Senior marketing student will take on new adventures in U.S. and Finland
Finlandia University senior Marketing major Madelyn Waterman has been selected for the 2023 Ponsse Einari Vidgrén Foundation Internship. Finlandia and Ponsse are proud to welcome Waterman into this position as the first internship recipient since 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This internship aims to create an opportunity for Finlandia students to have hands-on experience aligned with their major, understand national and international work environments and develop a deeper relationship with FinnU’s Finnish background. This position offers the selected student a two-week working experience at Ponsse North America headquarters in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and three to four weeks working abroad at Ponsse Plc’s main office in Vieremä, Finland. Waterman, who will be graduating in May 2023 from Finlandia’s International School of Business and International School of Art & Design with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in Graphic Design, respectively, shares her life experiences leading up to this moment and where this position will take her.
Established in Vieremä, Finland in 1970 by Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of environmentally friendly, cut-to-length forestry equipment, including harvesters and forwarders. Ponsse products cover the diverse requirements of efficient harvesting faced by machine entrepreneurs around the world. Ponsse now has 11 subsidiaries around the world and does business in 40 countries. Ponsse is a family company whose roots are deep in the Finnish countryside. For more information, go to www.ponsse.com.
“Ever since I was little, I have wanted to travel and see the world. Growing up, the discovery channel was always on in the living room, and every month my siblings and I would wait by the door for our monthly subscription of kids national geographic. We would spend hours flipping through the pages and imagining ourselves in the pictures.
“My family, especially my mother, has had a huge impact on my outlook on life. She has always encouraged me to take chances, jump at new experiences and to never be afraid of the opportunities that life has to offer. Because of her encouragement, I’ve been able to take leaps out of my comfort zone and grow as a person from them. She is the main reason I put myself out there and hope to make a difference along the way.
“As I got older, I started to learn of the marketing world and became intrigued by what it had to offer. It combined everything I was looking for in a career: meeting new people, seeing new places, and bringing out my creative side.
“My senior year of high school, Finlandia reached out to me about a starting position for their women’s soccer team as a back line of defense. I had other options back home, but something about Finlandia caught my eye and playing a college sport was something I never imagined for myself.
“The second my family and I came for a visit and witnessed the beautiful atmosphere here; I couldn’t say no. After talking it over, I planned to try it out, take a chance and see where it takes me. I then packed up all my belongings and made the eight hour trip back up that August. I didn’t know it then, but Finlandia was about to open big doors for me.
“Since my first year here, Finlandia has given me so many opportunities to travel and made my dreams come true a lot sooner in life than I had ever considered. I’ve been able to see places I never imagined I would go and make lasting friendships with people along the way.
“Between traveling for soccer and my involvement as president for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), I have been to Chicago, Santa Cruz, Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, San Antonio and so many other great cities all over the country. And now, after I graduate, Finlandia’s partnership with Ponsse has allowed me to join Ponsse for the Eineri Vidgrén Foundation Internship position in Wisconsin and Finland.
“For my internship position with Ponsse, they are inviting me to join them at their U.S. headquarters in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, take a trip to Montana with their Ponsse Ladies, and spend a month with them over in Vieremä, Finland. There, I will be helping with podcasts, reviewing clothing lines, and gaining more experience in the marketing world. My goal is to gain as much information as I can while soaking in this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE POSITION
“Last year, in my marketing communications class, we worked on a mock marketing plan for Ponsse. It was a very interesting project and I was thrilled to hear that they were offering this internship program for Finlandia students. The internship is offered to all students here at Finlandia, and they base the roles of this position on the student’s major.
“While in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, I will spend two weeks learning about the company’s values, job shadowing, meeting with customers and visiting logging sites. I will also be working on smaller projects where I will get my hands on podcasts, creating and reviewing their clothing lines.
“During these two weeks, I will also be joining the Ponsse Ladies on one of their annual trips; this year’s destination is in Montana. The Ponsse ladies are a group of spouses of company entrepreneurs who are also involved in Ponsse’s day to day operations. While there, they have planned activities such as horseback riding, white water rafting and taking time to get to know one another while discussing company operations. Once we return to Rhinelander, I will take off and head to Vieremä, Finland, where I will spend three to four weeks.
“In Finland, I will witness their main operations, work on one main project and other company tasks, and be involved in their event planning. Through this internship, I will gain domestic and international knowledge of Ponsse’s operations, intercultural communication skills, practical work experience, and adaptability to a global working environment.
“I am more than excited to be taking this position and grateful to be granted such an amazing opportunity, not only to travel and see more of the world, but to also make more connections with some amazing people within the profession that I love. I am very eager to see where this leap takes me.”
Related Articles & Links
- Dec. 9, 2022: Finlandia Fridays explore exclusive Ponsse internship for FinnU students
- Oct. 28, 2022: Student Spotlight: Senior Marketing & Graphic Design student Madelyn Waterman
- Oct. 13, 2022: Ponsse Einari Vidgrén Foundation Internship returns for Finlandia students in 2023