Southeast Student Gets Taste of Corporate America at Nestle Purina Internship

GriesbaumAndrew_WTD_NewsCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 15, 2015 – Nestlé Purina PetCare Company in St. Louis, Missouri, is nationally ranked as one of the best places to work, making its jobs and internship programs extremely competitive and sought after. So when Andrew Griesbaum, a senior at Southeast Missouri State University, received the offer to be their sole accounting intern this summer, he jumped at the chance.

“I was told on the first day that getting into Purina’s internship program” is exceedingly difficult, said Griesbaum, a native of Freeburg, Illinois.

He attributes being chosen largely to his personality.

“I truly think my laid-back personality aided me in obtaining this internship as during the interview process I was able to be more effective in answering the behavior-based questions because I was not worried or nervous,” he said. “Purina is a laid-back company, as evidenced by the way they encourage things, such as pets at work. Purina’s atmosphere is unique in the best way. I believe they saw that my personality would be a good fit at their company.”

His overall grade point average of 3.907 with a 4.0 in his major, along with his academic distinctions also contributed to achieving the internship, he said. At Southeast, Griesbaum is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, the Jane Stephens Honors Program and Academic Support Centers.

Griesbaum believes the knowledge he has gained at Southeast has prepared him for this internship, but that there is nothing to better prepare him for the real world than real-world experience. And he is getting quite a bit of it. As an accounting intern at Nestlé Purina, he is getting a glimpse of life after college and performing activities he will one day being doing on a daily basis, such as assisting in the period end close process, outlining profit and loss statements, updating property tax estimates, assisting with audits and monthly reporting for numerous items.

“The sheer amount of information that is produced and used by Purina is astounding. I am already gaining a much better understanding of how a company like this operates and how much goes into their processes to make them all function correctly and effectively,” said Griesbaum.

“My favorite thing about the internship has been getting to see how the corporate world operates and how a team of people have to come together to achieve a greater goal,” he continued. “I believe that the large scope that a company like Purina operates with makes it necessary to work well with other people, which gives you the ability to get to know and interact with others. This is something that is just not always possible in other industries.”

After he completes his undergraduate degree with a major in accounting and a minor in economics, Griesbaum intends on taking the Certified Public Accountant examination, even though he is more interested in the corporate side of accounting and has no current desire to be a public accountant.

“I always want to have the door open for opportunities should they arise,” he said. “My experiences at Purina have only strengthened my desire to work in the corporate world. I definitely see myself working in a similar role to this one after graduation.”