For some industrious Cougars, summer vacation is a time to get their feet wet in the working world as interns. As the dog days of summer approach, The College Today will showcase a few of our students’ adventures in various internships across the country.

Ruben Urquiza is an efficient guy. Or rather, he likes executing tasks in a logistical manner so that the end goal is met in an efficient and effective way.

This summer, the international business major from Westminster, South Carolina, is fine tuning his logistics and efficiency skills with an internship at Mercedes-Bens Vans in North Charleston, S.C.

The College Today caught up with Urquiza to find out what he’s learning through his internship and how he hopes the experience will carry him forward into his senior year.

What drew you to an internship with Mercedes-Benz Vans?

What really drew me toward an internship with Mercedes-Benz Vans was that it offered various opportunities and a diverse company culture that appealed to me. Languages such as Spanish, German and Thai can be heard throughout the office, which aides in the diversity of different cultures and ideologies that I enjoy being immersed in.

What are the duties of your internship?

I work in the Launch Change Management and Program Planning teams of the Logistics Department. My responsibilities involve data distribution/analysis and reporting and tracking of the vehicles as they move about the plant to see if the vehicles are on track with the forecasting reports.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned so far at your internship?

The importance of communication is a key component of a successful work environment and company. Here at Mercedes-Benz Vans, communication amongst your colleagues is very important as we often have to work together as a team to seek appropriate solutions to the challenges that arise throughout the workday.

How is having an internship like this helpful in bridging what you learn in the classroom with what’s expected in the real world?

Working at Mercedes-Benz Vans, I am able to incorporate much of what I have learned from school into the workforce, such as conflict resolution and business tactics. Applying what I have learned in the classroom in real-word situations here at Mercedes-Benz Vans is tremendously helpful and allows me to better prepare for entry into the workforce.

How will this internship experience help you as you prepare to graduate next year?

Working with individuals from countries such as Germany, Spain, Hungary, Argentina and Mexico, I am able to grasp the concepts of a successful business from a wide array of cultures. This is very critical to me as I am an international business major looking to enter the workforce in a field that offers these levels of diversity.