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Career development

Fostering connections and learning opportunities across our North America internship program

3 min read / August 24, 2023 / Staff writer

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The summer is drawing to a close and with it the 2023 internship program for interns at our Chicago, Milwaukee, Longview, Chattanooga and Peoria locations.

Our Komatsu interns are valuable colleagues that help us achieve our strategic goals and allow us to invest in our own future success, often discovering and developing new talent and future leaders.

Mike Gidaspow, executive sponsor for the Chicago internship program said, "A successful intern program needs to be beneficial for both the intern and the company".

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This year's group of talented interns proved that to be true as they brought new perspectives to our organization, challenging and questioning processes and bringing fresh ideas to the company. For the interns, it was a valuable opportunity to gain work experience in their field before they start their careers.

Komatsu offers an exceptionally rich internship experience, receiving high praise from participants each year.

"I think that maybe your idea of your first internship is that you'll be doing "busy work" and none of it will really matter," said Annelise Hanson, Product Management intern from the University of Notre Dame.

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"But I found that I was able to do a lot of meaningful research and create things to help people in the future of Komatsu." "I've been really pleased to work for a company that cares a lot about their interns, even sending us on trips to learn about Komatsu."

We offered a group of ten interns from Chicago, IL a chance to participate in a three-day trip to learn in-depth about our business. The interns toured the Chattanooga Manufacturing Operations facility, gaining firsthand insights into the company's manufacturing process. A visit to the Cartersville Customer Center offered them a chance to witness our equipment in action and see how the company's products directly serve our customers' needs.

A highlight of the trip was a presentation titled "My Life as an Intern and where I am now" by Ryan Stachowski, an Associate District Manager, who had begun his journey as an intern in 2019. The trip culminated with a visit to the Tractor and Equipment Company (TEC), a dealer location, affording interns valuable exposure to field operations.

This year we also hosted a "Milwaukee experience" event, which brought together 48 interns from various locations to our South Harbor campus in Milwaukee, WI. The event highlighted our commitment to nurturing talent and facilitated a dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences among interns and leaders. It was a full day experience, with developmental and informative sessions, a facility tour and interactive after-hours activities to demonstrate our appreciation to our interns.

In addition to helping their teams with day-to-day tasks, Komatsu interns take on a "capstone project" where they can identify problems, examine processes, conduct research and recommend solutions.

"Komatsu has made me feel valued, respected, and appreciated," says Lauren Sciullo, Product Marketing intern attending the University of Southern California.

"From the interview process to now I have always felt that Komatsu cared about what I had to say and what I could do", she adds. "Now that my internship has come to an end, I am sad to leave the relationships I've build and projects I've worked on. This internship experience was unforgettable!"

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By promoting cross-location relationships, introducing our core values and offering exposure to various facets of the business, the opportunities we offered to our 2023 interns undoubtedly will contribute to the growth and development of our next generation of leaders.

Mike Gidaspow, speaking to the group of interns during their capstone presentations in Chicago said, "Your curiosity, challenging spirit, collaboration, and strong work ethic, tied with your education is going to make you successful, whether you're at Komatsu or somewhere else."

We hope that our 2023 interns might consider returning to us in their future. But if not, we wish them well, knowing we've made a positive contribution to their education, and gained Komatsu brand ambassadors in the process.