REFLECTING ON YOUR SUMMER INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

Summer is an exciting time as an undergraduate student. It provides the opportunity for students to partake in an internship experience. So, what happens after a student has a great summer internship?

            Reflection.

reflection

Experiences teach us a lot about ourselves and help us to create hopes or goals for the future. Internships in many ways are a test drive for a future career.

We asked Union College students who completed their summer internships to reflect on their experience.

What did you learn about yourself through the internship?

  • “That I can and will be successful relying on myself.” – Katya Welch, Deutsche Bank
  • “I learned more specifically what I want to do. I want to travel for work. And that I love working for a big company.” – Kristy Landre, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

How have your career plans changed (or remained unchanged) due to your internship experience?

  • “My summer internship in NYC was a great experience, both for the experience of working in a big Wall Street firm as well as living by myself in Brooklyn.” – Katya Welch, Deutsche Bank
  • “My career plans have become more defined as a result of my experience. Prior to the internship, I knew I wanted to work in financial services, accounting or consulting, but now will be going back to PwC full-time after graduation to continue in Risk Assurance.” – Kristy Landre, PwC
  • “I always wanted to work in an accounting firm. The firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), is known as one of the Big Four accounting firms. Over the 8 week internship, PwC trained me well and had me do meaningful work for the firm and the client. I could see the value I was adding to the firm and I constantly received real time feedback that helped me improve myself and do even better. Through the internship, I gained a whole new confidence that has encouraged me to stick with the career path I have always wanted for myself.” – Rimsha Malik, PwC
  • “I am a political science major that has just always had an interest in finance. I’m one of those people that enjoys the information, but for whatever reason, being an economics major at Union just wasn’t right for me. An internship in finance opens up the door of possibilities as far as career opportunities go. Now this field is a valid and foreseeable option for me, when before it really wasn’t. In my opinion, regardless of major or course of study, if you are knowledge-driven, a finance internship is the perfect introduction to that line of work. It looks good on a resume, allows you to learn a lot, and makes post-grad opportunities possible. That’s what it has done for me.” – Baguidy Elien, Thomson Reuters

What is a standout memory or accomplishment from your internship?

  • “One standout memory from the internship is my shadowing experience. I got to shadow three partners of the firm. The experience provided me with a unique opportunity to get a closer look at the leadership that makes PwC the top professional services firm it is. While sitting through various meetings, I realized how these leaders view each situation as an opportunity rather than an obstacle and are always willing to embrace challenges presented to them. I admired their enthusiasm, values and extraordinary leadership abilities. The shadowing experience left me extremely motivated and excited.” – Rimsha Mailk, PwC
  • “I, along with two other interns, was able to establish a program at Thomson Reuters known as TR college ambassadors. We drew up a business proposal, budget and pitched the idea to our leadership. We received approval for our project and $10K in funding to carry it out. The sense of accomplishment was surreal and the term “value-added” had new meaning. I worked hard and the fruits of that labor were clearly visible in that moment. No greater feeling.” – Baguidy Elien, Thomson Reuters

The “post-internship time period” (aka Fall Term) is a time to de-brief on your summer experience. Asses what you liked and what you did not like. How does this impact your academic studies or your plans for the future? There are many worthwhile questions to ask yourself. Through the process of asking questions and reflecting, you will be setting yourself up for success.

Next-Steps:

  • Meet with a career advisor to debrief
  • Add your internship to your resume
  • Follow-up with supervisors thanking them for the experience and/or asking for a recommendation
  • Network with alum and professionals in your field of interest, sharing your summer internship experience with them (great conversation starter!)
  • Begin searching and applying for internships or post-grad positions

And as always, if you have any questions, ask the “Internship Lady” Keri Willis in the Becker Career Center, willisk@union.edu!

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