Mahaska Internship Program, Guest Blog by Skyler Bloom

Mahaska provided me with the framework to develop a practical/real world understanding of the mechanisms and levers across a diverse spectrum of corporate interests.

As a college sophomore, I joined Mahaska as an intern having little idea of what I wanted to do with my life after my impending graduation in the spring of 2015. During my internship, I was exposed to a wide range of functional areas including corporate business development, finance, and accounting in the food/beverage, healthcare, and real-estate industries. These experiences provided an unrivaled hands-on experience that directly shaped my ambitions for the finance career path that I ultimately pursued. My broad experience enabled me to entertain multiple compelling job opportunities following my graduation; ultimately, gaining employment as an Equity Analyst with a New York-based long/short equity hedge fund specializing in healthcare. For context, “buy-side” analyst candidates are overwhelmingly MBA and/or PHD graduates with multiple years of work experience. My two year tenure at Mahaska enabled me to bypass graduate school and go directly into what is typically a mid-career position.

My responsibilities at Mahaska and its B Group affiliate further developed my knowledge base in business school finance concepts such as fundamental analysis, valuation, investment analytics, and contracts through practical application in an array of real businesses. In addition, I developed invaluable real-world skill sets like technical analysis that are not offered as a part of business school curriculums.

My involvement with Mahaska and its Odin Brands affiliate on the launch and development of key new products, such as TYR Endurance Sport (TES), provided me with necessary knowledge to develop an entrepreneurial idea into a sustainably growing business. Applying these processes, I have gone on to build a regional storage and logistics company that is now cash flow positive within the first 6 months of operations, and with plans to sizably scale operations outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the coming months. I can unequivocally say that without the idea generation, vetting, and business development processes that I learned at Mahaska, I would have never been able to pursue such an exciting opportunity.

Unique to the Mahaska internship and certainly distinct from the internship experiences of my collegiate peers, I was given broad exposure to the business with responsibilities that had a material impact on the Mahaska brand. In addition, I garnered unique and valuable perspective through day-to-day interactions with top officers including the CEO, corporate partners, and other entrepreneurs in the CEO’s network. This sort of trust and responsibility was regularly delegated and provided me with invaluable practical applications of an otherwise abstract business school curriculum. Through frequent interactions with Mahaska employees on all levels, I was able to tangibly see the product of a collaborative corporate culture and the ensuing pride of a workforce whose contributions are both implemented and recognized.

Skyler Bloom with David Chang and Branden MuhlIn my current capacity as an Equity Analyst, I frequently meet with management teams to discuss operations. I have yet to meet a management team (a company of Mahaska’s scope and depth notwithstanding) who genuinely cares about the professional and personal well-being of its employees. CEO Muhl is the epitome of a leader who has positioned the company to continue and expand on its storied history of success in the coming years.

Perhaps most importantly, I have now built a professional and personal network that I will continue to keep in touch with throughout my career. The Mahaska corporate culture extends far beyond the office — I now have lifelong friends at Mahaska with whom I look forward to sharing many future successes.

Thank you to Mahaska and all of its employees who played a role in my career development. I will consider myself a member of #TeamMahaska for life.