Student’s Internship Turns into Full-Time Position at Kohl’s

Students in the College of Business are strongly encouraged to obtain an internship prior to graduation so they can earn valuable experience that employers are looking for in graduates. Nearly three-fourths of the BGSU business students go through an internship, and in some cases, these internships turn into full-time jobs after graduation. Patrick McFall is a senior management student, graduating in August, who is one of those students whose internship employer, Kohl’s, offered him a full-time job at graduation. His job was full of managerial responsibilities, a lot more than he had expected.

Patrick describes his great internship experience at the Kohl’s Distribution Center in Findlay, Ohio.

Written by Patrick McFall, Class of 2014

The job title I had during my internship was Operations Supervisor, and being a management major, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to get some real leadership under my belt. I walked into the building the first day with no idea what I was going to be doing, who my mentor was, or what the day would be like. I was assigned to the shipping department, which is the last piece of the puzzle in a Distribution Center, and one of the most important areas. I spent my first week in shipping, and then the interns went on a four-week rotation of the rest of the building to get a good grasp on how everything operates together.        

One of the most unique things that I got to experience while I was at the Distribution Center was the fifth week when they sent us on an all-expenses paid trip to Corporate Headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin which is right outside of Milwaukee. We got to tour the facilities, sit in with the top executives of Kohl’s and hear their stories about being successful. We even got to go to a Brewer’s game. While we were there we were able to meet interns from all over the country including California, Texas, and Missouri. This was a great opportunity for all of us because we were able to e-mail each other when we got back to our buildings and see if they were going through the same things that we were undergoing.

The last four weeks of the internship I returned to the shipping department. This is where management really wanted each one of the interns to run the department on their own with little guidance from the mentor. This is what I did until the ninth week when my mentor had to leave for a week unexpectedly, and there was no other supervisor to watch over me, so I managed the shipping department. I walked in on Monday morning and immediately had to take charge. This included printing off all the employee e-mails, preparing the morning meeting to assign associates to their respective places, handling upper management phone calls, attending and taking notes at meetings for my mentor, and even giving the okay for employees calling off. This wasn’t suppose to be part of the internship, but after seeing how I handled that week, and after talking to human resources, they are thinking about making a week of the program just like I went through. This was the most eye-opening experience of the whole internship, and I learned a lot in one week.

The final week consisted of meeting with management to discuss how the previous nine weeks went, and getting our final presentations ready to give in front of every manager in the building. We had to cover the internship from our point of view, explain what we learned about leadership, and give a few recommendations to improve the internship program.

There were other unique opportunities while interning for Kohl’s which included participating in Kohl’s Cares and Employee Appreciation Day. Kohl’s Cares is about giving back to local programs and charities. We went to Imagination Station in Toledo, OH, and were able to work the day there. The Employee Appreciation Day happens every year in July and it was a blast. They had things ranging from pie-eating contests, corn-hole, bingo for prizes, and not to mention all the great barbecue food. This day was all about the employees and the hard work they put in all year-round.         

It was two weeks after the program ended that I received a phone call from corporate, and learned that I had been offered a full-time position as Operations Supervisor upon graduation this August. I gladly accepted.

I had no idea my internship would be so much fun or even lead to a full-time position upon graduation, but even if I didn’t get the job, it was still the best 10 weeks of my life career wise. I met so many great people and made so many connections that I will have the rest of my life.