An internship with inspiration


Clayton Newton’s local summer marketing internship with SEKISUI SPI was more than just a valuable professional experience, in some ways it was life changing.

“I felt like SEKISUI actually wanted me to work there and that I wasn’t a frivolous intern,” said Newton, a dual international business and marketing major at Bloomsburg University. “Their culture was positive, inviting, capable, and efficient.”

SEKISUI SPI — a Bloomsburg company and global thermoplastics leader headquartered in Japan with brands that service 11 unique industries across five continents — positions itself as a changing manufacturer for the 21st century by challenging how to think, design, and create.

This approach was loud and clear to Newton.

“They wowed me each week with their productivity and ability to get things done,” Newton said. “Every department practiced Kaizen (Japanese for continuous improvement). Each fellow intern told me about some large new project that was going on in their department that would bring them to new efficiencies.”

He added, “I was taken back when I learned about the workloads each department took on and championed. In addition to learning about the company, SEKISUI added a need for positive culture and progressive thinking to my standards for my next job search. Because of them, I’ll be investigating more than just salary for my first full-time position.”

Newton’s many job duties over the summer provided him a diverse list of business and marketing skills he’ll now take into his job search. Among them include supporting a sales team, shipping procedures, designing trade show exhibits and corporate communications.

“I learned that work is a place where relationships develop,” Newton said. “I made friends there of all ages, and I didn’t expect to make any. I guess that’s my inexperience talking, but each week I learned more about the people around me and by the end I felt lucky to be able to call my colleagues friends.”

Today, BU’s relationship with SEKISUI SPI strengthens beyond internship placement. The new SEKISUI Professional Experience Lab at the Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg will be unveiled, featuring a list of Professional U benefits to include:

  • five individual, soundproof rooms (in varying sizes and styles) to accommodate individual and group training needs
  • an opportunity to practice, record and receive feedback on virtual, face-to-face communication in preparation for an internship, job interview, sales presentation, competitions and conflict resolution seminars just to name a few
  • a private space to interview with employer partners in person or virtually
  • an innovative hub for career and professional development, as well as the university Alumni Association
  • access to the Alumni and Professional Engagement team to discuss individual student hiring and internship needs

Now with a closer presence, Newton sees BU’s relationship with Sekisui only growing stronger and more beneficial for students. Being able to interact and observe the company’s forward-thinking approach, corporate efficiency and access to its internal career opportunities is a distinct advantage, he says.

“Our aspirations will become more in line with what we need,” Newton said. “We can now collaborate on our own campus with an $11 billion-dollar titan that constantly redefines what’s possible in plastics. What better example to follow than that?”