As we approach the end of Ruan’s Summer Internship program, we are pleased to celebrate our interns on National Intern Day! National Intern Day, celebrated the last Thursday in July, allows employers to recognize and thank interns for their hard work and dedication as they continue their education and expand their skills in the workforce.
Ruan consistently invests in the next generation by offering internships to current college students. During the 10-week internship program, participants learn many facets of the transportation industry while developing leadership skills.
This summer, we've welcomed 16 interns at our Des Moines Campus:
- Abutalib Hasan, Des Moines Area Community College | Information Technology
- Aidan Shannon, Des Moines Area Community College | Information Technology
- Alan Snyder, Des Moines Area Community College | Information Technology
- Alec Machotka, Iowa State University | Managed Transportation
- Alessandro Aboytes, Iowa State University | Information Technology
- Bryson Barnett, Iowa State University | Operations Support Coordinator
- Cabria Olsen, Iowa State University | Marketing and Communications
- Caleb Barnett, Iowa State University | Operations Support Coordinator
- Dominique Hain, Iowa State University | Managed Transportation
- Haley Christensen, University of Northern Iowa | Information Technology
- Isabel Wheeler, Iowa State University | Information Technology
- Louis Moreno, Drake University | Information Technology
- MaKenna Drea, Iowa State University | Managed Transportation
- Ryan Slaubaugh, Indian Hills Community College | Information Technology
- Sarah Gannon, Iowa State University | Solution Engineering
- Vincent Merfeld, Drake University | Information Technology
We were able to ask a few interns regarding their experience—check out their responses!
Q: What do you enjoy most about working for Ruan?
Alec Machotka: The people that I work with. Everyone is so welcoming and willing to help that it makes working enjoyable because of the friendly environment.
Aiden Shannon: I enjoy the change of pace and working with other members of my team to get tasks done.
Alessandro Aboytes: The atmosphere. Everyone is eager to help when there is an issue. I enjoy how I am constantly learning about the different processes and applications Ruan uses.
Q: What has been your favorite memory during your time at Ruan?
Cabria Olsen: Volunteering and spending time with my team!
Bryson Barnett: Touring the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division’s distribution center in Ankeny, IA.
Isabel Wheeler: Members of our IT team created a board games group. This has been a great way to get to know my coworkers outside of the workplace and network. While I don’t win many of the games, it’s still a good time!
Ryan Slaubaugh: Going to the Truck Driving Championships and getting to volunteer at the event.
Alan Snyder: Working on the Hack-a-thon with Emily Dikeman, Genevieve Clemens, and Kris Bunda. It was exciting to see an issue go through the analysis process, planning a project, and then working with the team on the coding to develop a prototype solution. It was a great team, and we worked well together.
Q: What advice would you share with those considering joining the trucking industry?
Alec Machotka: There is something new every day, especially as we are still picking up the pieces from the impact of the pandemic. There are some things that are out of your control and some you can control. Being transparent and following up with your customer can help create a better relationship. The relationships you build with customers and suppliers are an essential part of the job because you want to be able to keep business going and keep relationships strong.
Bryson Barnett: The trucking industry is one of the most important jobs today. It is fun, challenging, and there is always something new to learn.
Q: What excited you about Ruan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts?
Dominique Hain: I really appreciate Ruan’s commitment to their People First Guiding Principle and making sure all employees are respected in the workspace. There’s a commitment to developing employees to be the best that they can be.
Isabel Wheeler: I like being involved with a company that values an inclusive work environment that is continually striving to empower our team members.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Caleb Barnett: I love hiking and reading books.
Dominique Hain: You’ll most likely find me hanging out with my family. We enjoy spending time on the lake (with any kind of watersport you can name) and snow skiing as well.
Q: In what ways are you involved in your community?
Alessandro Aboytes: I am involved in clubs at Iowa State University that help provide a safe space for people of color on campus.
Caleb Barnett: I serve in the Army National Guard.
Vincent Merfeld: I am involved with the fraternity and sorority community on Drake’s campus. We help support local and national organizations.
Interns, thank you for your hard work this summer. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!