News & Stories
Makhia Williams
September 20, 2023

Global Fortune 500 Company Empowers Communication Major to Shape Her Future

Senior Makhia Williams worked as a summer marketing intern at Mohawk Industries, an international leader in flooring. She had the opportunity to do everything from writing press releases and email campaigns to presenting performance metrics to C-level executives in the company. Looking back on her experiences, she encourages college students to take advantage of internships that offer industry opportunities in a setting where they can grow and fail. 

Makhia obtained her first internship after her sophomore year when she applied for a summer position on the Berry Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) digital job board. Noticing that the internship had closed, the CPPD staff matched her with a position on Harbin Clinic’s digital marketing team, who subsequently hired her. 

After the experience proved positive, she and other students reflected on their internships. Originally, Makhia thought she wanted to attend law school after college, but after time in the communications world, she wasn’t so sure. While attending a panel on internships, Makhia heard Jessica Nguyen, Ed.D, Mohawk’s university relations manager, describe ENGAGE, a program that fosters career-readiness competencies with built-in professional development, team building, evaluations and project-based responsibilities. 

ENGAGE complements the competencies identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and embraced by the CPPD: career and self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity and inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork and technology.

Nguyen explains, “We try to base our programming off the competencies that, in recent years, hiring managers have identified as areas students are lacking in. We also have each of our hiring managers fill out a project charter to identify the skills students are going to be developing and the expected learning outcomes.” 

Knowing this, Makhia requested on her placement forms to have a diverse set of marketing and communications experiences to help her figure out what she enjoys most. “And that’s exactly what Mohawk allowed me to do,” says Makhia. “I’ve gotten a taste of a variety of industry responsibilities. Trying different areas in this field has shown me things I didn’t know I would enjoy and maybe a few things I didn’t love as much. This summer, Jessica encouraged me to grow and to make mistakes in this safe space.” 

She also values networking experiences at Mohawk. Beyond job opportunities, Makhia expresses how useful it is for college students to get to know older, wiser individuals in their fields and build community with peers in their industries.  

Most importantly, she has a narrowed vision for her future: “I still want to go to law school eventually, but I’m interested in the cross section of marketing and sociology. This internship gave me confidence and shaped me into a professional that can adapt seamlessly to any organizational setting.” 

Makhia is continuing her internship into her senior year while she works as the social media manager for the college’s student newspaper and completes her Honors thesis research on minority students’ experiences at historically majority-white colleges. 

 Back to Top