Coyote Logistics

This summer I have the incredible opportunity to live in Chicago and intern at Coyote Logistics. Coyote is a non-asset based third-party logistics provider (3PL). A 3PL performs duties such as quoting, booking, routing, and auditing, but doesn’t need to own warehousing facilities, vehicles, aircraft, or any other transportation assets. This type of logistics provider possesses only desks, computers, and freight industry expertise to sell transportation without actually providing it. A majority of Coyote’s business focuses on moving freight over-the-road, which means we help customers move their inventory by matching them with reliable carriers looking to fill their empty equipment.

Since starting the Coyote U internship program I have experienced a one week crash course of everything logistics.  In training I have learned everything I need to know about Coyote’s systems and processes for selling and tracking loads across the country.  I was given access to Coyote’s online training manual and received plenty of hands-on experience.  On Friday of the first week of training we took a final exam to test our knowledge.  This seemed extremely intimidating at first but I was amazed at how much I was able to take in and learn through only one week of training.

Adapting to Coyote’s corporate culture has been a seamless transition. All employees are encouraged to dress extremely casually, most people wear shorts and flip-flops all summer long. Everyone has welcomed our new intern class with open arms. It’s clear that Coyote is committed to hiring the smartest and most team oriented employees in the industry. I can’t wait to hit the sales floor next week and begin making a difference for Coyote’s carrier sales team.

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OFA Week 1

Some of the new things within the Office of Financial Aid this week, include the new loan rates and the process of receiving a parent plus replacement loan.   The current interest rate for the subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students is 3.86% annually, and both of those rates are going to increase again this year.  The new rate for the 2014-2015 school year will be 4.66% for both the subsidized and unsubsidized annually.   The 4.66% is still a better rate for the unsubsidized loan that we have seen in the past.   Between 2006 and 2013 the unsubsidized interest rate was 6.8 %.  Graduate students are not eligible to receive subsidized loans but are still offered an unsubsidized loan as long as they have not reached their loan max.  The total loan max is $138,500 which includes the all the loans taken out during the student’s undergraduate.  At the graduate level the unsubsidized loan rate is different from the undergraduate rate.   For graduate level students the unsubsidized loan rate will 6.21% for the 2014-2015 school year.   The parent plus loan interest rate is also going to be going up for the 2014-2015 school year.  The new interest rate for the parent plus loan will be 7.21% annually.    In order to receive a parent plus loan the parent of the student must submit an application and go through a credit check.  If the parent is approved the loan is applied to the students account if it is not approved there are a couple options the student and parents can discuss.   One of those options being the parent plus replacement loan.

In order to eligible for the parent plus replacement loan a student must have a parent contribution of zero, or the parent has to be denied the parent plus loan.  The process to receive the plus replacement has added a new step just this summer.   Now the student must also maximize their Stafford loans before obtaining the plus replacement loan.  The government instituted this rule because the plus replacement loan is actually just additional unsubsidized loan in the student’s name.  The additional unsubsidized loan however does not contribute to overall loan max of the student.  The student can only receive $ 26,500 in plus replacement and then the student must look into other options to make up for the loss in not receiving the parent plus loan.  Maximizing the Stafford loans in most cases doesn’t allow interest to accrue while in school.  In most cases the student is able to pull subsidized loans from future semesters.  Utilizing the subsidized loans will keep interest down and overall debt.  The unsubsidized loan that would come from the plus replacement would accrue interest from the time it is disbursed, so the student is saving money with this regulation in place.  In order to maximize the Stafford loans it is recommended that the student comes in to the office to receive loan counseling as maximizing the Stafford loans can affect future semester’s aid.

 

Greenstone FCS

I have the pleasure being the regional sales intern at Greenstone Farm Credit Services this summer! Greenstone FCS is the sixth largest association in the farm credit system and currently has about eighty percent market share in Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin. Greenstone FCS currently has 36 branches throughout Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin and it is headquarter in East Lansing. This entire summer I will have my main office in East Lansing and will be traveling to selective branches depending on my current projects.

I just finished the second week of my internship and I am already learning tons about the Agricultural lending system.  Greenstone’s company culture is a direct result from the core values of the company, which is referred to as the CoreFour Values. The CoreFour Values are: Customers First, Delivery Quality, Get Involved, and Do the Right Thing. The CoreFour Values are strategically placed around the office on coffee mugs, computer desk tops, and Greenstone personalized office supplies. The CourFour Values are shown through every single employee’s work and daily tasks. Hopefully this summer I can demonstrate these values through the projects and activities that I participate in.

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Week 1 at Helena Chemical

I have been lucky enough to accept an internship with Helena Chemical Company for the summer. Helena Chemical is a company that specializes in seed, chemicals, and fertilizer for production agriculture all throughout the United States. Helena obtains many partnerships and affiliations throughout the agriculture industry. One of these partnerships in Green Valley Agriculture. Helena supplies Green Valley with chemicals and they sells those chemicals to their customers. Green Valley Agriculture in Caledonia, MI is where I will be working this summer. As a junior in Agribusiness Management I am very excited to further my knowledge in the agriculture industry with such a well known company like Helena.

My first week as an intern just happened to be one of Green Valleys most intense times of the year. With the amount of rain that we have had all of the farmers are running behind on planting and need all of their products all at once when the rain stops. I was introduced to many of the employees and was given a description of their responsibilities and duties at the office. I was then introduced to the various fields that I will be responsible for scouting throughout the summer for several customers of Green Valley. I will identify problems in the fields like weeds, insects, and diseases and report back to the sales representative at my plant. Those reports will then be sent to the farmer for him to fix the problems in a timely fashion to ensure a hardy crop. This rain has made for perfect conditions for insects like cutworm, slugs, and white grubs. I was fortunate enough to find these insects in several fields and report them so that the farmer can take action. Below is a picture of cutworm and the damage it causes to a corn plant.

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I am excited to further my knowledge and hands on experience as a Helena intern. Next week I plan to learn more about sales by talking with the Green Valley representatives and to continue scouting. So far my experiences have all been positive and I look forward to what the summer has to bring me.

Diversey’s Newest Intern

Happy Friday everyone! As week one of my internship comes to a close, I reflect on my first impressions of this experience. Our first day consisted of intern orientation and meetings, learning the ins and outs of the company, and where each of our roles come into play. This was followed by a networking event where we were able to meet our own personal managers and mentors in a laid back setting, giving us some indication of what our summer project would be. The very next day, we settled into our cubicles, were issued company laptops, and got right to work. 

I am a Food Service and Lodging Intern for Diversey, a division of Sealed Air, which was originally a packaging company under S.C. Johnson. I focus on marketing and sales within the DiverseyCare division, where we specialize in promoting and selling our own brand of chemical hygiene solutions. Globally, Diversey is the number one company in the Food Service market, but we rank lower in the United States. My project is to research and evaluate all aspects of our marketing position, products, revenue, sales volume and service, and compare these to those our top competitor (who I cannot name) who currently dominates the Food Service Hygiene market. From there, I will come up with ideas and solutions of my own on how we can innovate our growing Food Service sector of Diversey to hopefully become number one in the United States market. At the end of the summer, I will present my project to our leadership team.

So far, I like my overall experience. Moving to Racine, Wisconsin was definitely a transition from growing up in East Lansing surrounded by family. Now, I’m all by myself, I don’t know anyone, and I’m honestly very homesick. But I have hope that I will get into the swing of things here soon. This is all part of the adult experience! I hope everyone had a good start to their internships, I’ll keep you posted on mine.

Starting off at Sill Farms

I have the honor to be interning at Sill Farms Market, Inc. I have previously worked for Sill Farms in the past, and have gained thorough insight on how the company operates.  As a junior at MSU majoring in Agribusiness Management, this is a perfect fit for me. Not only do I enjoy interning at Sill Farms, but I get to apply my knowledge and grow as an individual in the workplace and learn what my schooling is all about.

Sill Farms has a great history, dating back to 1950, in the fruit processing business. Sill Farms processes apples, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries. At first, looking in from the outside, I was not sure what to expect. To me, I figured that there could not be much to running the plant and that business just went on from a day to day basis. This turned out to be completely opposite from what I originally thought. Every day there is a new set of problems that arise and have to be dealt with. Production has to be monitored very closely and every fine detail matters.

So far, I have been involved in the shipping and receiving department. There is a constant flow of product going out and supplies and ingredients coming in. The hardest part of this department, to me, is making sure that trucks are loaded properly so that they scale out to meet weight restrictions. This can be affected by the placement of just a few pallets on the trailer that could put the trailer or tractor overweight. Overweight loads can cause fines and other potential issues to trucking companies and Sill Farms.

So far, I am enjoying the start of my internship at Sill Farms. I enjoy the people that I am working with and look forward to learning more about how Sill Farms operates by moving around to different departments within the company so that I can get a better understanding of what goes on.

Working with Michigan’s Largest Handler of Grain

This summer I have the wonderful opportunity to work for Michigan Agricultural Commodities (MAC). As a sophomore at MSU and with Agri-Business Management as my major, I had to take a commodity marketing class with Professor Hilker. Going into the class I had no idea what I was going to learn. I didn’t grow up on a farm so I had no idea what anything he was talking applied to the “real world”. After completing the class I felt that I had a good background on what commodity marketing was but I never knew that there were so many opportunities to pursue within commodity marketing.

Working with MAC for the past few months I have learned about commodity marketing and grain handling. MAC has a rich company history which makes the job more interesting. Learning about the company when you first start a job always seems to be the most boring, but yet it is so important. MAC started as a small trading office in lansing. It took many years but has now grown into the company it is today. They own seven elevators and handle the most grain in the state of Michigan. Having a variety of locations throughout the state allows them a competitive advantage within grain marketing.

Learning about commodity marketing in the classroom is similar to what goes on in the real world. It is a lot of calculations and figuring out what the market is going to do. But there is no way to know what is going to happen so uncertainty and risk are huge factors in the business. Although I have not been able to have first hand experience with grain marketing within MAC, I have been able to be apart of daily conversations about the market and what prices will be set to for MAC facilities.

One piece of MAC that I am very excited to learn about is the logistics. MAC ships grain by truck and by rail and I think it will be cool to see how these two aspects of the company help the rest of the company out as well as just seeing how trucks and trains are handled on a daily basis.

This summer looks to be a great experience as I start my journey with MAC.

Roadside Safety Awareness Campaign, Michigan Capitol Building

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At Consumers Energy, safety is our highest priority. Each year our company works to spread awareness, so our workers and customers are safe. Campaigns include “Miss Dig Call 811”, the “Nose Knows” campaign as well as “Slow Down and Go Around”.  Employees at Consumers Energy work with dangerous electric and natural gas infrastructure and are often working near busy roadways. This year it was my role to help organize an event in Lansing to recognize our Roadside Safety Campaign and kick off our summer public service announcement. 

As a the intern in our State Government Affairs Department,  I was given responsibility over planning and communication for the event. This involved coordinating equipment reservations for Staging, Public Address System, Signage, and more. I worked together with our Strategic Communications Department to design display items, and press releases for the event. We assembled a coalition of partnered organizations and companies to help us spread our message. (This picture was taken from my office window)       Image As a part of the activities we worked with State Legislators and the Governor’s Office to have May 22, officially designated Roadside Safety Awareness Day. This involved drafting language to be used in the Governor’s Proclamation and Joint Resolution, as well as securing sponsor legislators to introduce the resolutions. We were able to have the Joint resolution passed on both the House and Senate Floors the day before our event.  We hosted a media event on the east lawn of the Michigan Capitol Building on the Morning of May 22. The event featured remarks delivered by our company’s Senior Vice President Dan Malone as well as the Director of Michigan’s Department of Transportation who delivered the proclamation on behalf of Governor Snyder. The event also featured remarks delivered by the legislators who sponsored the joint resolution, including Representatives Outman, Kurtz and Nesbitt as well as Senator Bruce Caswell.   

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The event went off very smoothly, and I greatly enjoyed the time spent coordinating the details with my co-workers. The only blemish on the day was how wrinkled my suit was after hanging signs, moving chairs and running all around inside an out of the capitol building all day. I look forward to working on more projects with our Public Affairs team while interning at Consumers Energy. 

 

The Trucking Industry & Me

I am an intern for Wiegand Mack Sales and Service, who conducts business in the trucking industry. The company I work for is located on 37580 Mound Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Wiegand Mack Sales and Service offers used truck sales, leasing, parts, and service for trucks and heavy-duty equipment. The trucks include Mack, Hino, and Mitsubishi Fuso trucks, and the parts include products from Eaton, Spicer, ArvinMeritor, Fram, and Delco.

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On May 14th, I started working at Wiegand Mack Sales and Services as their marketing representative in the parts department. My supervisor is Carl Piro and my mentor is John Oakley. Both have great experience in the trucking industry and have taught me a lot in just two weeks. To start off, I had to get familiar with products that our company sells and delivers. Before I went off on my own on the road, I followed John Oakley for a couple of days while he made routine calls and visited clients and active accounts of Wiegand Mack Sales and Service. It wasn’t hard for me to get the hang of it because I have grown up with my family in the trucking industry. Some customers remembered me when I was five years old, and from there we started with talking about the past to what current products we have for sale.

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My job as the marketing representative is to get the word out on the trucking market what Wiegand Mack Sales and Services has to offer. Not only do I want to inform customers about our products, but I also have to convince them that we are the best and the most unique in the field right now. Sometimes, it is not easy. Older age men don’t give me a chance to speak sometimes, but it doesn’t bother me. I prove them wrong and give them an earful they weren’t expecting. I am enjoying my job right now and I have a goal everyday to improve my skills and productivity.

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Working in Real Estate Development

This summer I am working for a real estate development company called Lombardo Development. The office is located in Birmingham, Michigan. My job as a sales and acquisition intern is to help the company buy homes and properties in the Royal Oak area. Alongside me are three other interns who are covering a different territory. The other interns are helping the company develop areas along the Woodward corridor: Ferndale, Troy, and Bloomfield Hills. Though I have only been at this job for a short period of time, I am learning a lot of new skills very fast. I am using mortgage and loan amortization rates on a daily basis in order to decipher what home owners may owe on a home before we can place a bid. Real estate is an industry I have never really had a particular interest in, but I am learning skills that I will definitely use later in life when purchasing my own first piece of real estate. The part of real estate that sets us apart from most people’s typical perception of realtors is that we buy homes and properties pre-market. When a house is put on market with a realtor, about 10% of the home’s cost will go to the buyer/seller agent, inspection, and closeout costs. By selling a home pre-market, we can save homeowners those expenses and typically offer them cash or financing options. Our intentions once we buy homes are to develop them: fix & flip, demolish & build, renovate, or rent/property management.

My day-to-day job responsibilities can vary and force me to be a good communicator, which is my strong suit. I am on the phone most of the morning talking with potential sellers and running the numbers backwards to determine the practicality of purchasing their property. In the afternoons I can do a various number of value-adding activities that impact my overall productivity. I typically drop by several properties we are looking at to meet with a seller and probe them for some unanswered questions. The late afternoons usually consist of keeping up with my territory/market and appointments with my supervisor to make offers.

Thus far, I am happy with the charismatic people I work with and I am looking forward to what more the real industry will have to offer me this summer, as well as professionally in the long-term.

Michael Zuke

This was my first day alongside the other interns and owner, Antonio Lombardo.

This was my first day alongside the other interns and owner, Antonio Lombardo.