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Internship Helps Thelen Gain Practical Experience at Consumers Energy

Each year, hundreds of Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through an internship. The experience of an internship also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills, and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require an internship, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Students are participating in various internships in a variety of locations this summer. Meet Andrew Thelen:

Andrew Thelen

Who: A senior from Sparta, Mich., majoring in Computer Information Systems

Internship: Consumers Energy in Jackson, Mich. The company is one of the nation’s largest combination utilities and provides electric and natural gas service to more than 6 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents.

What he’s learning: Thelen is responsible for performing internal Sarbanes-Oxley audits on various information systems the company uses. The audits he performs also are reviewed by Consumers’ external auditors. 

“I really enjoy the atmosphere at Consumers Energy, because nobody hesitates to help people, and everyone is very friendly,” said Thelen, who is being paid for the internship. “I also enjoy the culture and atmosphere my manager has created for his team, which is relaxed and highly productive.”

Thelen is learning how the audit process is performed in a Fortune 500 company as well as the different systems Consumers uses. He is required to understand what each system does and why it is needed in order to conduct fully through an audit.

How he’s benefitting: “I am being exposed to a full range of systems, and I learn a little bit on each and every one, especially on the systems I am auditing,” Thelen said. “I’m in a unique position, and I am able to have access to and interact with several C-level executives as a way to ask questions and get an idea of what it takes to work for a company such as Consumers and how they got to where they are today.”

Goal for the future: Thelen plans to apply for a position with Consumers.

Visit our "Meet the Interns" website for the most up-to-date listing of this summer's featured interns. Click here.