Amanda Freedman at Owens-Illinois
My incredible summer journey actually began last fall when I attended Bowling Green State University's job fair. It was there that I, as a College of Business Administration major, met and connected with Owens-Illinois and decided to apply for its financial leadership and development program (FLDP).
I was offered the FLDP internship at my campus interview. So, with my summer plans complete, I left to study abroad during the spring of 2016 at Hong Kong Baptist University. With O-I being a global, Fortune 500 company, the international experience in Hong Kong helped prepare me for my summer experience.
I began working at O-I’s world headquarters in Perrysburg at the end of May, and I had such an amazing experience! Typically, the program allows interns to work half the summer in finance and half the summer in audit, which gives students the ability to gain experience in different facets of the company. However, due to scheduling changes, I was able to work in three areas: tax, finance and audit.
My first rotation when I arrived at O-I was in the tax department. I was able to complete two main projects, which dealt with state auditors, and start on a third during my time there. By going through this process I was able to see what it’s like for a company to be audited, as well as walking through the steps necessary to receive a refund. It was very interesting work that gave me a better understanding of certain business topics not typically explored in detail from those outside of the department or in classes. I also had the opportunity to meet with our government affairs team from Washington to discuss what it does, upcoming tax topics to look for and any recently proposed laws that could impact business.
After a few weeks, I rotated over to finance. During my time there, I was able to work on several daily tasks and reporting metrics. We also had the chance to work with all of the plant’s controllers to make sure their financial reporting processes were running smoothly. Plus, we provided aid to them in any tasks in which they needed further support. I was also able to work with operating expense budgets in finance, which allowed me to meet several people within the company who were interested in learning about how the budgets were formed and reviewed.
My final rotation at O-I was with the internal audit department. My time there was divided among large-scale projects, including a global IT HR audit, a plant audit in New York and Sox Control testing. My audit experience was different than the ones I’ve had at other companies, and I found it very interesting. While we were given fantastic guidance from the seniors and project leaders, they also left us to figure some things out on our own, which I found extremely helpful in improving my problem-solving skills. Knowing that the leaders are very supportive and trust your skills enough to produce quality work is very empowering as an intern.
Through my experience with the global IT HR audit, I was able to put my study abroad experience to use as some of the material from our overseas offices, specifically from Asia-Pacific and Europe, were in different formats and languages, which made it interesting for us to collect the data to help facilitate a new standardized, global process moving forward.
When we were working on the plant audit, I had the chance to visit our glass plant in Auburn, N.Y., where I was able to see how our glass products are made. My experience interacting with the employees at the plant and of conducting a plant audit was very valuable because it helped expand my knowledge of what our machinery actually looks like, terms used in the office, putting faces to employees we interacted with over the phone, and how our plants function on a day-to-day basis. During the week spent in New York, we ate at an old jailhouse, visited two of the Finger Lakes and had delicious meals.
Work aside, this summer allowed me to bond with several interns from many different departments and several other schools. At the beginning of the summer we all volunteered at Cherry Street Mission in downtown Toledo, and, in no time, became great friends by spending so much time together.
Work was a joy to me because I was around such motivated, kind and positive people! We have experienced so many things together such as trying new restaurants, attending the Marathon Golf Classic in Sylvania, taking part in karaoke and celebrating my birthday together.
All of the managers and leaders at O-I made work exciting and fun as they were supportive, always available and very professional. They helped me learn so much, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have interacted with them this summer.
At the end of the summer, I went through an interview process with the tax department and was offered a full-time position within the group as a tax analyst starting in January following gradation. I am very excited to start at a company where the culture is fantastic, co-workers are supportive and look forward to coming to work. O-I is a wonderful company that also supports individual goals and educational plans.
For instance, while going through my interviews in the tax department, they all supported my lifelong dream of obtaining a Doctor of Law degree. With the company’s support, I have decided that I will attend law school part-time at the University of Toledo in the evenings, which will help better my knowledge of corporate laws and compliance.
I look forward to the wonderful opportunities ahead with O-I, and I am so proud to be a Falcon! Without BGSU’s continued support through job expos, scholarships, mentors, teachers and student organizations, I don’t believe that I would have been as successful as I am today. I certainly wouldn’t have known about this incredible opportunity at O-I in the first place, so thank you, BGSU.