Successful Internship Leads to Full-Time Job for Gardner-Webb Alumnus

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Mason Womack ’17 Joins Payroll Team in Shoe Show Corporate Office

Mason WomackWhen Mason Womack received his diploma from Gardner-Webb University in 2017, he had two reasons to celebrate. He had completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration, and he was going to work in the Shoe Show corporate office in Concord, N.C. He was offered the job after working as an intern there.

“I first learned about the opportunity through a job fair at Gardner-Webb,” Womack shared. “During the internship, I worked as a payroll associate intern and was able to be involved in several projects that increased my knowledge and experience in the business world.”

Shoe Show’s internship program is coordinated by Senior Executive Jay Manning and Chief Financial Officer Jack van der Poel. Robert and Carolyn Tucker, owners of Shoe Show, are longtime benefactors of Gardner-Webb. In 2010, they donated $5.5 million toward the construction of the facility that bears their name, the Tucker Student Center. Their daughter, Lisa, a 1989 GWU alumna, is vice president of the company.

Manning said the company typically employs three to five interns each summer to work in payroll, human resources and accounting and taxes. “In addition to exposure to daily tasks of the respective departments, we have included them in special initiatives and corporate conversations to expose them to more than just day-to-day routines,” he noted.

The interns from Gardner-Webb have been outstanding both in technical knowledge and personal professionalism, van der Poel said. “We look forward to continuing our intern program and relationship with GWU,” he added. “We believe it has been successful for all involved.”

Mason WomackWomack’s new job involves managing employees’ paid time off benefits and implementing a new payroll system. Womack was ready for the work at Shoe Show because of his studies at GWU. “A class in Computer Information Systems provided me with experience in working with Excel and in developing spreadsheets,” Womack observed. “Finance helped me understand and prepare financial statements. In my senior seminar class, I worked as part of a team using GLO-BUS (computer simulation program) which helped me to become more familiar with financial ratios and how changing certain aspects within an entire business can affect them.”

While the concepts and skills Womack learned in class prepared him for the job, encouragement from the GWU faculty and staff gave him confidence. Advisors in the GWU Center for Personal and Professional Development helped him to develop, update and improve his resume. His University 111 instructor, Sara McNeely, kept in touch beyond his freshman year and was always helpful in answering his questions. Professor of Economics Dr. Anthony Negbenebor helped him beyond the classroom. “He gave me guidance in searching for an internship and provided me with contacts during my search,” Womack stated. “He also served as a reference for me, and I believe his willingness to guide me played a big part in the job I have today.”