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Internships are a vital part of the college experience at Drury. Students of the Breech School of Business are required to complete an internship during their college career.
The American Italian Pasta Company (AIPC) is one company where Breech students have found success in a summer internship program. Three Breech graduates—Chris Barratt, Melissa Hollon, and Kristen Pflumm—completed the program during summer 2011.
The headquarters of AIPC is located in Kansas City, MO. AIPC is dedicated to producing dry pasta and has three plants in the United States and Italy. The company hires interns to work in finance, accounting, marketing, and IT. The AIPC internship program teaches students a variety of skills to benefit them in the future, such as project management skills, presentation skills, career planning skills, and business etiquette skills.
Recent Breech graduate, Chris Barratt, had the opportunity to do an internship with AIPC in the summer of 2011. Chris discovered the internship opportunity through his professors at Breech. His time at AIPC put him at an advantage for his future.
“The internship has been beneficial to me because it got me exposure to the corporate side of business,” Chris explains. “I learned how to approach new jobs and tasks that I had not been exposed to before. Also, I got to work with different individuals and departments in a company to complete tasks and projects.”
Melissa Hollon, former Breech student, also found some benefits of working with AIPC as an intern. The company allows their interns to lead in hands on business projects. Melissa’s task was to research a problem she was given, find a solution, and convince others as to why her solution was the best.
“AIPC had kind of a different outlook on the way the interns should be employed,” Melissa says. “They really wanted to engage you in what the company was doing already and treat you—basically—like a regular employee. AIPC gave each intern a specific project to tackle.”
Students also found that the AIPC internship program gave them the experience to move forward. The internship with AIPC helped Chris receive other opportunities.
“The internship at AIPC gave me the experience and background to land my next internship this coming summer at PricewaterhouseCoopers in St. Louis. One of my projects at AIPC was developing better Governance, Risk, and Compliance procedures for the company,” Chris explains. “My part in this was to help develop better ways for the company to track and document its internal controls on a Project Lifecycle Management platform. My experience with this made me an ideal candidate at PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Risk Assurance department which audits the internal controls of public companies.”
AIPC has sought out Drury students for the internship program since 2009. Jennifer Nollette, AIPC recruiter, visited Drury’s main campus February 2012 to conduct interviews for the summer 2012 program.
“AIPC began working with Drury in the summer of 2009 with an intern working for AIPC. Since then, the program has grown and AIPC seeks out Drury students to fill intern positions and entry level business positions,” Jennifer explains.
The interns gained valuable experience from working with AIPC. They also made important connections with the employees, some of which are Drury alumni.
“As Drury alumni, we recognize the importance of giving back to the university in any way we can as well as helping the next generation of Drury students prepare for their future,” Jennifer says.
Other Drury alumni at AIPC include President Walt George, who currently serves on the Breech Business Advisory Board, and Director of Sales and Operation Planning, Brandon Jobe.
Melissa adds, “There are about 100 people in that office. Working in an office of 100 people, I got to know almost everyone. Those connections are not going to easily be broken.”
Interview and article by Kaitlyn Schwers. Kaitlyn is a sophomore majoring in communication.