UMSL finance senior Jonathan McMiller excels at his Boeing internship, which began this summer and has been extended through the fall. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Jonathan McMiller sees himself as a sponge.

“I want to absorb as much as I can,” McMiller said. “Every opportunity I have to learn something or experience something, just gives me a greater understanding of the world.”

That philosophy helped earn McMiller, a senior finance major at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, a summer internship at Boeing. He began in June working with overhead costs and the costs associated with modifications made to the customers product.

“The experience has been very beneficial, I have been given so many important work assignments within the group,” he said. “They didn’t treat me like an intern. They treated me like I was a real full-time employee. They worked with me on learning the systems that are specific to the company.

“Based on my performance, they extended my internship through December when I graduate,” he said.

His internship at Boeing has been a great experience. Not only has he learned new systems and gained valuable skills, he’s learned about positive corporate cultures.

“I was impressed with the corporate culture that Boeing has,” McMiller said. “You think that you could get lost inside a big company like that. But Boeing is really putting an emphasis on employee development. They are really looking into the emotional intelligence side of things. ‘Not only are you capable of doing the technical side, but we really want you to come to work with a positive attitude and we want you to map out your career plan.’ I think that philosophy is great.”

McMiller, a Florissant, Mo., resident and a student ambassador at UMSL, credits the university with preparing him for his Boeing position.

“Not only does UMSL prepare its students by teaching them the skills they need to succeed in business, but the professors really instill professionalism in each student,” he said. “(Joel) Miller (lecturer in finance) is one of my favorite teachers. He’s very professional. He would encourage us to dress like we were attending work. Come prepared and on time. Deadlines are deadlines. But he also taught us to come to him. He had an open-door policy, and if we needed anything, he was available.”

McMiller, whose mother earned an education degree from UMSL, chose the university for its accredited College of Business Administration and his interest in personal finance.

“The reason I went into it originally is because I believe everyone should have a good understanding of how to manage money and how to manage their wealth throughout their lives so that retirement is an option for them so that they live the most comfortable life that they can,” he said.

What does the future hold for McMiller? He hopes more opportunities.

“I could see myself working for Boeing or a company like them with the same positive atmosphere,” he said. “I want to continue to learn everything I can, and enjoy doing it at the same time.”

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton