Top Three Takeaways From Dot’s Internship Program

Written by Mary Farmer, Accounting Intern

Growing up in Quincy, I always heard about Dot Foods; everyone I talked to expressed positive attitudes about Dot as a company. Entering my junior year of the accounting program at Illinois State University, I knew I wanted to gain accounting experience in the real world through an internship that proceeding summer and decided to explore the possibility of an accounting internship at Dot. After visiting Dot’s website, I not only discovered that Dot did offer internships, but that they are an exceptional company with a fantastic culture. What makes Dot unique is its focus on ensuring their employees’ job satisfaction through promotions within their current departments, as well as enabling employees to move around to various roles within the company even if it is outside of the employee’s current role or earned degree.

Real-World Experience

My first biggest takeaway from my Dot internship has been the real-world accounting experience I have gained this summer. Interning in the Accounting department has granted me the privilege to work on accounting-focused projects that directly relate to and affect Dot Foods as a company. My internship experience has provided me with valuable insight into the specific accounting programs, such as PeopleSoft and Vena, that the department here at Dot utilizes daily. In addition, I have been able to implement what I have learned in my accounting courses at Illinois State into my projects. Interning in the Accounting department at Dot has allowed me to experience what a career in accounting entails. Gaining experience in the accounting field this summer has bolstered my professional skills and furthered my accounting knowledge.

Learning How to Network & Gaining Connections

My second biggest takeaway from my accounting internship at Dot is that I was able to strengthen my networking abilities. My accounting projects involve working with different employees within the Accounting department to get directions on how to complete my projects, as well as using them as a resource for any questions I may have while pursuing my projects. 

I was also able to attend a networking event where I got to speak with other accountants outside of my department that worked in areas such as Accounts Receivable and Pricing. This allowed me to learn more about their role at Dot and how they interact with my Accounting department and the entire company. I have not only been granted networking instances with accountants at Dot but those outside my department, as well. Interns have been able to attend department roundtables where they get to learn and ask questions about various departments at Dot and learn more about how all the departments at Dot are interconnected. Dot also provides ample job shadow possibilities where interns can discover and shadow roles outside of their assigned department. All these various scenarios where I had the chance to interact with other employees at Dot permitted me to ask questions and become more familiar with Dot and the business world. 

Cross-Departmental Collaboration

My third biggest takeaway from my internship is the opportunities Dot provided for all of the interns to collaborate across departments. As a group, the interns attended a high ropes course where we got to challenge ourselves physically and mentally. This experience allowed us to meet each other better on an individual and group basis, as well as support each other as we each completed the ropes course. 

We also are collaborating on intern group projects to create presentations for specific Dot-related problems that we are tasked to solve. This allows interns to work together with those outside of their department to find an innovative solution to the proposed problem. 

The ropes course and the group projects have been two of my favorite experiences from my internship so far. They permitted me to build a connection with my fellow interns, grow professionally, and have an overall enjoyable internship experience at Dot Foods.

Mary is a student at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in accounting. She is planning on graduating from Illinois State in spring 2023 and sitting for the CPA exam shortly thereafter. Mary is from Quincy, Illinois.

Mary Farmer

Accounting Intern, Dot Foods Mt. Sterling