I spent the summer on Co-op at Quad/Graphics in Sussex, Wisconsin. I spent the first four of my twelve weeks with Quad rotating through several of their Wisconsin plants working in manufacturing teams, rotating through Offset, Gravure, Finishing, and Imaging. The last eight weeks were spent in my “administrative rotation” where I worked for the marketing team, mostly helping to create and edit videos.
Working on the manufacturing teams
My job at Quad/Graphics was hard work as they were four day work weeks with 12-hour shifts, but I found it actually one of the most rewarding parts of my experience at Quad. While we learn a lot of theory and printing basics here in the Media Arts and Technology program at RIT, watching and learning first-hand how a press run works with the pressmen for 12 hours every day was an experience that I will never have again, and I loved watching my knowledge leap from paper to in front of my eyes. I now have a huge respect for all printed materials from catalogs to perfume samples in magazines.
From production roles to an administrative position
My administrative rotation was great – I thought that the marketing department meetings were interesting to sit in on. As I got to working on my specific project, I had valuable input during our meetings. I worked on a project for the new Quad/Graphics recruitment website, workatquad.com, where my department conducted video interviews to edit and post on the website. I went on each shoot, and did the vast majority of the editing and graphics work. The team really liked my edits, and it was fun being able to have a finished product that was ultimately used on the website.
The Internship Program
My “internship coordinators” did a really good job of helping myself and the other interns feel at home very quickly. We went to barbecues, hung out by the lake, and were scheduled one day to go through many aspects of the company for more exposure to the postage, sales, scheduling, estimating, and several other departments and ask as many questions as we could.
Life in Wisconsin
I enjoyed exploring Wisconsin, especially Milwaukee in the summer. There is a lot of good music (some concert venues had reserved seats for Quad/Graphics based on a lottery- I got some tickets one weekend!), coffee, cheese, brat frys, and I had the opportunity to visit the state fair and try the, apparently famous, cream puffs. Let’s just say that you will never go hungry in Wisconsin.
Overall, my time at Quad/Graphics was a good way to spend a summer. I enjoyed learning how a huge company functions on a daily basis, and talking with other interns about their different administrative rotations. If you aren’t sure where exactly your interests may lie or what exactly you want to be when you graduate, I think that the Quad/Graphics Corporate Trainee Intern position is a great place to explore what sorts of roles are out there that you might not think of.
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