From Internship to Senior Year

Transitioning back to school was easy for me, but I was extremely busy. I had to cut my internship a couple days short in order to be back for work at Ohio State helping the Early Arrival Program for incoming freshman. On my last day, Wednesday, August 16th, we had our final presentations in our intern project groups. We presented to over 60 people and then had lunch. Afterwards, we took pictures as a group and said our goodbyes.

Finance Interns in North Carolina
My Intern Project Group After Final Presentations

I drove back to the house I was staying in and finished packing and loading my things into my car with the help of my mom and her friend who flew in two nights before. We didn’t get back to Columbus until 11:30 PM that night, and I had to be at work at 8 AM the next morning. I worked the next few days and had one day of break before school started again. I was so busy during the past 3 weeks that I didn’t even have a chance to sit down and watch TV or Netflix. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I felt that I was able to catch up on school work, unpacking, and seeing friends. Thankfully I should not have that tight of a turn around again.

I had a great summer working for Cisco. About halfway through my internship I decided that if I were to receive a full-time offer, I would want it to be at the headquarter office in San Jose, California. I expressed this to my program manager in our weekly check-ins and told her the reasons why I felt this way. Last week I received a call with my offer to work with Cisco and I accepted! I am looking forward to starting my career in Silicon Valley and living in California, which is somewhere I never thought I would end up because it is so far away.

 

Looking back I had some great experiences this summer. I want to share a few funny stories, things I found cool at Cisco, and tips for your internship. I hope you have enjoyed reading!

-On my first day with my finance team I wore a cute new shirt I had bought. Upon getting out of my car, my roommate pointed out that the tag was still on the shirt. This tag was not any tag, it was a thick cardboard tag with a string attaching it to my shirt. We weren’t able to rip it off or get it off with my keys. I went into the break room in the office and couldn’t find any scissors. Then, I went to my desk where my manager introduced me to a guy on the team and I asked them if they knew where scissors were, to which they shook their heads. I explained my tag situation and the guy I just met said he had a pocket knife. So he sawed the tag of, to which I said “nice to meet you”.  Maybe it was embarrassing, but it was funny to us.

-Our office has automatic desks that go up and down to adjust to your height or if you want to stand and work. Our laptops are our computers and we take them home with us every day. We also don’t have assigned desks, though most people sit at the same desks every day. Free coffee and iced coffee became a great perk to have on the long work days when I needed a boost of energy.

-Having a roommate that has to go to work at the same time as you is great. One day my phone was constantly dying for no reason and it decided to die overnight leaving me without an alarm. My roommate knocked on my door five minutes before we were supposed to leave to check if I was up. Without her, who knows when I would have woken up that morning.

-During a Durham Bulls baseball game that all of Cisco finance was invited to, we got souvenir mason jars with our drinks. The game was so hot that we went to find shade, but I realized I forgot my mason jar. I went back to grab it and when I came up the stairs some first years in the rotational program asked what I was doing. I put my cup up to show them while saying I forgot my cup, but as I did that the last bits of my drink splashed out onto my face and shirt. We all laughed so hard, and it started an hour long conversation in which I got to know the first years better.  *If you are underage, never drink alcohol at a company event.

-Keep a running track of what you do and who you talk to during your internship, even down to the small things you think don’t mean anything. This will come in handy if you have an exit interview or an interview with another company. It also helps when you update your resume.

-Cisco has many creativity rooms that are filled with things from a golf putting room, to a TV room, to massage chairs. I definitely wish I took advantage of these more, but I was busy working!

Golf Room
Cabana Room
Lounge in the Cabana Room
Game Room

My Time With L Brands

My eight months with L Brands has come to an end, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience that I had. I built lasting relationships with interns, fellow employees, and people outside of our company. I grew as an individual and expanded my knowledge of the real estate industry, an industry that I now know for certain that I want to build a career in. 

This was my first time working in a corporate office, and to be honest I was extremely skeptical at first. I was worried that I wouldn’t like working alongside hundreds of people in a head corporate office, but as I became more comfortable with my job and the people around me, I began to really enjoy my experience and those fears went away. The department that I worked in was roughly 30 people, which helped to make the huge corporate office feel small and much more manageable.

The corporate office also became more manageable when I began my onboarding process. I had about 25 meetings with fellow employees from different areas of L Brands. I met with people from finance, construction, store design and much more. Each meeting lasted over an hour, which gave me plenty of time to form a solid relationship with my peer. This was an amazing experience and something that I recommend every intern should do when working for any company, especially one as large as L Brands. Relationships are huge in the business world, and I suggest that interns take every step possible to build them.

By the end of my internship I was truly sad that I had to return to school and finish up my senior year. I grew very close with my fellow employees, and leaving them was definitely tough for me. An experience like the one I had with L Brands is truly a gift and I hope that all Fisher students get an experience just like it! I highly recommend working for L Brands!

How I Spent My Weekends in North Carolina

Before I came to Raleigh, I imagined it very similar to Columbus and was surprised to find that it was contrarily pretty small. Although Raleigh has roughly half the population of Columbus, there are still plenty of activities to do in the area. It was also nice having a roommate in the new city, because I already had a friend to do things with on the weekends! Below are some of the activities I did this summer:

Farmer’s Market: I went to the Durham Farmer’s Market every Saturday I was in town. I enjoy browsing around and getting fresh eggs. At this farmers market they also had craftsmen and a potter whom I purchased from weekly. They also had a lot of different food trucks and coffee to choose from.

Dame’s Chicken & Waffles

Downtown: Going to downtown Raleigh and Durham was always something fun to do, whether it was going into the shops, or grabbing something to eat. There were always new areas and street art to find.

Downtown Raleigh

Wrightsville Beach: Living in North Carolina has its perks, and being close to the beach is one of them. One weekend my roommate and I drove a little over two hours to the beach. We got a hotel for one night and went to the beach both Saturday and Sunday. We also ate a nice seafood dinner. It was relaxing to have a weekend away from home.

Wrightsville Beach

College Campus: I took some time exploring the college campuses around me. Duke University is a mile from my home, so I visited there frequently. The other colleges I explored are North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Some of the other interns in my group go to UNC Chapel Hill, so I went to hang out with them on a few weekend nights and observed how their campus culture differed from OSU.

Duke University
Duke Gardens

Hiking: Forests are abundant in North Carolina. It is one of the main things I noticed when I got here and I enjoy driving through the scenery. I wanted to hike one weekend and searched for the best trails on the internet because this area can also be very flat. I thankfully found a long trail that had a mixture of terrains and steep hills. It was nice to be submerged in nature. There are also a lot of good hiking spots that are within a couple hours away that I would have driven to if I had more time.

Eno State Park

Kayaking: My roommates, a few other people, and I went kayaking in a lake one weekend day. It was surprisingly cheap, only costing five dollars a day for a kayak. After kayaking in a lake I can definitely say that I like kayaking in a river more, but it was nice to get outside and get a little workout at the same time.

Festivals: There is always some type of festival going on during the summer months. I went to the Fourth of July festival in downtown Raleigh and to a Food Truck Festival. There are also a lot of free concerts in the parks that you can go to and listen to local bands.

Traveling: I also took a trip back to Columbus one weekend because I had a few weekend activities to do with my family. The flight was really easy, though I ended up getting delayed three hours due to storms in Ohio. I also went to New York the weekend before my internship ended for a close friend’s wedding. Because her wedding was on a Friday evening, I was not sure if I would be able to work, but luckily my boss said I could work from my laptop on Friday. At Cisco, your laptop is your computer and you take it home with you every day, making this trip doable. Saturday I went to the city with my other friends at the wedding and we explored and ate a bunch of good food. Then, Sunday I visited a friend and also Fisher alum, Sophia Mullins, before flying back to North Carolina to finish out my last week in the internship.

Quick Guide to Recruitment Season

With recruiting season quickly approaching, students everywhere are looking for the perfect internship.

My first internship was as a sophomore with a local PR company called MediaSource as a Media Measurement and Analysis intern in spring of 2016. This past summer, I accepted a Brand Marketing internship with PepsiCo in Dallas, Texas. After searching, applying and interviewing countless times, here are my eight tips on how to land the internship you deserve.

The Before

Know your strengths
Before you start looking for an internship, it’s important to know your strengths. Are you a good presenter? Good at analysis? A good researcher? Choose one that includes your strengths, and that also helps you strengthen some of your weaknesses.

Where to look
Always be aware of the resources available to you as a college student. Search through FisherConnect or ask your career advisor if they know of any beneficial opportunities. If you have a specific company in mind, apply directly through the company’s website and somehow try and connect with an individual who currently works at the company. Job search websites, such as internships.com and LinkedIn.com, can also be helpful.

What do you want? 
It’s important to know what you want to get from an internship before you go into it. As a student you should want to be part of a hands-on experience rather than doing mindless busy work. The best advice I’ve ever received from a mentor? Make a list of things you’d like to get from an internship before you start and make it your duty to achieve all of them before the end.

Be bold
The process is intimidating. With many different candidates, it’s easy to get discouraged. That being said, there are many other candidates feeling the exact same way you are. Don’t be afraid to stand out! Attend the career fair, take a deep breath, introduce yourself to company representatives and set yourself apart from the other candidates. Make sure the recruiters don’t forget your name.

Be open
It’s very easy go into the internship process with tunnel vision. Many students go into the process only wanting to work for one specific company, failing to research what else is out there. Be flexible! It’s okay to know what you want, but always be willing to adjust and look for opportunities in other places.

You got the interview, now what?

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

Research
Know what the company does and what they stand for. Going into an interview with no prior research on the company looks bad if your interviewer asks you a basic company question.

Be enthusiastic
Be excited that you’ve made it this far! Enthusiasm shows the company that you’re excited to be there and willing to tackle whatever they may throw at you. Smile and be confident. Nerves are natural, but just be yourself!

Eyes on the prize
Know how the internship will align with your future career goals. The whole point of an internship is to get the professional experience that you need for your career. Before you go into an interview, make sure you know exactly you’ll be doing throughout the internship and how this will prepare you for the future. Knowing how the opportunity aligns with your career goals will make the, “Why are you interested in this position?” interview question a breeze.

Best of luck to everyone as internship season is approaching! Go put your best foot forward and land it!

Internship Wrap-Up and Reflection

As the last few weeks of August near, the Ohio State campus becomes busy again as students return for a new year. And just like that, another summer has come and gone!

During the final days of my internship at Cardinal Health, the whirlwind of project wrap-up, final presentation prep, and full-time interviews all caused me to stop and think about my summer experience. It’s easy to notice if you like coming to work every day, but going a bit deeper may be useful in your future career search.

Here are a few questions worth pondering:

Do I like the work I am doing?

Think about the technical aspects of your summer job. An internship is a great way to get a glimpse of how skills transfer from classroom to workplace. If you didn’t love your summer work, what would make it better? For example, I really enjoyed the writing aspect of my intern role but would have liked to see more data analytics incorporated. Use this insight when evaluating future positions.

Do I like the company where I am working?

It’s often hard to describe company culture until you have lived it. After working for a company over the summer, did you identify with the core values? As my internship progressed, I was able to pinpoint certain things about Cardinal Health that I really appreciated. For example, other employees were highly open to networking, which helped me build a strong network and learn about the company.

Do I like the city I am working in?

Location is key! Enjoying your job is important, but what do you do outside of work? I have been at Ohio State for three years, but this was my first summer living in Columbus without the responsibilities of classwork. It was a completely different experience! I finally got to explore the city—museums, parks, plenty of new restaurants—which made it easier to imagine living here with a full-time job after graduation.

What did I learn in this position?

When you add a job or internship to your resume, what are your bullet points? This doesn’t have to be anything formal, but it can be useful to write down all of the accomplishments or tasks completed during an internship. Think about the technical skills, such as learning a new software program or understanding an operational process. Don’t forget the soft skills too; if you frequently worked on teams during your job, make sure to use those new or improved skills in classes with group work.