Amanda Witek, a senior from Chicago, Illinois, is interning with Mellow Mushroom as the human resource representative and catering coordinator. Internships give students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to real organizational situations. Through her internship, Witek was offered a full-time position with Mellow Mushroom upon graduation as the catering coordinator. She accepted the position and her manager started incorporating training for the position into her internship.
Witek studies Corporate and Organizational Communication and is required to complete an internship to get experience in her chosen field. Witek was formerly a waitress at Mellow Mushroom. At work one day, she mentioned she was searching for an internship. Her manager overheard her and asked if she would like to do an internship in the downtown office. Witek accepted the opportunity.
In a typical day at her internship, Witek completes approximately two hours of human resource practices, which consists of completing and filing hiring and firing paperwork, updating payroll and sitting in on performance appraisal meetings. In addition, she completes two hours of catering work such as reaching out to clients and creating catering menus.
She said the Department of Communication prepared her very well for this internship, drawing information from every corporate communication class she took.
"The knowledge and skills I gained while taking Interpersonal Communication helped me build organizational relationships, see from different perspectives, and diffuse situations. I didn't realize how useful these skills were until I had to put them into practice," she said.
Witek put her skills to the test when she was catering for the Humane Society. She listened to the needs of her clients and developed a menu to meet them. Witek created a vegan menu for the event and it was a hit. The Humane Society expressed the desire to come back because of the great service.
"I'm proud of this project because it was my first time catering. I did it and it worked. I gained a lot of confidence," she said.
Witek is looking forward to her future with Mellow Mushroom as the catering coordinator. She loves organizing and building relationships with others; she feels like this position is a good fit for her.
~ Holly Case, Student