EDWARDS, Ill. (WMBD) — Summer interns for Caterpillar from across the country had their orientation day at the Development and Learning Center in Edwards, Ill.

Around 600 interns were there, and they were able to participate in the annual “Day in the Dirt” event, where they can interact with company equipment and listen to guest speakers who share their experiences as Caterpillar employees.

A mix of old and new interns were present at the event, including Emma Ross, a Peoria native who studies marketing with a concentration in data analytics at the University of South Carolina.

“I’d been looking for internships and Caterpillar’s always been a good name brand, so I figured I might as well give it a shot and last year I interned and it was the most spectacular experience,” Ross said.

Company representatives want interns to feel like they are making an impact with their work. Roshny Archer, Vice President of Global Talent Management at Caterpillar, said summer internships are important jobs.

“Internships at Caterpillar aren’t just about having some task that your manager assigns to you, it’s really meaningful work, if an intern doesn’t get that done it’s actually assigned to a full-time employee, we’re really passionate about ensuring people have challenging, meaningful work in their summertime here,” Archer said.

Summer internships at Caterpillar last 12 weeks. Archer also mentioned that the company is committed to transitioning interns to full-time employees after graduation.