Daniel Neff ’19 at Ecolab's headquarters in St. Paul.

I took some courses that helped… [but] more broadly, Macalester taught me how to be adaptable, how to learn things on the job.” —Jack Chen ’18 (Chicago)


For the past several years, many Macalester students have been launching their careers at Ecolab—a Fortune 500 water, hygiene, and energy company, headquartered here in St. Paul. And that trend is no accident, but by design.

Michele Moylan, head of employer relations in the Career Development Center (CDC), says that one of her jobs is to identify companies that might be a good fit for Macalester graduates and the skills and values they bring to the workplace. “Ecolab popped up immediately as a great option,” she says. “They are great corporate citizens, strongly mission-driven, and we thought they would be an employer of interest for students from multiple majors.”

As a result of her work, the college has been cultivating a stronger relationship with the company. That includes touring students through the office on MacExplore trips, hosting Ecolab reps during campus job and internship fairs, and inviting them to post openings on Macalester’s Handshake job board. Says Moylan, “We feel like they are a great example of what a productive partnership between Macalester and a local employer can look like.”

We also reached out to a current student and a recent grad to learn more about their internships and full-time jobs, and how Mac set them up for success.


Daniel Neff ’19 (Costa Mesa, Calif.)

Role: Finance intern at Ecolab, in their Greensboro, North Carolina, office

Day-to-day duties and activities: My main summer project was analyzing the distribution of costs within different divisions of the fast casual restaurant part of Ecolab’s business.

How you found the internship: I found the internship on Handshake, the Career Development Center’s online job board.

How Mac prepared you: Although Macalester does not have a finance major (I am economics and political science), our challenging curriculum and emphasis on problem-solving made adjusting to unfamiliar topics easier. Additionally, the finance-related classes within the economics major gave me a strong foundation to grow in my understanding of corporate finance.

How it relates to future plans: Two weeks after I finished the internship, I received a full-time offer from Ecolab. I do not know yet what office I will be placed in, but I am part of the Financial Development Program, which takes college graduates and rotates them through three different finance roles in the company.


Jack Chen ’18 (Chicago)

Role: Financial Analyst at Nalco Water, an Ecolab company

Duties: I work in finance, in the forecast and analysis group. Mainly I work in the forecast role. Each month we look at how the company is doing, look for trends, and try to forecast how we think we’ll do for the rest of the year. The work my team does gives Nalco Water’s leadership a way to track the company’s progress, and plan for the future.

How Mac prepared you: I took some courses that helped, like accounting, investment banking, and corporate finance. More broadly, Macalester taught me how to be adaptable, how to learn things on the job. You also don’t just take theoretical classes at Mac, you take courses that teach you how to work in groups and apply your knowledge to real-world problems.

How it relates to future plans: Right now, I’m trying to build my knowledge of corporate finance, and just learn more about all the different aspects of running a major business. Someday, I think I want to go back to school for my MBA. In the really long term, I want to start a company of my own.

February 25 2019

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