First of all, I’d like to start off my first post by thanking the LSA opportunity hub for my internship scholarship. Its helped me make this internship experience possible, and for that I am incredibly appreciative to all those who support and contribute to it. This summer I am working as a product management intern for Cummins Inc. If you don’t know Cummins, they are an American Fortune 500 company that designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products globally. Today I’d like to tell you a little bit about why I chose them as my summer internship company and the work that I will be doing for them as I move forward.
Why I chose my internship.
I met Cummins at the LSA career fair last fall. I approached their booth because I had used the career fair tool to filter job offers by my major (economics and business). This product management position showed up, and so I researched both the company itself and product management–I had no idea what it meant when I first saw it. If you’re also feeling like you need to conduct some background research, don’t worry; I’ll address product management and my role a little later in the post. For now, let’s just say that I did some research and learned enough about the company and position to approach the booth the following day. After speaking to the recruiter, I was particularly drawn to this company for a few reasons.
- Manufacturing. Growing up outside of Detroit and having a father who works at Ford has left me partial to this industry. While I am not an engineer like my father, nor feel that I am engineering inclined, the field still draws me and feels familiar.
- Company culture and values. Of all the companies that I spoke to, Cummins had the strongest set of core values I had seen. Moreover, they were in line with my personal values and many of those affiliated with the University of Michigan. The company information packet talked a lot about how Cummins is focused on positive global impact, diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and outside of it, as well as global environmental impact. I liked the idea of working for a company that stood for more than just profits and happy shareholders.
- Global. In addition to my economics background, I also hold a Spanish minor. I’m particularly interested in working and traveling abroad, as well as working with colleagues from all over the world. Cummins was the place for this. They have distributors in nearly every country in the world, as well as offices all over the United States. I appreciated this diversity and global aspect, as well as the flexibility to work in a variety of places as a full-time hire.
- Networking. I wasn’t sure what careers I was interested in and wanted to pursue. Cummins gives interns access to high-level professionals in the company for networking purposes. The company also allows networking cross-functionally and lets their employees switch jobs cross-functionally as well. This type of flexibility and freedom is important to me–especially as a young professional who isn’t ready to fully commit to a certain job or function just yet.
I followed through with the recruiting process and, long story short, ended up accepting my offer for the summer. Which brings me to the second part of my post:
What I’ll be doing this summer.
I am working as a product management intern within the engine business unit. Product management falls under the marketing division here and deals with managing a product through its life cycle. Essentially, you receive an engine family and become the expert on it for the decisions made surrounding it during all stages of its life cycle. A product manager provides pricing recommendations, strategy, and general advice about what to do with the engines. I’m part of Cummins’ New and ReCon parts division, which means that I’m working in the aftermarket. While some product managers work with the engines themselves before their release, I work with the parts and servicing of those engines after they’ve been released.
This summer I hope to explore career paths, learn more about product management and the technical side of marketing, as well as improve my business and professional skills.