By Josh McGuire
Finance Major, Honors College
Rachael Wecker, a junior at Grand Canyon University, ventured into an internship with ON Semiconductor after a tour of the corporate facility organized by the Honors College. She was appreciative of the help to land the role, but that wasn’t the hard part.
“There’s a large learning curve with data and analytics – so many things that I’ve learned in the field that you don’t learn in school,” she said. “There are certainly aspects of my education that I have used throughout my internship, but there are so many more things on the job.”
Despite the challenge, Wecker joined the sales and marketing department as a business and analytics intern and found a talent and direction for her career path.
What is ON Semiconductor?
“It’s a business internship but at an electrical engineering company.”
ON Semiconductor was once a Motorola Company that was spun off to follow the industry on semiconductor technology. Founded in 1999, the evolving technology of conductors became a central component for city power systems. Wecker told me she joined the company at an interesting time as ON grows and develops unique technology. On a day-to-day, Wecker was likely doing any number of tasks:
- Analyzing market shares across the industry
- Communicating data with sales managers and area directors
- Developing relationships with distributors
- Managing planning systems
- Performing large data handling
All this while still building up her resume. Creating powerful technology while focusing on analytics and strategy is a unique combination.
Learning on the Job at ON Semiconductor
“I’ve had to overcome the massive learning curve of learning entirely new systems, learning how to handle hundreds of thousands of rows of data, perform among teams and collaborate with interdepartmental projects.”
Interestingly, with a background in biomedical engineering, Wecker told me she discovered a hidden talent for analytics. “I regularly observe client interactions and business presentations,” she said.
Interns don’t give the presentations right away because of the complexity of the ON Semiconductor systems and verbiage. Wecker told me about her a ha moment came during a client presentation. She understood each data mark and every term her manager brought up. “I recognized that although I may not know everything, I don’t know nothing,” she said. “It is super easy to feel defeated and incompetent when placed in an entirely new situation.”
But take this as a sign: You have the power to learn and impact the department of your dream company!
The Value of an Internship
“This is what I hope to do with the rest of my career so being able to get my feet wet allowed me to determine where I wish to focus my career goals.”
For Wecker, her internship was a humble learning experience, discovering something is not always easy and starting slow. She said it wasn’t the daily tasks that made it special, but rather engaging with managers and peers to learn. “Having this great industry experience while still being a part of a student learning environment is everything,” she said.
Advice to Honors Students
“Go to the Career IMPACT Center and have them help you build a resume, get job interviewing skills and take professional headshots for LinkedIn accounts,” Wecker advises. “Also, get to know your professors who have connections outside of the classroom in the field that you want to go into. It is incredibly valuable to have professor as advocates, but they can’t advocate for you if they don’t know you.”
The GCU Honors College helps bright and ambitious students find their purpose. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information button.
More about Josh McGuire:
Josh McGuire is a finance, entrepreneurship and Christian studies student at GCU. He works for the Honors College as an event planner and interned for SEED SPOT and Operation Angel Whings. Additionally, he serves as a senator on ASGCU and club president for Defenders GCU and Circle K International.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.