Jonathan McMiller sees himself as a sponge.
“I want to absorb as much as I can,” says McMiller, a senior finance major at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. “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 summer internship at Boeing. Michael Long, manager at Boeing, supervises McMiller. Long says McMiller came to the Boeing finance team with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute.
“His open-minded approach to challenging situations and his strong focus to achieve results were very successful for him,” Long says. “Jonathan demonstrated a ‘working together’ approach in executing his assignments. My team and I were very impressed with the accomplishments he made during his internship this summer.”
That impression turned into an additional opportunity for McMiller. Based on his performance, Boeing extended his internship through December, when he’s set to graduate.
“I’m thrilled,” he says. “This could open up possibilities for future employment that I didn’t have a year ago.”
His internship at Boeing has been a great experience. Not only has he gained valuable skills, he’s learned about positive corporate cultures.
“I was impressed with the corporate culture that Boeing has,” McMiller says. “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.”
McMiller, a Florissant, Mo., resident and a student ambassador at UMSL, says Joel Miller, lecturer in finance, is one of his favorite teachers and helped prepare him for the internship at Boeing.
“He’s very professional,” McMiller says. “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 [finance] 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 says.
What does the future hold for McMiller? He says he’s hoping for more opportunities.
“I could see myself working for Boeing or a company like it with the same positive atmosphere,” he says. “I want to continue to learn everything I can, and enjoy doing it at the same time.”
This story was originally published in the fall 2012 issue of UMSL Magazine.