Business students profit from IBM internships

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Cloud State University students at IBM in Rochester

St. Cloud State University faces at IBM in Rochester this year included from left Courtney Cartney ’99, a manager in finance who’s worked at the company since graduation; intern Ashlee Anvik; Adam Fuchsteiner ’05 ’07, who’s been a financial analyst in IBM Software since 2008; and intern Amy Erickson.

Adam Fuchsteiner ’05 ’07 squeezed a lot of opportunity out of his six years at St. Cloud State. Besides earning bachelor’s degrees in international business and German and a master’s in business, he explored a world of career options through internships with global companies in Germany and Minnesota.

At the Gustav Alberts metal manufacturing firm in Herscheid, Germany, Fuchsteiner polished his German, developed problem-solving and technical skills and worked with people from all over the world. But it was International Business Machines – IBM – that successfully recruited the St. Cloud native a year ago, after his internsip there.

Now Fuchsteiner is applying the solid understanding of business he developed as a student and intern to his job as an IBM financial analyst, while other St. Cloud State students hone their business skills with their own IBM internships.

Since 1991 the Herberger College of Business has placed 23 interns at the Rochester IBM facility and one at IBM in Fairfax, Va. “We wouldn’t keep going back if the caliber of students wasn’t high,” said Charleen Huber, program manager, finance transformation, at IBM in Rochester. “St. Cloud is definitely competitive amongst the schools where we recruit interns.”

Like Fuchsteiner, IBM interns Ashlee Anvik and Amy Erickson chose St. Cloud State’s College of Business because of its national accreditation and curriculum they say teaches every function of business. “I came from a small town (Sidney) in Montana,” said Anvik, who’ll graduate in December 2009. “I considered the U of M, but I knew smaller St. Cloud State was also a good business school and offered good opportunities.” She started her seven-month internship in IBM’s finance section in May 2008, working as a co-op expense financial analyst.

“It’s a great time to be learning more about the real world of finance,” Erickson said. “It’s been interesting to see how a struggling economy affects different aspects of business.”

Like many St. Cloud State students, Andover native Erickson also gained experience through her college years working part-time, at U.S. Bank. And, like Fuchsteiner and Anvik, she developed leadership skills through involvement in student organizations and other campus activities. She also credits the Office of Career Services for boosting her preparation for a career in financial marketing and wealth management. “St. Cloud State’s career center does a great job of teaching resume writing and hosting career fairs,” she said.

Courtney Benda Cartney ’99, who has been working for IBM in her home town of Rochester since receiving her St. Cloud State degree in finance, is a regular recruiter at college career fairs – especially St. Cloud State. Currently a manager in the finance area of IBM, she relates to the broad experience St. Cloud State recruits are getting on campus and relishes the ever-evolving world of finance. “The world changes, the economy changes, and business changes with it.”

St. Cloud State students are pleased with the opportunity to build on the experience a six- to seven-month internship at IBM offers. “I was given responsibility and independence, which helped me learn about my career field,” Anvik said. “IBM’s a great place to start.”

Huber said IBM gives student-interns a chance to delve into the real world of business. “These are real jobs, not short-term projects,” she said. “These students come in with a very strong set of skills and are quick studies. They really contribute during their internships here.”

- Marsha Shoemaker

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