One of the major initiatives of the David Eccles School of Business is to place students in internships. Recently Angel Demirev had the opportunity to intern at OC Tanner. OC Tanner one of the premier appreciation companies in the world. Their motto: “We help organizations appreciate people who do great work. Because celebrating great work inspires people to invent, to create, to discover. And when people are inspired, companies grow.” 

Recently career counselor Kate Peleshak communicated with Angel about his internship. Read the Q&A below.


  1. What is something you learned in class you applied at your internship? 

I learned that it’s most important to learn the fundamental concepts behind the tools we learn in class rather than the specifics of working with the tools themselves. We need to understand why each formula works and how each method works, and be able to create our own formulas or tools for what we want to accomplish. Anybody can learn to use a formula or pre-built tool, but understanding how that formula or tool works and the fundamental concept behind it is what makes someone an expert worth hiring.

  1. What are you most proud of while interning?

I’m proud to know that the improvements I made over the past three months have a direct, measurable impact on production at OC Tanner. My projects reduced throughput time in a manufacturing team, increased transparency into efficiency on manufacturing lines, introduced cost daily cost savings by reducing waste, and much more. It feels good to know that I was able to work on projects that directly translate into increased profit and safety for our teams.

A key takeaway from the internship was seeing how meaningful recognition motivated employees to do better work. OC Tanner’s business model is centered around appreciating great work, and I was able to learn how meaningful recognition makes a huge difference in someone’s work ethic. OC Tanner has very low turnover, and many employees have been there 20-, 30-, even 40- years, and it’s because of the company culture and appreciation that’s shown for the great work these employees do every day. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when working at any company in the future – A meaningful thank-you note or appreciation presentation means the world to people.

  1. Do you have advice for potential interns?

The best intern is one who doesn’t simply do what they