time, success is inevitable. This way I can choose what I do with my life without the superficial boundaries of a fundamental purpose, and learn about the intricacies of the universe we live in.

My internship at WSI BioTech as a research and development intern gave me the opportunity to work on some of humanities largest problems like the preventable spread of oceanic dead zones and how we can halt the expansion of them while promoting the sustainable industrial practices we are developing now. Working on these larger than life problems gave me more energy and motivation than ever before, so I am extremely excited to have accepted an offer to continue working with the team at WSI BioTech following graduation. I learned that working on projects with a goal that is bigger than yourself helps you generate so much more energy than any selfish endeavor could and it fulfills me. I’m grateful to have had this experience because it allowed me to find a purpose that is bigger than myself and I look forward to the opportunity it has given me to meet and work with the world’s most impactful game changers.
Name:
Becky Sidlowski
College:
College of Education & Health Sciences
Major:
Nursing
Employer:
UnityPoint Methodist in Peoria, IL
In the summer of 2018 I had the outstanding opportunity to internship at Methodist Hospital in Peoria as a student nurse intern. I was paired with one RN who mentored and taught me for the 10 weeks I was there. I grew a tremendous amount from the beginning of summer until the end. The areas I really worked on were my nursing skills, communication, and patient interaction.

7 Crescent or the respiratory floor was my home for the summer. Three days a week and 12 hour shifts became my normal schedule. My coworkers were friendly, welcoming, and always ready to help me learn. I worked on new and familiar nursing skills such as medication administration, RRT’s, wound dressing changes, daily cares, vitals, patient education and documentation. After getting practice with these skills I felt much more prepared going into my senior year as a student nurse in clinical.

Another thing I grew in was communication. I constantly was talking to my nurse and other coworkers like CNA’s and doctors. I had to communicate verbally and nonverbally sometimes with patients. I used my active listening skills to assess the needs of each client and provide the best possible care.

The best part of the internship was patient interaction. I was able to meet all kinds of different people from different cultures, communities, ages, races and more. Every day I looked forward to meeting new patients and finding how I could help them. Between chit chatting, discussing concerns, or plan of care I really got to know each and every client. I love being able to make the impact in each person I meet. Whether they know me for the student that got them water or helped relieve their pain I want them to remember how much I cared for them.

I always knew I wanted to help and care for people in my future job. I think that when I found nursing I was able to combine all my skills into something that could benefit the most people. I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to grow from this internship experience. I am now sure that in the future I will be a more competent and confident nurse.
Name:
Bonnie Vigland
College:
Foster College of Business
Major:
Accounting
Employer:
Southwest Airlines
From a very young age, I craved travel. Growing up, I considered a career as a flight attendant or pilot so I could easily travel the world. Eventually, I pulled my head out of the clouds and decided to go into accounting. When I applied for an internship at Southwest Airlines, I never thought I would actually get it. But somehow, I was granted the opportunity of a lifetime. My internship with Southwest showed me how my dream of flying around the world could fit in with a practical career in accounting. I spent my summer learning how to develop my professional career while satisfying my need for adventure and travel.

Southwest believes the way to have a successful company is to have happy employees who will then serve happy customers. Even as an intern, I felt supported and valued by Southwest. I was empowered to develop my skills and put my best foot forward in important and time sensitive tasks. As a member of the SWAT (SWA Tax) Team, I was given meaningful assignments while working on a wide scope of projects. I assembled Sales & Use tax returns, coded assets in SAP, and collected information for various tax credits, all to keep company expenses low and keep the company in line with current tax law. My coworkers, or “co-hearts,” took a genuine interest in me as a person. Their acceptance made me want to exceed the high department expectations. Feeling included and cared about made the work enjoyable and I looked forward to going into the office each day. I truly felt like a part of the “tax family.” My mentor worked with me to create personal and professional goals, and often checked in to gauge my interest in my job as well as other possible opportunities at Southwest.

One of the best perks of interning at Southwest Airlines is unlimited free travel to all 101 destinations across the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. The only catch? It’s space available or non-revenue travel, meaning we fly on standby. But with a little bit of creativity and a lot of flexibility, we can go pretty much anywhere we set our hearts to. In 12 weeks, I took 39 flights, travelled 28,586 miles, and flew to 20 airports, from New York City to the Caribbean. I learned how to be prepared for every situation and climate, while packing up everything I would need in my tiny backpack. The world was mine to explore freely.

Southwest provided me with an internship experience that changed my life. I grew personally and professionally, and my managers and mentors truly cared about helping me achieve my goals. My passion for travel and the airline industry deepened, and I look forward to working for Southwest someday. The variety of experiences I was given in my internship could not be matched. Thank you for a SWAsome summer!