The Communication and Media Arts department has a wonderful relationship with Caterpillar Inc., one of the largest companies on the planet. It began over a decade ago when Sarah Haldeman (BA Mass Communication, 2005, MSM Management, 2010) received an internship opportunity at the Caterpillar Joliet plant. Sarah’s internship specialized in writing and employee relations. After graduation Caterpillar offered Sarah a position and her duties and responsibilities have increased exponentially. When the chance to lead the Caterpillar Aurora communication program was offered to her, Sarah jumped at the chance. She believed having an internship rotation would be vital to the team’s success. The job posting went out to several Northern Illinois colleges and universities including USF. The first USF Caterpillar intern worked over the summer of 2012 and continued on into the fall. Our next intern began in the summer of 2013 and continued through his graduation in May 2014. Immediately after graduation he was offered and accepted a communication position at the Caterpillar plant in Victoria, Texas.
A new chapter in the Caterpillar/USF internship story began in October 2016 when Senior Hannah Tadey interviewed for, and was immediately hired for, a position under the tutelage of - you guessed it - Sarah Haldeman Puleo. The communication internship position is unique in that Hannah is actually working for Caterpillar’s Global Information Services Division in Peoria but telecommutes from an office in the Joliet Caterpillar plant.
Originally Sarah was not involved in this round of internships. When her division was having trouble finding the right person for the communication job, Sarah devised the innovative telecommuting solution and knew where to find the right talent.
USF communication students intern in a wide variety of industries ranging from traditional broadcast companies to nonprofit organizations. We will always, however, have a special relationship with Caterpillar, thanks to a talented young intern who set very high standards over a decade ago.