Delta State accounting major Michael Oleis recently wrapped up a six-month internship that literally took him across the globe.
Oleis, a senior and Cleveland native, moved to Memphis at the beginning of 2013 after being hired as an associate auditor for FedEx Domestic Express in its internal audit division.
The intensive position was more like a full time job that went beyond the normal expectations of a college internship.
“From day one I was referred to as an associate auditor and I was treated as part of the team,” said Oleis. “Not even once was I called an intern — which made me feel welcomed.”
The dedicated student was tasked with completing operational audits at multiple FedEx facilities, along with vendor compliance audits on outside companies who carry out specific FedEx jobs.
“We basically go in and make sure these stations are doing everything they’re supposed to be doing — following all the safety and governmental regulation procedures,” said Oleis. “Before we walk out of an audit, we want to make sure that every FedEx person is completing their job efficiently and effectively.”
The meticulous process helps save the corporation significant operational dollars and prevents them from facing fines from external auditors.
The work also required him to travel to Fort Myers and Boca Raton, Fla., Chicago, Ireland and even India.
“India was definitely a culture shock. It was a much different culture than I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “I’m really glad to have the international experience under my belt. It was hands-down the highlight of the job.
“Outside of the internship I had never really done a lot of international travel. Working with different cultures — getting to know them and their families — was something I never dreamed of.”
Oleis added that the scope of work has already made him a better student since returning to Delta State.
“The whole experience helped me exponentially,” he said. “I’m more organized and proactive doing my work and research. I have a much more proficient mindset with my studies.”
Because the position required a high level of responsibility, Oleis said it is considered to be a six-month job interview with the company.
“The hope is that the manager extends a career offer to you after finishing college. If everything works out and they appreciate your performance during the internship, you could be offered a full time job — which is something I’m hopeful of and would seriously consider.”
Fellow students in the Delta State College of Business are able to apply for the same position.
“I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Oleis. “At least go for the interviews because they have a very rigorous interview process. On top of that, no other company has an internship of this magnitude that treats you like a regular employee.
“There’s no telling where it could literally take you.”