Internships are all about experience and that is exactly what I got from my internship with North American Signs this summer. Through this position I was able to work for a company that had international capabilities but also was family-owned so I was not just a number in the workplace. North American Signs is one of the leading companies in the industry that provides signage to prestigious brands around the country. The company’s reputation made it an interesting internship because North American Signs was doing business with companies that are household names.
I was given various tasks and challenges while at North American Signs as a Marketing Intern. My position was cross-functional as I helped with social media, client research, marketing, and even the 80th Anniversary celebration. I had responsibilities that were more than just “busy work” that some interns have to put up with. I impacted the company and enjoyed meetings with John Yarger, the owner and president, and Mike LaFortune, the Director of Sales and Marketing.
The challenges presented to me were great opportunities to learn from people from all over the company. Everybody, from the salespeople to the manufacturing crew, seemed eager to lend a helping hand as I tried to learn as much as I could about the sign industry in my two months with the company. It was fascinating to see the creation of signage, from the sale and design to the final install. I can honestly say that I will never look at signage the same again. What once seemed so simple has become a complex, intricate process that requires many different people from various departments to work together to create a finished product for a customer.
It was also awesome to work for a company that was so involved in the community. North American Signs has been a part of the South Bend community for over 80 years. As one of my projects this summer, I was given the responsibility to uncover historic photos of the company and find out about the rich history of North American Signs. Through my research, which included talking to the former owners, the current president, and experienced employees that have been at the company for over 30 years, I immersed myself in the great history of the company and learned what it meant to be a part of the community. I was even given the opportunity to race in the Eagle Lake Triathlon for North American Signs, who sponsored the event that benefited a non-profit that provided alcohol and drug treatment to anyone that needs it. I was thankful to be in a company that actually lived by all of the values that it preached.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have worked for North American Signs this summer and all the skills and knowledge I have gained along the way. I would like to thank all of the employees at North American Signs for this great experience.