Ellie Deans: Marian senior defenseman, marketing major, roofing materials expert. One never knows where their academic skills will take them, and for Deans last summer it was the roofing and materials business. She completed an internship in Denver with Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway building materials company. Deans' father, a long-time Johns Manville sale representative, passed away last November after battling pancreatic cancer; a co-worker reached out to Deans in February to see if she might be interested in her dad's company and they worked out details for the internship. The academic stand-out will continue working part-time for JM while soaking in an unforgettable senior hockey season with the Sabres.
DID YOU EVER THINK YOU MIGHT BE INTERNING WITH JOHNS MANVILLE?
"No, not at all."
HOW MUCH DID YOU KNOW ABOUT ROOFING GOING INTO THE INTERNSHIP?
"Not a whole lot. Pretty much what I heard from my dad when I would be in the car with him or hearing him in his office. I knew some basics, but other than that, not a much. It was a big learning curve for me."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE SOAKING UP ALL THE NEW KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE MATERIALS BUSINESS?
"There definitely was a lot of things to look at once I got there. The different types of materials they use, that sort of thing. But they didn't teach me a whole lot specifically about the materials, since I'm not actually out on roofs or anything like that. But just from doing all the work I had to do for them, like the web site, for example, I learned a lot just from seeing the names, the composition of materials ... all that, over and over again."
HOW DID YOU LIKE LIVING IN DENVER?
"It was really great. Beautiful place to live. I have to say I did miss the lakes back in Minnesota, but overall it liked it a lot."
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSES AT MARIAN AND WHICH CLASSES DO YOU THINK CAN BE APPLIED MOST TO YOUR INTERNSHIP?
"I would say all my marketing classes. They've all been great. Some of the first classes I took - principles of marketing, principles of advertising - I really liked those ... All those classes are pretty applicable to the work I did at JM."
ANY PROFESSORS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU IN YOUR MARKETING MAJOR OR THAT HAVE STOOD OUT IN TERMS OF HELPING YOU?
"Jessica Little, my advisor. She's helped me a lot."
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER POSITIVES YOU GAINED FROM YOUR INTERNSHIP, IN TERMS OF BUILDING YOUR SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE?
"I think all the hard work in that environment. Just getting to know how things work on the marketing side ... I was able to build my portfolio with the various projects I worked on ... Talking to people all summer, building a network and getting advice ... I made some good friends and gained some references, too."
YOU'VE EXCELLED IN THE CLASSROOM WHILE TRAINING AND PLAYING IN THE MARIAN HOCKEY PROGRAM. ANY ADVICE FOR FRESHMEN WHO ARE STARTING ENCOUNTERING THE DEMANDING SCHEDULE FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS FALL?
"Get a planner, write it down and stay organized. For me, it's internship, hockey, class. That's kind of my mantra for my schedule. It keeps me focused."
DO YOU LOOK AT ROOFS A LOT NOW - OR MORE THAN YOU USED TO?
"Definitely. When I fly home, I'll stare down at the roofs. We were on a walk in Stillwater (Minnesota) this summer and I looked at a roof and said, 'Yeah, that one needs new shingles.'"
ELLIE DEANS, MARIAN UNIVERSITY