Top Three Takeaways From Dot’s Internship Program

Written by Rachel Wilson, Accounting/Finance Intern

Pushing Boundaries to Learn New Skills

I had the chance to learn a lot of new things while at Dot. My project “PO Rejection Report Revamp,” taught me the most. I was charged with making a 34-column wide, and 6,000-row long Excel file—that is updated daily—easier to read and more efficient to process. I practiced my Excel skills, as well as my critical thinking skills, by adding new calculated fields, conditional formatting, and pivot tables to analyze the data. But the Excel skill I developed the most was creating macros. I had made a couple of macros in Microsoft Access in school, but I’d never tried it in Excel with something this ambitious. Discovering the unique order of operations that a macro requires, the lines of code that creates an input box to prompt the user, and the code modification that lets the macro adapt to the data in the file being a different length every day when it is updated was something I would not have originally told you I was well suited for. Ultimately, it was something I enjoyed exploring.

Cross-Departmental Collaboration

There were multiple instances this summer where I was able to work in a team setting and on projects that would benefit the entire Pricing team. My “PO Rejection Report Revamp” project was an example of both. I got to interview my team and work with them to get the output they wanted to see. But, the project I worked on that required the most teamwork and will hopefully have the most positive impact on others was the “New Employee Onboarding Timeline” group project.

Three other interns and I interviewed employees from all over the business that had been hired in the last 90 days to get feedback on where Dot’s onboarding/orientation experience was thriving, where it could be improved, and where there was room to implement our ideas. The interns and I got to brainstorm interview questions and new onboarding ideas together, create what we felt would be an ideal 90-day timeline for office employees, and present our findings to some of the senior members in the company, such as the vice president of Human Resources and the senior director of compensation and benefits. We did all of this in the earnest hope of thwarting people’s first-day jitters and making new employees’ first experiences at Dot smoother and more successful. This feeling of being a contributor and affecting the well-being of future employees was one of my favorite things about my internship experience.

Dot’s Commitment to a Positive & Worthwhile Intern Experience

My favorite part overall about my internship was Dot’s commitment to making it a positive and worthwhile experience for every intern. I got to meet managers from a variety of departments and go to intern training sessions to learn more about the company and how it works. They encouraged the interns to job shadow and held networking events for us to stimulate our different professional interests and have an opportunity to learn more about them. All of the people I met throughout the company seemed committed to this goal, too. They were all very welcoming and encouraging. Everyone always reassures you that any mistake you might make has already been made before and just about anything could be fixed. People were always checking in to get feedback and make sure you were having a good experience. I had multiple check-ins with the recruiter who handled a lot of my interviewing process, the managers of my department, the mentor who helped me with all of my projects, and the director of the department. Ultimately, Dot’s commitment did lead to a positive and informative internship experience for me and my fellow interns.

My name is Rachel Wilson, I am a senior accounting major at Truman State University, and this summer I had the opportunity to be an accounting/finance intern in the Pricing department at Dot Foods in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. I first applied for the internship with Dot as a freshman in college after one of my dad’s friends told me about it and suggested that I apply, but I was not taken further into the hiring process. I applied again my sophomore year and got a position for summer 2020, which was postponed to summer 2021 due to the pandemic.

Rachel Wilson

Accounting/Finance Intern, Dot Foods Mt. Sterling

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