Human Resources Intern - Melissa Eisenzimmer
This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.
Cummins full-time interns enjoy a challenging 10-week experience where education and career development converge. It’s a mix of unique experiences that help college students understand if Cummins is a fit for their professional aspirations after graduating. Melissa Eisenzimmer, a full-time Human Resources intern, is quickly learning that Cummins is not one of those ordinary jobs.
Melissa, a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and Human Resources MBA student at Saint Xavier University, works with our HMDL (Heavy Duty, Mid-Range & Light Duty) Engine Business and Operational Excellence teams. She’s leading three critical project initiatives before returning to school in the Fall.
“My experience has been great because I get exposure to the entire team, our leadership and the business. Everyone empowers me to make my own choices and provides feedback to help me get better. It’s exciting for me to lead projects that will impact the Company long term.”
And now for your All Access pass:
Melissa starts her day early in a strategy meeting with her manager and the Vice President of HMLD to discuss an upcoming intern event and status updates.
“This morning we’ve set aside time to coordinate planning initiatives and critical details. There are several different leadership members who will be at the event, so it’s a high visibility discussion with something for everyone. We’re developing all of the event elements in motion.”
After the meeting, Melissa returns to her desk and begins working on data analysis for the primary project of her internship. She’s analyzing team strengths and development opportunities across all HMLD employees. It’s an opportunity for her team to shine during a high profile international assessment.
“Our recommendation to leadership at the end of the project will include opportunities for employee development that are correlated with past successes. It’s challenging for me because there’s so much to consider with a global company— employee diversity, internal promotions, training successes and many other drivers connected to professional improvement.”
Melissa’s military experiences have prepared her for the project in many ways.
“I was an Administrative Specialist and Corporal in my final role in the Marine Corps. That taught me the importance of taking initiative as a leader. You’re encouraged to work autonomously here, but you’re never alone because the team supports you whenever you need it.”
Around mid-day, Melissa reconnects with a group of her intern colleagues over lunch. It’s a relaxing time of listening to stories about everyone’s professional development and an opportunity to make deeper connections around the Company.
Melissa returns to her desk after lunch for a one-on-one meeting with her manager. They have a weekly check-in conversation to discuss her projects and how she’s learning inside her role.
“Cummins self-development programs are in motion as soon as you start. I met with my manager during HR onboarding and had a clear understanding of my role the first week on the job. Now that I’m doing my job, she’s helping me connect with everyone on our team. I can see the opportunities to gain exposure inside our department and learn more about future roles.”
During the meeting, Melissa and her supervisor discuss an employee lunch-and-learn informational session many interns recently attended.
“I had the opportunity to understand why Cummins is acquiring different companies and the global growth drivers behind the acquisitions. As an intern, there’s a real benefit to a Company who wants to keep employees up-to-date. It helps with my future employment options.”
Melissa walks down to the corporate office building cafeteria after talking with her Supervisor to connect with a team colleague and collaborate on a presentation. The two ladies grab a light afternoon snack and begin reviewing gender distribution data across compensation classes. Their goal is to make data-driven recommendations for training events connected to increase employee retention.
“Cummins is big on diversity and many of our recruiting programs focus on talent acquisition around the world. This is a global project where I’m recommending action plans for employees in India, Germany, and the United Kingdom to refocus their training work plan.”
At the end of the day, Melissa follows up with her manager on new data sent to her while in the cafeteria with her colleague.
“It’s important for me to gain her perspective on incorporating this new information into our analysis. I feel valued when she spends time with me, and interns get to connect with leaders who make a difference. It’s an open door policy here and we’re part of the big picture too.”
Melissa leaves the office for the day and connects with Cummins affinity group of employees living in downtown Indianapolis and commuting to Columbus. She’s looking forward to meeting new people and connecting with other interns.
“When I was in the military, you had a connection because everyone was working toward a similar mission. The intern program has many of the same values – especially since everyone is working hard to achieve their goals and be successful. It’s easy to have fun, bond with each other at Cummins and enjoy what we’re all experiencing.”