FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
May 19, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College is recognizing Amway for its commitment to providing work experiences to students.
Amway will receive GRCC’s Internship Employer of the Year Award during an advisory committee meeting on May 19.
The Ada Township-based company has provided internships to GRCC students over the past several years, and many of those work experiences turn into full-time jobs. In addition to being represented at GRCC job fairs, company representatives visit the campus to recruit manufacturing students for summer positions.
“Amway has always been supportive of GRCC students,” said Scott Lampe, professor of plastics manufacturing technology. “This is the third year in a row that Amway has come to make contact with GRCC students above and beyond the open houses that GRCC hosts.”
The partnership also benefits Amway, said Laura Davis, the company’s vice president of talent acquisition and employee engagement.
“With our internship program, Amway hires an average of 100 interns every year who work beside and learn from leaders across the company,” she said. “We are excited to continue building our associate degree internship program, partnering with GRCC to empower students with the skills they need to fill positions in growing industries.”
Lampe said the recent internships for students Robert Zemaitis and Quy Nguyen were a direct result of Amway’s visits to GRCC. The company hired Zemaitis for a full-time job after his internship ended. Nguyen opted to continue his education at Ferris State University.
Zemaitis said his internship gave him a different perspective on what he was learning in his GRCC classes.
“Unlike school, which is a classroom learning experience, a business needs to make money,” he said. “I expected the Amway plastics department to have me do more basic jobs — quality checks, documentation, etc. Instead, they helped me gain the knowledge I needed to help with my schooling. Amway also helped introduce me to the manufacturing world on both fronts: the paperwork and documentation to running the machines and troubleshooting.”
Lampe said Zemaitis’ experience demonstrates the importance of internships.
“For a lot of these students, this is their first work experience in their related field — they finally get to see what they have been experiencing in the classroom,” Lampe said.
“What is nice for the student and employer is they will be developing a long-term partnership. Typically, a student will work during the summer months on a full-time basis. Once school begins back up, they may be given the opportunity to continue to work part-time as they head back to the classroom full-time. So one of the big benefits is a student will have worked on a part-time basis for one to four years, depending on circumstances. Once the student has completed college, it makes a very smooth transition into a full-time position, and the student can hit the doors running because of all the experience they will already have with that company.”
Lauren Walker, Amway’s vice president of Ada manufacturing, said interns get chances to make real contributions to the company’s operation.
“Our manufacturing and engineering internships provide students with the opportunity to work on real-world projects that will be used to improve efficiency and expand our capacities on a global level,” she said. “The manufacturing operations needed today require highly skilled people, and our internships provide students a behind-the-scenes view of the competitive career path while offering them the opportunity to fine-tune their skills, preparing them for the workforce.”
Zemaitis said his internship helped him gain confidence as well as valuable experience.
“My professors were a huge part in helping me as an intern at Amway,” he said. “My professors helped me build the courage to submit my resume and helped solve any problems which may have arisen during my time as an intern. GRCC’s plastics program also helped teach me why a process was a certain way and how it worked. The hands-on learning that GRCC provides has helped me be confident with any plastics machinery and utilize my knowledge.”
If you are an employer and are interested in setting up a GRCC internship, click here.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.
Amway is a $10.8 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics and eSpring™ water treatment systems – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2014 made Amway the #1 direct selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News 2015 Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings. For company news, visit globalnews.amway.com.