Maritz Internship Program Empowers Graduates to Grow Professionally
September 27, 2017
Each summer, Maritz offers select college students and recent college graduates a prestigious internship program, providing opportunities to take on meaningful, career-focused work and experience community involvement and volunteerism.
“The Maritz internship program is a highly sought-after program because college students get hands-on training with an established corporation and are offered professional and social networking events aimed to improve their overall experience,” said Ruthie Burst, human resources manager. “In return, these interns bring great value to our organization, and we are thankful for the time they spend with us as colleagues.”
Before they packed their bags to head back to campus or moved on to their next professional endeavors, we got a chance to connect with a couple of interns – Ben Kweskin and Katie Witthaus – to hear about their experience with Maritz.
Meet Katie and Ben
Ben interned with Maritz Law department. He is a J.D. candidate at the University of Missouri School of Law. He earned his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, having focused on political science with minors in legal studies and music.
Katie is interning with Maritz’ HR department. She recently graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Katie studied psychology and organizational communication and minored in human development and family science.
Q: When looking at places to intern, why did you pick Maritz?
Ben: Working in-house is always an incredible opportunity, especially so early on in a law student’s career. Working with such an incredible company made the choice a no-brainer.
Katie: I knew that Maritz has a rich history and strong reputation in St. Louis and I wanted to gain experience working for one of the best companies here in town.
Q: What was your favorite part about interning at Maritz?
Ben: Being involved at every stage of the decision-making process for how to go about responding to various legal issues.
Katie: I had two. I’ve loved getting to work on actual team projects and gain real-world experience. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know the people on my team; they’ve been incredibly kind and have taught me so much already!
Q: What specific project did you work on?
Ben: One project I worked on was coming up with corporate responses to various travel bans and advisories throughout the world. Specifically, TSA temporarily banned carry-on laptops. Many clients require their employees to keep their laptops in sight. I worked with compliance and procurement to discuss the possibility of buying bulk laptops that would be specially protected and have only the bare minimum information on them to protect as much confidential information as possible.
Katie: I assisted with many HR-related projects. Specifically, I helped enhance our learning system to help guide employees in their learning and career growth.
Q: What do you want to do when you post-graduation?
Ben: Either work in private law or as an in-house counsel.
Katie: I hope to continue on with a career in either human resources or communications here in St. Louis.
In addition to taking on projects that afford them real-work experiences, Ben, Katie and 10 other students taking part in the Maritz internship program, had the opportunity to give back to the community, experiencing first-hand the generosity and commitment Maritz has toward its community and partners.
They went to camp! Camp Wyman, that is, an organization committed to empowering teens and adults to succeed, regardless of their circumstances. Over the course of the day the interns had the opportunity to clean up the camp and get to know the staff, campers, and each other better. Aside from sweeping, mopping, painting and scrubbing, the interns interacted with actual campers.
“Because many of these campers aren’t familiar with the college process, we were able to discuss with them the general application ‘how to’s’, what to expect while on campus, and the benefits of receiving a college education,” said Katie.
In addition to “going back to camp” for a day, the interns were tasked with creating, developing and executing a campaign benefiting a Maritz non-profit partner St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Working together, the interns hosted an employee card signing event and then delivered more than 500 notes of encouragement to children at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. While there, they toured the Child Life Center Library, the Hospital’s Schoolroom and Sibling Playroom, all of which have been funded by endowments established by Maritz and in alignment with our giving focus on educational endeavors.
“Our internship program is a great way for students and recent graduates to get a small glimpse into what working for a long-standing corporation is like, while gaining an understanding of the importance of giving back to your community,” continued Ruthie. “We continue to grow our internship program because of its success, and the fact that year-after-year we have students who continue to come back and intern with us and even get converted to full time status.”