ATS Internship Program Accelerates Careers of 21 Young Professionals
At Advanced Technology Services, the development and involvement of interns within the organization is key to the future of our workforce.
This year, ATS hosted 21 interns—the largest class in company history—across a variety of departments (such as Human Resources, Marketing, Finance, IT, Sales, Supply Chain and Engineering) at corporate offices and customer sites across the United States. This is not a “grab your boss coffee” type of program; during their time at ATS, interns get hands-on experience through the guidance of their mentors and managers, many of whom regularly meet with their interns to discuss progress on their projects and give career advice.
Sales Intern Tyler Ratliff from Clemson University states that he learned a lot from his manager throughout his internship. “So far, I learned soft skills like networking, how to speak to clients, and presentation skills,” he says. “I am thankful to have had an internship where the things I learn can be applied to my career no matter what industry I go into!”
Interns are also encouraged to use critical thinking skills and apply what they already learned in the classroom to their workplace projects. “My internship experience exposed me to overarching corporate challenges and has given me the opportunity to combat them,” states Human Resources Intern Brody Adreon from the University of Iowa. “My analytical and problem-solving skills have greatly improved!”
ATS interns work on a variety of projects that the business can utilize present-day or down the road. Examples include redesigning SharePoint sites to encourage department communication, installing sight-glasses to improve technician safety, using qualitative and quantitative data to determine site compatibility for managers, assisting in audio-visual projects to improve internal communications, and creating content using keywords to enhance search engine optimization for the ATS website. Additionally, the internship program encourages cross-departmental collaboration between interns, allowing them to work together and improve processes that benefit multiple areas of the organization.
A new addition to the internship program for 2019 was Intern Week hosted at the Peoria Corporate Headquarters. This event was introduced to allow interns the chance to mingle outside their department and build a greater understanding of the ATS business. Throughout the week, interns visited local customer sites, heard inspiring presentations from company leaders, and networked with one another. Collin Mormann, a Technical Intern from University of Wisconsin—Platteville, enjoyed talking with Engineering Intern Jay Pritchett from Purdue University. “Jay helped me better understand the industrial parts repair side of the business,” he says. “This allowed me to see what he does day to day and differences between all the services ATS offers.”
During customer site visits, interns had the opportunity to see ATS technicians in action – giving them first-hand exposure to industrial maintenance operations so they can gain a better sense of the services ATS provides. They also went on plant tours highlighting a virtual reality (VR) room for large engine and machine modeling, a shaker table that tested how a bulldozer would handle a landslide, and laser technology capable of breaking the sound barrier.
When asked about what knowledge he gained through his internship experience, Technical Intern Nathan Van Dyke from the University of Iowa noted the experience of his supervisors and peer maintenance specialists and their openness to sharing their knowledge with him. “I received a ton of valuable insight on the engineering industry as a whole,” he says, “as well as how it aligns to the processes and inner workings of a factory.”
Intern Week was especially valuable to site-specific interns who benefited from the opportunity to connect and share experiences with interns from other ATS locations. Michael Church, for example, is an Engineering & Processing major from Southern Illinois University—Carbondale who interns for ATS at a local technical center. During Intern Week, he was able to visit the corporate office and meet his fellow interns during the week’s scheduled networking events.
Meanwhile, as the summer progressed, remote interns located at sites in Iowa and Mississippi were able to connect with peers through video conferencing. Engineering Intern Devika Patel from the University of Mississippi discussed how she feels welcomed by both her fellow interns and superiors. “I have had many interactions with people in different departments,” she says. “And I think having that opportunity is a great reflection of the welcoming ATS culture.”
Before the program wraps up, interns are required to give a presentation to their department and organizational leaders highlighting their projects, accomplishments and experiences. This gives them the opportunity to talk about what they learned over the summer and show how their work positively impacted the company.
The goal of the ATS internship program is to attract young professionals eager to start their careers and prepare them for a full-time roll through a robust on-the-job experience. Beau Thompson, a Sales Intern from Westminster College, says the program made him feel a part of the company, even as an intern. “I think it’s important for an organization to invest in their employees and make them feel valued,” he states. “I certainly felt that way during my time as an intern with ATS.”
If you are interested in pursuing an internship opportunity with Advanced Technology Services, or want to learn more about the ATS intern experience, please send a brief introduction of your interests along with your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was written in part by Interns Jaelyn Williams and Grace Noice.
Jaelyn is pursuing a major in Marketing at Eastern Illinois University. She competes for EIU’s swim team and enjoys hiking in her spare time.
Grace is studying Mass Communication at Southern Illinois University—Edwardsville. She volunteers as the outreach director for SIUE’s Dance Marathon and enjoys art and traveling.