Guest Blog – My Week as a Drexel Extern

A Week with Team Blue

For the 2nd year in a row Drexel Building Supply participated in the Marian College Externship program. Drexel committed to spending a week with a college student. In return, we asked the student to write a guest blog about their experience here at Drexel that week. This is Kenzie Waechter, you can hear about her experience in her own words below. Team Blue enjoyed having Kenzie here with us for the week!

Kenzie Waechter’s Externship Experience Blog

For the past few months now, I have been asked, ‘What is an externship?,’ ‘Is it different from an internship?,’ ‘Why would you want to do an externship?,’ and ‘How will this help you?’ So to answer those questions, an externship is a job shadow with a couple loops such as, learning how the business runs and what the business does to become successful to help prepare college students for life after college. An externship is not an actual job, like an internship may be. The reason why externships are beneficial is because they will help prepare you for life after college and also help you decide on what type of major a person is thinking of pursuing. The business formulates an itinerary for the week that relates to your major. For example, I am planning to double-major in Healthcare Administration Management and Finance, so I got to work with the Financial Department of Drexel for a few of the days I was there.

For my externship, I chose to go to Drexel Building Supply in Campbellsport because, for one thing, I am a fellow Campbellsportian and also because I thought it would be fun to surround myself with many of the happy Team Members that are a part of Drexel. 

As I was preparing myself for my externship at Drexel, I was not really sure to expect. I’ve always heard Drexel’s mission which is to “Supply. Happiness.,” but I wasn’t really sure what they was meant by it. Cailtin Stoll, the Happy Department Leader, was my host for the week and she explained a lot about what Drexel is truly about. I also met with Chelsea Watzig, the Team Relations Leader, who further explained what Drexel is about and told me a little bit about what she does. One reason why Drexel is very successful and also a growing business is because all Team Members stick to the company’s mission and core value which include: Ethics, Winning Attitude, Teamwork, Communication, Respect, Balance, Development, Change, Accountability, and Have Fun. Something that I mentioned to Cailtin was that it is amazing how all the the Team Members stick to the mission and are ALWAYS HAPPY! Not trying to offend other businesses but, I literally have never seen a business where everyone on the Team is always happy and I think that is a major key to having success in a business. Everyone is always happy to be there and there is really no one that says “I don’t want to go to work” because everyone at Drexel loves where they work. One person had mentioned to me that, “Drexel is not a normal business” and after being there for a week I could see what they meant by that.

Drexel’s marketing team does a lot of work to make Drexel successful. I met with Stacey Stoffel who is the Marketing Leader of Drexel. Stacey has a lot of things that she works on throughout the day but, one thing I found exceptionally interesting was the Expo that she was organizing that will be taking place later in February. One of the main reasons Drexel organizes this Expo is because they are showing appreciation to the contractors and also the surrounding communities that support Drexel as a whole. Throughout the time with Stacey, I learned what different things she did and I also got to help her out with some of the Expo organizing that she had to do, which was a lot of fun. Something else I got to experience was seeing how the IT unit works with Nate Grinwald. I know what you’re thinking, “IT stuff, boring!” But, one thing that I was taught during this time was Security Awareness and its importance when using the Internet or any other social media site. I took an online class that taught me how to detect fake emails from legit emails that will protect you against the online predators that try to hack into your bank account or even the business’ bank account through fake websites. Learning this information will not only help me in the business I wish to pursue in the future but also, in my personal life as well. So to sum up my experience with IT, it was not AS boring as what some people told me it would be, it was very interesting and also very informative in ways that will benefit me personally now and in the future, thanks to Nate!

Now to the part that is more related to my major, FINANCE! There are many different parts to the Financial Department like, the AR (Accounts Receivable) and the AP (Accounts Payable) Departments and the Payroll and Insurance Departments. During my time with the AR and AP Team Members, I learned that the AR Team Members are the people that receive the payments of the customers and then they have to put the amounts into the system. The AP Team Members are the people that pay the Vendors who they buy their material from for the customers. I was able to participate in some hands-on tasks such as, putting truckers tickets with the correct invoice and I also got to put in some billing entries as well, which was a lot of fun. After working with the AR and AP Team Member, I went over to the Payroll and Financial Specialist, Amber Held. During this time, Amber explained to me how everyone get paid and explained the many different tasks that her job includes. She also explained the many benefits the Drexel provides to their Team Members such as, Scholarships that the children of the Team Members can receive through Drexel, Profit Sharing, 401K benefits, a Weather Bonus to the Team Members that work outside in extreme weather conditions, and many more. Learning about the Financial Department of Drexel was very overwhelming but, it is exciting to know what different things I will be experiencing down the road.

The last couple departments that I explored were the Cabinetry and Flooring Departments. I met with John VanBeek who is head of Cabinetry Design and Dani Thimming whose specialty is Flooring Sales and Design. When I was with John, he explained to me how there are many different types of Cabinets for different kinds of people with different tastes in things. He also showed me what it is like to design kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops and how he has to make measurements to fit everything in that specific room. When I was with Dani, she explained the different types of flooring that can go into a house and which ones are more durable than others and which ones were most popular. In both departments I got to listen to a real sale being made, which I thought was pretty cool to experience. One last thing I did at my externship was meet Andy Rettler. Andy pretty much takes care of all the pricing of Drexel. He looks at the pricing of other building supply companies such as, Menards or Home Depot and adjusts the prices according to the prices of other companies. One thing I thought was interesting was the fact that lumber prices change all the time. Andy would compared the difference of the lumber price changing to the stock market prices changing, which is quite often. I thought it was great to see how all the different departments of Drexel work together to help make Drexel a successful business.

One last thing I would like to mention about Drexel that I found interesting was how much Drexel donates. The coffee house that they built almost a year ago now, donates all of their money that they raise. All proceeds go to local organizations. Drexel also gets involved in golf outings that support local organizations as well such as, the Make a Wish Foundation golf outing and many more. Over the course of the week, I have learned so much about how Drexel operates and the many things they do to support not only everyone involved with Drexel but also, those outside of Drexel. I do believe that my experience at Drexel was very beneficial because it opened up many doors for me and also helped me realize not only what career I wish to pursue in the future but, it also helped me understand what steps it takes to be successful in my job and in my personal life. I want to thank everyone at Drexel who helped make this great opportunity so much fun and beneficial for me.”

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