The Advance-Titan

Belmark offers opportunities to UWO students

Nicole Horner

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Business and project management students can gain important experience and skills by joining an internship and co-op program provided by a company called Belmark.

Heather Swanson, who runs recruitment at Belmark and is in charge of the internship program, said Belmark has provided an internship and co-op program for about 10 years.

“About 10 students every year are hired in different areas of the business to help with daily departmental tasks, as well as projects that correlate with their majors,” Swanson said.

Last year, UW Oshkosh student Cameron O’Connell took part in the program as a Customer Service Representative intern.

According to Swanson, Belmark is a converter of pressure-sensitive labels, printed flexible packaging and folding cartons.

“We are one of the largest and fastest growing converters in the industry,” Swanson said.

According to Swanson, Belmark’s customers play a key role in the company’s fundamentals.

“Belmark focuses on four key values to exceed our customer’s expectations,” Swanson said. “Our commitment and dedication to these values allows us to aggressively grow while profitably exceeding our customers’ needs. A blend of speed, quality, innovation and exceptional customer service separates us from our competition.”

Swanson said the company has been customer-oriented since its founding.

“Since our beginning in 1977, Belmark has built its business and reputation on providing innovative labeling and packaging solutions for our customers,” Swanson said.

“Throughout our growth, we have maintained our original commitment to customer service and quality. That commitment is demonstrated in every labeling and packaging solution we deliver.”

Swanson said Belmark has opportunities for people both in and out of college.

“[The] Belmark internship and co-op program is open to qualified college students,” Swanson said. “However, we have various educational programs for eligible high schoolers, technical college students and full-time employees.”

According to Swanson, Belmark’s interns play a key role in the success of the company.

“For Belmark specifically, this [internship program] allows our teams to make connections with possible full-time candidates,” Swanson said. “It also helps out with a department’s workload. Our interns are a very big part of why our company is successful.”

In addition to the company benefiting from the internship program, Swanson said students can learn a lot from Belmark’s internship and co-op program.

“Every student that comes to Belmark will leave with a great understanding of the industry, our business and what a typical career path would look like at Belmark,” Swanson said.

O’Connell said the tasks of the internship involve more than just getting coffee.

“Throughout the course of the internship I was trained on every facet of the company and then had extensive training in the areas I would specifically be working in,” O’Connell said. “My work as a Customer Service Representative intern consisted mainly of interpreting and entering purchase orders, translating customer wants into label requests, revising proofs and sending them to clients and working on various projects.”

Swanson said the internship consists of several tasks, especially for Customer Service interns like O’Connell.

“We have multiple internship and co-op opportunities, but our Customer Service interns have two main phases to their internship,” Swanson said.

Swanson said the first phase is to learn Belmark’s business.

“They go through our Ascend training, which is a three-part process, and get to know their role, the roles that support them and the rest of the packaging process,” Swanson said.

Swanson said the second phase is to assist the department with different customer and sales projects.

“They not only enter projects, but act as an internal sales support system,” Swanson said.

Swanson said when it comes to selecting student interns, Belmark looks for several attributes.

“For our Customer Service internship, we look for students that are in majors and emphases like project and business management, communication or sales,” Swanson said. “For our Research and Development Co-op, we look for manufacturing engineering, packaging engineering or environmental engineering. Overall, we look for students that show drive, initiative and a willingness to learn.”

Several UWO business students, like freshmen Palmer Kelsey and Ernie Bennwitz, said internships can help students gain experience that will help them in the long run.

“Most internships lead to a full-time job,” Kelsey said. “It gets your foot in the door.”

“It gives you more knowledge of what you want to be,” Bennwitz said. “It also gives you an outlook of how things are going to be in the real world.”

According to Swanson, there are a variety of ways in which this internship helps students get ahead in their careers.

“There are so many other benefits that students gain by having an internship or co-op experience than just learning about an industry and business,” Swanson said. “Ultimately, students should learn more about themselves and what they are looking for in a career. They can network with experts in the industry, be mentored and coached through real life experiences and gain transferable skills that can help them the rest of their life.”

O’Connell said students gain not only experience, they also learn valuable skills from this internship.

“Extremely transferable work skills and experience are the best thing to take away from Belmark,” O’Connell said. “The company culture is sensational as well. The connections I have made and the knowledge and skills I have gained have definitely aided me in securing full-time employment in a corporate setting before I have graduated college.”

Swanson said there are many opportunities for students to become a part of this program.

“Students can join Belmark by applying to openings, coming to see Belmark at local Career Fairs or contacting our Talent Acquisition Team,” Swanson said.

Swanson said applications for opportunities like this can be found on Belmark’s website.

“Anyone interested would apply and then our Talent Acquisition Team would follow-up with qualified candidates,” Swanson said.

According to O’Connell, there are several components of this program that made interning with Belmark enjoyable.

“The culture and competitive pay are are great perks of the job,” O’Connell said. “Everyone at Belmark is so friendly and willing to help with any questions a student may have. Belmark is also extremely understanding of the school-work balance and emphatically believes in the sentiment ‘school comes first.’”

Both Swanson and O’Connell said students should consider joining Belmark’s internship program for different reasons.

O’Connell said the opportunities Belmark provides help interns gain valuable experience.

“Belmark cares very deeply about training and development,” O’Connell said. “I have seen this not only in extensive training I received, but also in the fact that Belmark offers employees options of going to seminars or industry functions in order to learn and bring knowledge back to the company. This commitment to learning and the extremely transferrable skills one will gain through this internship make it a very intelligent choice.”

Swanson said students should join the program because of the type of environment the company creates.

“Belmark believes in a work-life balance, community involvement, teaching and mentoring employees, keeping employees well and a close-knit culture,” Swanson said. “If students are interested in joining a growing team like this, they can find our openings on www.belmark.com.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Belmark offers opportunities to UWO students