Each year SHC introduces college students to hands-on, real-life work experience by offering a 10-week internship at the company’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The grand finale of the internship experience is InternPalooza, an event that gives the students a chance to showcase their work and talent.
“The overall internship program is a great opportunity for students to enhance their college and career readiness skills which are essential in today’s working environment,” said Poonam Dhillon, college recruiter. “InternPalooza exposes them to a variety of departments in our organization, allows them to network with our leaders and most importantly, gives them the ability to showcase their personal as well as professional talents and developments in a business setting.”
On July 19, SHC associates were invited to attend and support SHC’s interns as they showcased their summer projects at InternPalooza. Below are some photos and quotes from this year’s talented group of individuals.
“Being a mechanical engineering major, I spend a lot of time doing math. This allows me to gain experience in the business world as opposed to sitting at a desk and putting numbers into a calculator. I interned here last summer but even before that, my brother worked here and brought me in on a tour. I had an opportunity to go through the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard (KCD) Engineering Lab, meet with his co-workers and manager, and I’ve got to say, I really liked the people. I really like to get new model prototypes with no instructions and having to figure out how to put it together. It’s like assembling a puzzle. And it’s really cool getting a behind-the-scenes look at new products, projects and partnerships before they get released.” – Joe Gunst, Clemson University, Mechanical Engineering
“My coursework at Purdue is a really good starting point to the work I am doing here. I am working in the Kmart toys department and it is a very unique time with the closing of Toys “R” Us. We are doing analysis and projections to determine how SHC can benefit. You learn the general ideas and concepts in class but this project gives me an opportunity to really experience analyst work. I learned more about Excel in my first week than I ever learned in a classroom. I also got to do things outside of my project work like create presentation slides for meetings and other ad-hoc requests. A job can just be a job but it makes a big difference who you work with and the people here are awesome. Sears is a company with a lot of history and is currently going through a transformation which makes it a perfect time for learning about all the challenges and changes that other companies may not have gone through. I am excited to see where this transformation goes with everyone working so hard.” – Jessica Gromala, Purdue University, Finance and Marketing
“I am currently working on the front-end development of the Member Technology web portal for the Project Management group and have been updating the links and old content by using a variety of tools and style sheets for a uniform look and feel. It’s been a learning experience since I am not familiar with any content management systems and the modules are very restrictive. I wanted to work with SHC because it was a large well-established company with many working parts and a variety of cultures. I’d like to pursue an MBA in business so I have not only the technical background but also big business skills. I especially enjoyed the Member Technology Town Hall meeting where I got an opportunity to hear directly from the high-level leaders about some of the challenges they are up against and the wins that their teams a having. Hearing directly from the executives and not seeing it on a video was really great.” – Juan Parra, University of Florida, Computer Science Engineering
“My project is designing a dashboard for the Inventory / Fine Jewelry team making sure it meets their business goals and objectives. My coursework and my project work require me to talk to people, determine their requirements—which utilizes my problem-solving skills—and figure out solutions. My goal is to become a lawyer so the soft skills I am getting here will definitely relate to that type of work. The most exciting thing about working here is that the company is large and is in a transition phase. It is really interesting to see from the inside, how shifting to different systems and different ways of thinking while retaining the things most important to Sears is being applied. Many people don’t like change but it seems the people here are really excited to see the steps being taken to make their jobs easier and are encouraged to see Sears succeed into the next phase.” – Brett Simpson, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Business/Pre-Law
“I am working on a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. In school, you deal with small amounts of data and do something really simple with it. Working here, you are dealing with millions of entries so the experience is much more real and I am getting the hands-on involvement that I want. When I heard about Cloud Computing, I instantly loved it and was looking for something where Cloud Computing was involved. There was a mention of it on the Sears job listing so I applied and told myself, if I get this, I am going to go for it!” – Michael Koutsostamatis, University of Illinois, Computer Science
“I came here from India to attend Loyola and complete my Masters in Computer Science. I wanted to intern at SHC because it was a large established company with years of history and a welcoming workplace for newcomers. It’s exciting to work on new technology and I love the support from the Demand Forecasting team. We do actual project work relating to real data and they always take time to explain everything and really make you feel part of the team. People think of Sears as only a retailer, but being here, I see that it is so much more.” – Pinky Sindhu, Loyola University, Computer Science
InternPalooza Photo Gallery