Written by Mya Gladysiewski | Occupational Health Intern | Mt. Sterling, Illinois
My experience at Dot Foods this summer has been incredibly informative, insightful, and rewarding. I’ve learned so much about the significance of the culture of a company, personal development, and exploring opportunities outside of your field.
Culture Means Everything
Dot’s culture is what sold me on taking a chance on this internship. I was searching for a paid internship in my field, exercise science, which is very hard to come by. Most everything is shadowing physical therapists or unpaid fitness facility internships. I applied to the occupational health intern position without expectations since I’m from Pennsylvania, and the internship was in Illinois. However, after the interview process, I knew Dot’s culture was unique and worth the experience.
Dot truly values their interns. We weren’t just given busy work and then ignored. We were given meaningful projects and expected to collaborate with other full-time employees. We were also trusted to reach out to other companies on Dot’s behalf to complete our projects. My friends interning elsewhere have not felt the same about their summer experiences, so I’ve appreciated the importance of a company’s culture even more. Also, this internship made me appreciate the Occupational Health team and other Dot employees who have helped me this summer and made me feel at home.
Self-Awareness & a Growth Mindset
In addition to culture, Dot has taught me the importance of self-awareness and personal development. Dot has a flow chart that demonstrates precisely what specific skills are required by each position. This encourages employees to be self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses, so they can make improvements based on the position they’re pursuing.
Besides career development, focusing on personal development helps you be a better person in general. It’s refreshing to see tenured employees who aren’t complacent and want to continuously improve upon their weaknesses. With this growth mindset surrounding Dot, I’ve loved learning more about personal development and self-awareness.
Lastly, Dot’s internship program encourages interns to explore opportunities outside of their departments and college majors. As college students, there’s pressure to find a job in the field of your major. However, so many individuals at Dot work in different areas then they majored in college and are successful and happy. Dot helped ease my mind that a career not related to your major isn’t necessarily negative—especially since students choose their majors for many different reasons, and it’s not always what they’re genuinely interested in. I’m lucky enough to love my major and love the Occupational Health department I interned in at Dot. However, with networking and job shadowing events set-up by the internship program, I’ve realized there are many careers outside of my major that I could explore and challenge myself with.
I’d recommend Dot to anyone who isn’t sure what they want to do and wants to gain a wonderful professional experience. I’ve learned so much in nine short weeks and am so glad I took the leap to move to Illinois this summer.
Mya is a Kinesiology major at the Pennsylvania State University. Originally from Ford City, Pennsylvania, Mya took a big jump and moved to Mt. Sterling, Illinois, this summer to pursue her passion for occupational health. In her free time, Mya loves doing anything on the water—kayaking, boating, floating on a pool floaty, and more.