The Secret Life of a Summer Intern at Uponor
Posted 8/15/2014 by Mary Nordick
Sounds pretty interesting right; the daily life of a 21 year old intern at an international plumbing company. I think it sounds like a story line straight out of MTV's newest reality show. The truth is however, that believe it or not, most people do not find PEX tubing to be that sexy. I know right, people are nuts. In the name of full disclosure I am going to be honest and make a confession that I was once one of the "non-believers." Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. I have since converted into being a huge PEX fan. So much so that it now thrills me whenever I see a PEX product I recognize. The look on my dad's face when I first pointed out a manifold, PEX tubing, and brass fittings was a mixture of pride and totally creeped out.
When I first came to Uponor I had little to no experience with plumbing supplies. The first day I had about three people describe to me what PEX was and how our expansion method worked. I do not think I had ever seen people get excited about plumbing supplies. I thought what is the big deal? Throughout that first week I began meeting with the heads of all the different departments; sales, supply chain, training, etc. I remember thinking wow everyone here is really excited about this PEX stuff, almost too excited. I thought there must really be something in the Uponor AquaPEX driven water.
I learned a lot that first week I was here. I learned first what PEX was and second that everyone at this company was really excited about it. I decided to do some research and learn more about PEX and the background of Uponor. Truth be told I had never heard of Uponor till I came to work here; when I first heard the name of the company I thought to myself "huh, upo-what." But after spending a lot of time on the company website and learning more about the company I started to realize just how big of a deal Uponor truly is. It really is an incredibly impressive company and has been for a long time.
It's unique because Uponor is a big spread out company since it is international. At the same time however Uponor is a very small intimate company "where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came." Much like on cheers everyone at this company knows everyone else's name. This company operates on a first name basis philosophy which I think is incredibly unique and very cool. Employees at this company are also "always glad you came." I have never heard such a pleasant work environment where employees truly treat each other as friends first. It is not your typical corporate work environment. It is also interesting because I have met a lot of very "high up" people. My fellow interns and I were invited to have lunch with the Vice Presidents of different departments.
Uponor employees play hard but they also get things done. I really have enjoyed this "work hard play hard" type atmosphere. It made coming to work every day a lot more fun. Uponor employees are incredibly passionate about Uponor and what they are doing to make it better. I think this attitude is very contagious and spreads throughout the company. This year Uponor was once again named to the top 100 places to work in Minnesota. After my experience here I can absolutely see why. Not only do the employees get along with each other but they work well together. Everyone here knows their role and knows how to do their job, well.
One of my main projects this summer was competitor research. I spent hours researching competitors and seeing what they were doing as compared to us. After conducting all of this research it is clear that Uponor really does stand above the rest. I am not just saying this out of bias. This company is truly very impressive. From the work environment to the work done in that environment, it's amazing. It speaks highly of both the company and its employees. I have never seen a company with such trust in its employees. Uponor employees clearly have a lot of integrity. Managers trust their teams to do their jobs and those jobs always get done.
Overall my experience here has been an incredibly positive one. Everyone has been so kind, helpful, and welcoming. I have learned a lot about how to operate in a business environment. People were always willing to sit down with me if I needed help and teach me new things. I appreciate everyone being so great and look up to everyone here as an example of how I want to be when I enter the work place after graduation next May. I want to thank you all for this experience it has truly been a great one.