At Forum Plastics, employee development begins in high school with our Internship Program that launched in 2019. Since then, we have provided supervised, on-the-job training and job opportunities for numerous technical students considering careers in the plastics industry.
Last fall, Forum brought on our first administrative intern, in cooperation with Southwick Regional High School’s Diversified Learning Environment (DLE) program, which places qualifying seniors with companies to explore positions that match their current interests. Students gain firsthand knowledge of their potential career direction and may reinforce or change their goal based on their experience working in a real-world environment.
The internship is highly structured, including specific requirements for documentation of activity, demonstration of proficiency, evaluations, and periodic presentations.
Meet Our Intern
We welcomed Jewelianna Walker to our facility in October 2021 for a four-month administrative internship with a focus on accounting as a possible field of study for college and future career. As a 17-year-old senior, her interest in accounting stems from a strong aptitude for mathematics; she plans to attend a college known for its math and business programs with a major in accounting and a minor in business.
For 12 hours each week, Jewelianna has spent time in each of Forum’s key departments to understand their functions and learn firsthand how our system transactions relate to accounting transactions. She has also performed daily accounting tasks to reinforce her studies in this area and to help with the workload. A key part of her internship was interviewing 14 employees in various departments to explore how they chose their careers, what brought them to Forum, their job responsibilities, contribution to the manufacturing process, advice, and more.
Sharing Her Experience
When asked to share about what she has learned in her Administrative Internship with a focus on accounting at Forum Plastics, Jewelianna responded:
“As an accounting intern, I became familiar with every part of the manufacturing process flow by spending time with engineering for part design/tool design, customer service for order entry, scheduling, parts production, shipping, and more. I also explored various aspects of the accounting process in-depth and learned how they affect other departments within the company, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and general ledger accounting, which was one of the most challenging things I learned.
“Learning about cost accounting and the operations accounting bridge helped me to understand how the various responsibilities of the accounting department can impact the performance of the overall business, such as the manufacturing process flow, how costs are built into the system, and their impact on inventory costs. This gave me such a valuable perspective of how everything works together in a company.”
Our Culture Gets an “A”
From the start, Forum Plastics has always been committed to creating a caring, inclusive environment with a diverse workplace, community involvement, and fun employee activities to balance out the workload. Jewelianna singled out our culture as one of the high points of her internship.
“Aside from the textbook education I received, I really enjoyed experiencing a professional workplace firsthand. Forum’s culture is so positive—everyone seems as if they truly want to help the company succeed and they enjoy coming to work every day.”
Learn more about our company culture here.
One Last Word
Jewelianna highly recommends internships for other high school students who are considering their career direction. “It is very important to test out a career choice that interests you before going to college or getting trained, to make sure you will really enjoy what you do every day at work. Also, keep learning, grow your emotional intelligence, and be an active listener who shows interest in what others have to say.”
Sage advice indeed from our newest intern. We wish Jewelianna much success as a future accountant!
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