Invaluable internships

Two internships at Marathon helped propel Alexa Six ’15 at petroleum company

Photo courtesy of The (Findlay) Courier

By Bob Cunningham

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) offered Alexa Six a job in October of 2014, and she accepted.

Six, however, wouldn’t graduate from Bowling Green State University’s College of Business until seven months later. 

Her dedication to experiential learning had paid off. She had had three internships while enrolled at BGSU, including two at MPC. Her first internship was in the company’s global procurement department in Findlay, Ohio, and her second was in the marketing organization, based out of Duluth, Ga., near Atlanta.

“I was able to go through the majority of my senior year knowing I had a job at a great company waiting for me — the pressure was off,” said Six, who majored in supply chain management and marketing. “I interviewed after my second internship and got my job offer in October of my senior year.”

Six said the benefit of internships is they are like an extended interview for the company and for the intern. 

“It’s an invaluable experience,” she said. “You can find out if you’re interested in the company, what you like or didn’t like, and there’s no real commitment after that. If you do another one, you find out even more.

“I really enjoyed my internships with Marathon Petroleum. I liked the company and it’s a very dynamic industry which is always changing. You can never learn everything about it because it’s always going to be different.”

Six started at MPC’s headquarters in June of 2015 and went through a three-month training program. After completing the training, she began as a wholesale territory manager, a position she held until October of 2016. She was then promoted to brand territory manager and moved to Tallahassee, Fla. 

As a wholesale territory manager, she covered most of western and central Ohio and northern Kentucky’s unbranded customers. In Florida, she works with customers who supply Marathon brand stations.  

Six, barely out of college, is well on her way at a Fortune 50 company, and it all started with an internship. She can’t stress enough how important it is for current BGSU students to make sure they get an internship.

“It’s going to be difficult,” said Six, who grew up in Tiffin, Ohio. “It’s easy to go home for the summer and all that, but having an internship is necessary and something I think everyone should do. I’m glad it’s not required, because everyone’s circumstances are different, but if you can try to get any type of internship experience it will help you out in the long run. 

“We have so many opportunities at BGSU for internships, so I think it’s something that students should really take advantage of.”

There were other opportunities at the University, too.

Six had different on-campus jobs, which included working at the bookstore and being a peer facilitator for a business class. She also worked in the suites at Doyt Perry Stadium during home football games and other events. 

“I think all of those things, and being involved with the College of Business Student Ambassadors as well as the internships, career fairs and all of the different resources that I had available to me, helped me get those internships, then ultimately get my job.”

All of these things were what attracted her to BGSU in the first place.

“That fact that it had a big school feel in a small town environment is what I liked most about it,” Six said. “The experiences I had at Bowling Green, I don’t think I would have been able to do what I did anywhere else.”