Connections Last A Lifetime
Meet Zach Rizo, he is a Automotive Aftermarket Management major at Northwood. Zach landed an internship with Delphi after networking with management at AASA (Automotive Aftermarket Supplier’s Association) Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Zach answered a couple questions in regards to his internship and what Northwood has done to help him grow into a young business professional.
What’s your major?
My major is Automotive Aftermarket Management with a minor in Marketing.
What student organizations are you involved with on campus?
I try to get involved as much as possible throughout the school year. I’m involved with Delta Mu Delta Honor Society, AMA (American Marketing Association) and was a teammate as well as a captain for Auto Show teams. My favorite involvement was having the great opportunity of going on Northwood’s Semester in Europe program in the fall. Where we traveled to 12 countries and 16 cities, it was a trip I’ll never forget.
How did you get involved with this opportunity?
I got involved with this opportunity while attending AASA (Automotive Aftermarket Supplier’s Association) Conference in Chicago, Illinois. While attending the event I got to network with many professionals working in the automotive aftermarket field and learn about the future of this great industry. From those connections I made, I received an email saying that Delphi’s Category management department was looking for a summer intern. I got the job within 2 weeks, it was a great feeling finally landing an internship late in the school year!!
What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?
Overall, this summer has been a great learning experience that I couldn’t thank Delphi enough for all they have done for us interns. I was assigned three main projects to work on over the duration of the summer. Those projects included product interchanges, where we compare Delphi’s products to our competitors. An active and passive safety product portfolio was researched to find if there is an aftermarket opportunity to pursue. Lastly, I worked on a CR process documentation using Microsoft Visio to document and streamline department processes for when our product has a change/improvement. Working on these projects I was able to see first- hand how important quality, price and loyalty you have with your customer is in the aftermarket.
How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?
Having internship experience is a big part of building your knowledge and skills to prepare for the real world before your final graduation date. You get a different style of learning from the class room that sets you apart from other students. I want to apply my product knowledge of steering & suspension products and fuel pumps in my pursue of becoming an aftermarket field sales rep.
Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?
I have learned so much throughout my courses at Northwood University but I truly believe I have learned the most while having internship experiences. I had an internship last year at ZF TRW and now having one at Delphi has helped me so much as a student. You get a professional experience that teaches you how to be in a corporate setting as well as learning about the automotive industry. While having these experiences you build a professional network with employees that are always willing to help you out. By providing you with advice and recommendations for future job opportunities.
What was the highlight of the experience for you?
The highlight of the experience was participating in Delphi events including a golf outing, Intern Forum, Excellence Week and volunteering at a Detroit Clean Up event. During all these events I got to meet so many great people. I met other students from Indiana University and other employees around the entire corporation of Delphi.
Anything else we should know about this experience?
I was lucky enough to work closely with two graduates from Northwood University, Lisa Kisil and Colleen McCarthy. They helped me and other interns with anything we needed throughout the summer .