Maximizing Your Internship

Hello, everyone!

Just an update on my internship, I am going on week 6 of my 13 week period of time at Dana. Being a returning intern has allowed me some great insights and opportunity with the company, many of which I would have never expected as an intern in a decent sized fortune 500 business. In addition to that, it has also helped me learn some of the best practices in order to maximize your internship and aim towards that overall goal of getting a full-time job.

With that being said, let’s discuss that big project you may have gotten assigned.

At Dana, I am working in their Aftermarket business unit and have been assigned 5 different projects ranging in level of difficulty and size. Some of these projects are what some would refer to as “boil-the-ocean” types which are designed to see how you deal with an ambiguous problem and the steps you take to finding an answer effectively. A common criticism of college students and interns nowadays is that we cannot handle the unknown and that we need our hands held in the form of step by step instructions in order to accomplish something. This is where these ambiguous project come in. When you get one of these assignments, don’t worry. They just want to see how you cope with it and the way you approach/process/plan. With that, my tip is to break things down piece by piece and then focus in and work until you can find a way to fix each part and fit it together. Sure, you won’t have a perfect answer, but that’s not nearly as important as your analysis and problem-solving skills when it comes to these types of issues.

The next thing that will help your internship is utilizing your resources.

Reach out to your managers when starting your projects and take an initiative. Ask if they want to have weekly meetings to check in, or how they would prefer you to communicate with them and start building up that rapport early on. Make sure that you are getting those much-needed criticisms and recommendations, as well as their opinions on your plan, drafts, and the progress thus far. Most likely your manager will be the one signing off on your final product and critiquing it, so the more that they support what you’re doing, the better it will fair for you in the end.

Another quality that coincides with communication is leadership.

Take the initiative, don’t be afraid to raise concerns that you may have. Sitting in a meeting with your manager or other important people and speaking up about how you may have a better way or an idea on how to fix something is one of the best things. It will show that you are leading your own project and are committed to the work and its completion. Employers will take note of that. They want people who want to make a difference and be initiative, not those who will sit back and say “We’ve always done it this way, so why change it now?”.

My last tip for this post has to do with the culture and fit of the company.

A big part of what you’re going to get out of this internship and how others perceive you have to do with how you interact with the company and how you fit. Everyone knows you’re an intern and everyone is watching and giving their input. With that being said, make sure that you’re interacting positively with your fellow interns and the full-time employees that you will be working with. Once again, take an initiative to get to know people and show an interest in what they’re doing and what opinions that have about your project. Participate in service events and tag along for any social events that you may have been invited to. All of these things show that you truly care about your work and the company. A common mistake people make is thinking that your future career is all about what a company can do for you, but in reality it’s the complete opposite. While a company will do everything they can to help you to learn they too expect you to give a lot back. They want a hard worker who will give back to the job, the community, and the overall goals of the company.

Keep this in mind when looking for internships and jobs. Make sure that a company is a good fit professionally and culturally, otherwise, you won’t be motivated to take that extra step to go above and beyond.

These internships are meant to be a job “try-out” so take advantage of that. You owe it to yourself to make the most of it and learn all that you can about yourself and your respective companies. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Thank you all for reading and I will come back at you soon with posts about socializing as an intern and dealing with those slow work weeks when your project is in a lull.

Cheers!

Hunter

Introduction+Internship Tips *Featuring The Office*

Hi everyone! My name is Alli Esker and I’m a rising junior studying finance with minors in economics and design thinking. This summer, I am interning in San Jose, California with Cisco Systems. I am so excited to use the MyFisherInternship Blog platform to share about my experience and help other students with the entire internship process.

I’ve been thinking about how exactly I want to use this blog. It’s about me, but I’m hoping it will ultimately serve the Fisher community as a whole as something useful. I think it’d be best to begin my first blog with an introduction about myself, give some recruiting advice, and talk about my personal recruiting experience in obtaining this internship. My goal is to share with you my thoughts as well as feelings in this blog.

About me: Background I was born in Columbus, but grew up in Medina, about halfway between Akron and Cleveland. Something I think is interesting about me is the closeness in age of all of my siblings. I have an older brother who’s 23, an older sister who’s 22, I’m 21, and my younger brother is 19. I was actually born the day after my sister’s first birthday!

On Campus: I have a few campus involvements that keep me busy when I’m not in the library studying. One of my main ones is in Undergraduate Business Women’s Association (UBWA). In this organization, I serve as the VP of Professional Development. I got introduced to UBWA my freshman year, and in it I found my passion for empowering women and helping provide equal opportunity to all. I also hold a position as a Peer Career Coach at the Office of Career Management. I have a passion for professional development and personal branding, and  in this position I get to help other students with resume critiques and LinkedIn reviews, among other things. I also am a recently certified yoga instructor. I’m excited to provide others with assistance on mindfulness, meditation, and movement through yoga.

In my spare time… I love to travel! This year so far, I’ve had the opportunity to travel domestically to Minneapolis, Chicago, and DC through conferences and case competitions. Internationally, I flew to Paris in May where I spent some time with friends who were studying abroad, before I headed to Portugal for my yoga teacher training. What I like about traveling is the experience of something new, and never quite knowing what to expect. My best example of this was when my flight from Faro to Lisbon was delayed. I missed my next flight to Newark. When I got off the plane at Lisbon, a worker handed me my hotel voucher and that was it. I magically had an extra night in Portugal! It wasn’t ideal because I’d be leaving for San Jose the next day. Long story short, I got to explore Lisbon and I made it home on the night of June 1st, unpacked my things from Europe, repacked my things for San Jose, and went back to the airport 10 hours later.

My personal internship recruiting process: I specifically had interests in technology and retail (I know-they’re completely different!) going into recruiting, so I applied to companies with either of those as their line of business. I began on FisherConnect, and submitted my resume to the companies I was interested in. I also went to the fall career fair to learn more about opportunities. This is where I spent 50% of my internship search efforts. The other 50% I spent researching companies, applying on websites like Indeed, and reaching out to people on LinkedIn. I was able to secure my internship with Cisco after an on campus recruiter for their Leaders In Finance and Technology program advised me to apply to other positions that would consider rising juniors. I applied for their product management internship online and had a few WebEx interviews within the next couple of weeks. Soon after, I received my offer for the advanced services product management position.

Getting an internship: Trying to obtain an internship can be one of the most stressful things a student can go through. I have a few fun tips for those with that as a goal.

  • Know yourself and know your brand. Sounds simple, right? Do you know your top strengths, personal mission statement, vision statement, passions, values etc? Basically, I think one of the most useful things you can do in trying to get an internship is to do some inward evaluation. What jobs have you had in the past? What did you enjoy or not enjoy about them? How did you add value in leadership roles you’ve had? Taking all of this information will be infinitely useful as you strategize for what companies and positions you want to target. 
  • Once you have a grasp on yourself, next is targeting. Do you love video streaming sites like Youtube? Are you applying to those company’s internships? Are you trying to chat with the recruiters and employees of these companies to learn more? Are you just “trying to get any internship” or “trying to get this internship? Authentic interest goes a long way. 
  • Be persistent and determined. You’re getting email after email of: “We regret to inform you that *insert company* has decided to move forward with other candidates” (It’s ok me too!) If it was your dream company, follow up and ask how you can be better for the next recruiting season. Either way, move forward and trust the process.
  • Stay organized. If you’re contacting employees or recruiters of a company, I think valuing their time is imperative. Being open and approachable with what companies you’re targeting will help with this. You don’t want to be that person that sends in the wrong cover letter for the wrong company.
  • Utilize your resources. The Office of Career Management is the best possible place for any and all of your professional endeavors. Go their to get your resume critiques (come visit me!) and QUIC certified. Make sure you know the answer to the, “What’s your greatest weakness?” question. Schedule an appointment for a LinkedIn walkthrough and review.
  • Have fun! It all can seem daunting, but try to find enjoyment through it all. Hate cold emailing? See if you can reframe your brain in a way that makes it more enjoyable. My favorite fact that helps me with interview nerves is this: There is no chemical difference in the body for nervousness and excitement. You’re not nervous, you’re excited! And remember, as Michael Scott-I mean-Wayne Gretzky says: 

 

Next Blog: As I get accustomed to my first weeks at Cisco, I hope to push out more content that will help you Fisher students regarding getting adjusted to a new city and beginning an internship. Stay tuned!

 

Gratefully,

Alli

Preparing for Your First Day!

Hello, fellow Buckeyes!

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Hunter Wise and I am a rising Senior Finance Major at FCOB. I am returning to Dana Incorporated this summer where I will be working in their Aftermarket business unit as a finance intern. Last year I was on their Internal Audit and SOX Compliance teams. In addition to my corporate finance experience, I just recently returned from an internship with a technology startup in Amsterdam, Netherlands this past summer where I did everything from marketing, to finance, to operations. With all that being said, I’m ready to spend this summer working and getting to tell all of you about the things that I’ve learned and will continue to learn about this coming internship experience.

Let’s get started!

The first day of an internship, whether it’s your first time with this company or your second, is a nerve-racking and intimidating experience. You’re filled with excitement about learning new things and nervous about making that first and lasting impression that will hopefully get you that full-time job or returning internship. All while these thoughts are going through your head the obvious solutions and tricks to be successful can pass right over your head. Don’t worry though, I’ve got the tips that helped me through my first internship and every other one that I’ve had since.

  1. “You can have anything you want if you dress for it.” -Edith Head
    1. People will respect you if you respect yourself. Dress for success and people will take note, not necessarily because of your nice clothes, but because feeling good about yourself and what you’re wearing adds an element of cool confidence that will get you far. The better you feel, the better you will be able to handle first day nerves.
  2. “If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.” -Vince Lombardi
    1. If you think that no one is going to notice whether you show up 1 minute before your start time or 10 minutes before, think again. Being there early shows you take an initiative and you’re eager to get started and learn. It also gives you a few extra minutes to gather yourself and chill out before the madness of orientation begins.
  3. Know your stuff!
    1. This one may seem intimidating, but it’s truly simple. You’ve been through the interviews and you know what this company does so make sure you show it. Don’t be afraid to speak up about something you may know or have read recently about what the company is and what they’re currently doing (market position, stock prices, M & A, etc.). This will be a good step towards showing your managers and bosses how passionate you are about this job.
    2. P.S. You can also use this knowledge to ask more complex questions that dig deeper into the business, which will help you stand out among your fellow interns.
  4. Take notes.
    1. Make note of the people that you meet, you may be working with them in the near future.
    2. Take note of the expectations the company has of the interns and use them later to match them up with your goals for yourself.
    3. All in all, just pay attention and make note of anything that you see as important or could be useful later.
  5. Get to know your fellow interns and befriend them.
    1. These are the people who you will most likely be sitting with day in and day out. They’re the people who are going to be there when you lose all of your work or you have a big breakthrough in your project. Don’t underestimate what they’re capable of just because they’re an intern like you. The chances are that you can learn a lot from them and their experiences. Not to mention the fact that these people could also turn into lifelong friends and future coworkers.
  6. Last, but not least, KEEP IT POSITIVE!
    1. No matter what you may be thinking during this first day or week. Despite the stress of the unknown and the magnitude of all the information and training that will be thrown your way, you should stay positive. Everything has a silver lining and I challenge you to always find it. A smile on your face and a sunny disposition will go far when it comes to your internship. It shows you’re able to handle the ups and downs and are able to adapt to whatever they throw your way.
    2. Employees who are willing to brave the storm and come out on top are indispensable to a company.

For any of you going into an internship soon, or have already started but want to step of the game, these steps will help. I wish all of you luck on this exciting journey and I will continue to update you with more tips and experiences as my time in my internship goes on.

Cheers!

Hunter

The Internship Road-map for Those Without Direction

During the academic year, finding an internship was one task amongst the hundreds thrown my way. The internship search became more than settling for a nine-to-five position. It became finding a field where I could see a future. Between projects, jobs, extracurricular activities, and life, I found myself searching “Top 10 internships” and “Best companies to intern for” on a weekly basis. What I struggled with during this search was having no idea what my dream role was. Marketing? Sales? Consulting?

The truth behind this madness is that it is okay to not know. Sometimes you have to dip your toes into the corporate water to discover what you’re passionate about. Throughout my college experience, I have interned as a non-profit management, a marketing, and a sales position. I believe that the best way to discover your path is to enter into an internship, even for a company you know little about. This is exactly how my journey with Reynolds & Reynolds began.

I started applying to internships during November of my junior year. I took the mass applications approach when applying, but I do not recommend this. I soon became frustrated with the fact that I was getting zero responses from companies even though I was putting hours into applications. During winter break in December I took this time to thoroughly investigate companies, and I soon discovered Reynolds on Ohio State’s database. A huge reason why I decided to apply to Reynolds is because my marketing professor told my class that business-to-business sales is a fantastic (but often overlooked) field to enter. Trusting his advice and positive GlassDoor Reynolds reviews, I applied.

For the struggling student seeking an internship, I offer this:

  1. Take the time to think about what types of companies you’re interested in. If you don’t, you will waste a lot of energy typing half-hearted applications.
  2. Consider business-to-business. Many college-aged students overlook this gigantic opportunity.
  3. Reach out to alum in companies you like through LinkedIn. Set up a coffee chat!
  4. Ohio State gives you the tools to succeed.

 

Preparing (and packing) for my Internship!

Hi everyone! My name is Marie Klein and I am going into my senior year at The Ohio State University. I am majoring in International Business and Marketing. I can’t believe I only have one year left at the best school in the world; time sure did fly these past three years. That being said, this summer I will be interning with Quicken Loans in Detroit! I am very excited to start my internship and cannot wait for the amazing experience that it will be. However, before I get there, I need to pack up my life and move to Detroit for the summer!

To give you a little background about myself, I was born and raised in Akron, about twenty minutes south of Cleveland. Fun fact: I live about five minutes away from Lebron! These past few weeks have been a little crazy, and I feel like I’ve been living in a bunch of different places. After this past semester ended, my parents helped me pack up my stuff and move out of my apartment in Columbus for the summer. I won’t be back in Columbus til August when school starts, so it was bitter sweet saying goodbye to campus for almost four months. I had a few days of down time, but spent most of them packing because a few days after my last final I left for my trip to Europe! I went on a study abroad trip through Fisher, and it was definitely the trip of a lifetime. We stayed in northern Italy, visiting Venice, Padua, Verona, Turin, Milan, and a few of the Venetian islands. After only a week, we came back home and luckily my body adjusted very quickly to the time change. There are a lot of study abroad programs that conflict with summer internships, but luckily mine didn’t, so starting my internship on time wasn’t an issue. Because of all of the traveling, I didn’t even bother to unpack when I came home from school because I knew I was just going to have to pack again for Michigan!

I always dread packing because I am a very organized person by nature and moving places makes me feel like I have no idea where anything is! I normally wait until the last few days before I’m about to leave before I actually start to pack so that way I don’t have to keep unpacking things that I need to use before I leave. Before packing, however, I made sure to mentally prepare myself for my internship and for working full time for the next three months! Quicken Loans sent its interns cute little packages with souvenirs and other fun things in the months leading up to our internships, as well as booklets about the company, so I made sure to read through the booklets and absorb the information. Each time I got a package it made me even more excited for the summer! I feel as though I did a pretty good job of preparing myself, but I guess we’ll find out 🙂

Now, on to the not-so-fun part: packing. My mom is also a very organized person, so every time she thought of something I would need she wrote it down. Between my mom’s list and my own list of things I’ll need, hopefully we won’t forget anything! I am planning on bringing everything I brought with me when I lived in a dorm my freshman and sophomore year. To give you an idea, some of the main things that I packed were clothes (business clothes, as well as workout stuff), bed sheets and pillows, all of my bathroom stuff, shoes, makeup, hair stuff, my backpack, planner, laptop, iPad, phone, and other electronic devices. If you think you might need it, it’s always better to pack it so you have it just in case! Packing only took a few hours, so it really wasn’t bad.

Now on to the next step: moving to Detroit! I have never lived in another state before, so this will be a completely new adventure for me. I’m looking forward to starting my internship very soon and can’t wait to share more about it with you!