Sharing an eagerness to learn both on the job and academically, two NIU students earned Intern of the Year scholarships from NIU Career Services.
The following awards were presented at an April 19 banquet on campus:
- Gold Award—Andrew McComb, operations and information systems major
- Silver Award—Madisen Frye, industrial and systems engineering major
NIU Career Services chose the winners based on their communication skills, letters of recommendation from employers and NIU faculty, and academic achievement. Employer sponsors provide the funding for the scholarships.
Here’s a closer look at the honorees:
Andrew McComb, Operations Management and Information Systems major
McComb completed an advanced analytics internship with West Monroe Partners, a technology consulting firm in Chicago.
“Every day, I would come to work to tackle complex business and technical problems with an incredible team that would help me as I strove to develop into both a ‘deep technologist and business consultant,’ the firm’s motto,” he said.
He adds the experience helped him build his “executive presence” at work: “I am more thoughtful, more decisive and more confident.”
“Andrew made significant contributions to the culture of the team and to the practice as a whole,” said Gus Wigen-Toccalino, a senior consultant at West Monroe Partners. “His eagerness to learn seemed nearly inexhaustible and his enthusiasm for the field proved unwavering.”
Elizabeth Towell, retired College of Business associate dean, wrote about McCombs’s academic work: “Andrew has amazing academic prowess, an outstanding work ethic, notable engagement in the local community, and visible loyalty and dedication to NIU.”
Madisen Frye, Industrial and Systems Engineering major
Frye interned with Ideal Industries, an electrical manufacturing company in Sycamore, where she worked with a machine called a BSI counter.
“Being able to see a project that I was the head of, work out from start to finish, made me very proud,” she said. “During my time at Ideal, my mentors pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I was tasked with many projects that didn’t relate to my field of study but rather related to other types of engineering, such as manufacturing and mechanical. I believe that the knowledge I have gained in these other disciplines will put me far ahead of any other industrial engineer that does not have that knowledge.”
“Madisen has gone above and beyond to contribute to the success of the company,” Paul Cummings, manufacturing engineer at Ideal, said of Frye’s abilities. “A major project that Madisen spearheaded that stands out is her work on the BSI Counter machine. With the data that she collected and her innovative thinking of using an existing machine to run parts on, she saved the company well over $150,000.”
Christine Nguyen, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, wrote: “Maddie demonstrates the ability to learn concepts beyond the barriers of the classroom and a great attitude and enthusiasm to learn from others. She is dependable by her peers, as well as her co-workers and professors.”