End of Internship Recap

Hey guys,

So the internship went horribly. What a lousy waste of time, can’t believe I ever signed up for that awful experience. I learned nothing, didn’t experience any real corporate culture, and came out so much worse for wear than I came in. If I were trying to tell you the exact opposite of my experience, those would be my words to describe my summer internship 🙂

Fidelity was a great company to work for, and the tech program gave great insight into what being a tech professional is like. My internship wasn’t the coding type of tech- to be honest, the best way I could describe it is that the tech field is exactly like the business field, you need the same skills to deal with people and solve problems. The only difference is that the subject matter and critical items you are dealing with are a lot different. So even if I wasn’t always completely comfortable in a back office role, this internship gave me great exposure to what a systems analyst role is like, and that was extremely interesting because I still felt like I learned so many general skills that can be applicable in more than just a tech role.

If I were to give one crucial piece of advice that became radiantly clear over the internship, and what I feel can bring you farthest in your career, it is this- ask questions. Don’t just ask if you can go to the bathroom (you usually can), or if you can take a break for lunch (decide that one yourself)  but any time a question that might influence how your final deliverable will come out, that question needs to be verbalized so that it becomes actionable. My partner almost never asked questions, he always let our boss do the talking when they had their weekly meetings. This inability to clear up important issues is why his final document came out with the word “DRAFT” bolded on the front page, and mine did not. Why do I think this was? Because where he was complacent and shy in his meetings, I was basically peppering our boss with more questions than she could handle. Sure, some didn’t make me look too bright, but that’s a normal part of the process and your boss always knows more than you and always will be willing to help you understand what you need to make your project click.

The eagerness to ask questions is just one component of the many dimensions I learned about for me as a person and a professional during my first internship. I really can’t say how much more ready it made me for the work force when I graduate in 2017 (gulp) but I would strongly recommend you put everything you can into finding an internship because the work will pay dividends. Unfortunately I won’t go into crazy detail in this blog post, but I offer up my email (kononenko.3@osu.edu) if anyone wants to meet and discuss. I know a candid conversation with internshipees helped me along my interview process, and I am more than happy if you want to reach out.

Best of Luck,

Trevor

HR Interview & Resume Tips

Hi Everyone! I wrote this post about 2 weeks ago but wasn’t able to post it. Hopefully this will work now! Last week HR had a Resume & Interview Workshop where all of the interns got to ask about any questions we had. So below I’ve listed 10 things HR mentioned that I think are very important, hope you think the same!

1. Cover letters: Only submit a cover letter for two reasons. 1) The employer specifically asks for one. Most of the time they have at least 200 applications for one position. They barely have enough time to skim your resume, yet alone read a whole cover letter. 2) You have to explain something they might not understand about you from your resume. For example, if you are moving to a new state because of your family, they can better understand why you are applying to that location.
2. Company Culture: Ask and be observant about the company culture while interviewing. If each person you interview from one company describes the culture in a drastically different way, it is probably not a good sign. Find a place to work that you would fit in and enjoy! Make sure to look at their social media to get an insight of the atmosphere!

Slide1

3. Career Fairs: When approaching a company at a career fair, make sure that you have done your research. Come prepared with questions and know what you are looking for in an internship. Obviously you want a job, but be specific and confident!

10665280_10207273602455507_2399258498942874073_n
4. Free stuff: When at a career fair and a recruiter offers you some free swag, always take it and say thank you! The recruiters don’t personally pay for the swag and they brought it there for you. Be excited and grateful. Also, don’t throw the gifts away in the trash at the fair. People from HR are everywhere and will remember if they see you trashing everything you just took!

5. Resume: First off, you probably don’t need an objective statement. Your objective is to get the job you’re applying for. An objective statement is probably just taking up space where you could write more about your experience.
6. Tailoring: If have a lot of experience make sure to tailor your resume. For example, if you are applying for an internship at DSW make sure to include your experience as a sales associate in a store. If you are applying to a bank, add some extra bullets under your VP Finance position for your student org. But always remember if you are applying to many companies at once, don’t write the wrong company name! No one at Deloitte wants to hire someone who writes in their email how much they would love to work at PWC. Always proof read!
7. Salary: Looking for a full time job and want to ask for a higher starting salary? HR at DSW said this isn’t rude, it actually shows how much you want to make this position work. Instead of accepting an okay job with a good offer, you want their job and are finding a way to get it. Just make sure to be respectful, they still have the right to say no. I suggest looking at Fisher Career Data Central, so you can bring in documentation of what other Fisher students of your major are earning after graduation. This is great to show how you have done your research!

8. Be transparent: If you have other offers, don’t lie to your potential employer. They appreciate transparency and might even expedite an offer if they think you might go to another company!
9. LinkedIn: HR told us that they look at 80-90% of candidates LinkedIn profiles. What does that mean for you? Make sure your profile is always updated! A great thing about LinkedIn is that you can go into much greater detail than you would normally do on a 1-page resume.
10. Reach out: Curious about a position? Connect with someone in Recruiting at the company you are interested in. HR at DSW said they get requests and messages all of the time on LinkedIn and many times even set up exploratory conversations with potential new hires.

*Fun Fact: DSW has the BEST food! Their cafeteria is amazing and has tons of options for breakfast and lunch everyday. It has great prices and some of the best melty chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!

**Tip of the day: Write what you do! You don’t have to start a blog or anything, just make a bulleted list in your phone of any tasks or projects you complete. This will come in handy when you update your resume and LinkedIn profile!

***Embarrassing moment: I have a confession to make…I have an irrational fear of birds. Their beady little eyes and ability to fly out of nowhere is terrifying. Anyway, I arrived at the parking lot at DSW the other day and saw a bird on the car across from mine. Getting ready to run inside away from the bird, it then flew onto my driver’s side mirror and stared at me for 5 straight minutes. The bird refused to move even after me blasting my music and honking my horn. Yes, I realize I sound slightly crazy, but it was staring into my soul!

So I backed out of my spot and it flew onto the hood of my car. I then proceeded to drive around the parking lot and it stayed on my hood like I was its ride! I was going to be late, so I parked, crawled through my car and went out the passenger’s side door. My day started with me defeated by a bird and praying no one saw what just happened.

Also, that bird has since come back to my car 5 times this summer! I’m not joking. I think I need a restraining order.

IMG_4795

Internship Reflection & Advice

Next week I will finish my work here, after which I will be back to Ohio State to finish my curriculum and dedicate the rest of my time there to the Ambassador program, DSP, the Finance department as a tutor and my chapter of ALPFA HBSA. I will be coming back with an offer from PwC, to work in the banking and capital markets industry of the auditing service line. My networking efforts culminated today with an interview with the Private Equity Valuation group of the firm, which I was able to obtain because of referrals from a mentor of mine and my CFA exam successful results. I am leaving New York knowing that the growth opportunities within this city, within this PwC office itself, are very extensive. I am leaving knowing that I am a lucky person, since not only do I enjoy what I study, but I also was able to find a job in the emblematic city of NY with it.
Looking back at this internship, I can tell you that auditing is more about business processes, regulation, and corporate governance than it is about accounting. At least that is the way it is in Manhattan. It is necessary to know accounting, as the audit goal is to trace the source of every financial statement item line in a 10-k to its point of origin (at a very high level). But I can also tell you that there is not as much math or market awareness as I would like there to be in my career going forward. Regardless, because of the continuous growth in regulation from part of the SEC, FINRA, FED, and other agencies, the regulatory and financial background acquired in this position are highly searched for in the banking and corporate world. Getting into a big 4 in NYC is also easier than landing a front office role at a financial institution, and you learn more than you would at back office. I plan to accept my offer, keep learning throughout my academic career, and start studying for the CFA level 2 now.

13507069_1421078224585925_8803935799592357708_n
Now I want to leave a piece of advice. If you want something, go and get it. There is no such thing as something being “hard”, every objective has a price, and is up to you to the math and see if you are willing to pay that price. It may mean long hours of study, trips to other cities to network with employees from companies you are interested, or simply maintaining a 4.0 GPA to just be considered for the same position that someone from a private school may be with a 3.5. Whatever it is, if you really want it, then just go for it. If it seems hard and you want to quit, then there is a good chance that that is not what you really want to do with your life, which would signal that you need to go back to the white board.

Buckeye Network

I wanted to use this blog to talk about how much being an Ohio State student has helped me during my internship. To begin with, I have encountered six different OSU graduates while in NYC. Within my daily work I see two OSU faces all the time. One of the two managers in my engagement team graduated from Fisher’s masters in accounting program in 2008, while the controller of the banking holding company that functions as US representative of the bank graduated from Fisher in 2002. This point in common has helped me start conversations with the client (to better understand his relationship with the Fed) and to find a supportive member in the audit group through my manager. While in NYC, I have also seen some familiar faces in the streets, two Fisher rising seniors and one just graduated alumni, who happened to be in the city for training. I have also gone out on weekends with many OSU friends, DSP brothers and other friends from school.

I had the opportunity to meet with experienced Buckeye coworkers here at PwC. I first met Jordan Payne, OSU graduate from 2009. Jordan works for the PwC Consumer Banking advisory group in Columbus, and came to NY to meet with a client. He is also a brother of mine from Delta Sigma Pi. Jordan and I spent an hour or so catching up. I also had the opportunity to meet Jim and Carl, 2014 and 2013 graduates from Ohio State’s Fisher Futures program. They now both work in the valuations arm of PwC, and helped me further understand where I can take my career here with PwC.

Finally, as an Ohio State student I am often thought of as a good intern by default. Everyone is familiar with the buckeyes and I often get jokingly corrected when I say that I am from Ohio State with someone in the group saying “THE Ohio State”. Being a Buckeye has been far more helpful than I originally expected. The network is real.

 

12 in 12

Below are my top 12 of the amazing opportunities that I have had through my 12-week internship with DSW. Take a look below to see some of the great projects I’ve worked on and people I’ve met!

  1. Fashion Week Columbus: FWC is a non-profit organization that supports local fashion designers and DSW is a huge sponsor! Throughout my internship I’ve been able to meet with their Executive Director and figure out how DSW could be a part of it, which includes providing all the shoes for the Kids Show and Final Runway show!
  2. Magazine features: As I’ve mentioned in my blog, I work with editors of magazines almost everyday including Cosmopolitan, InStyle, People StyleWatch, Redbook, Real Simple & more! They usually let me know the trends or styles they are looking for, and then I work with our Merchandising team to pick out what would work. Check out the below picture of a sample I sent to Oprah that made it in their August issue! thumbnail_IMG_7172 (2)
  1. Information Sessions: These sessions have helped me learn way more than I would have imagined. HR arranged about 10 information sessions where executives gave an overview of what goes on in their department. I mean, who would have thought that I would have completely loved the finance meeting I went to? If your internship has anything like this, make sure to go!
  2. Lunch with Interns: This is one of the things I am going to miss so much! About 10 of the interns and I meet in the cafeteria each day for lunch and it was a great way to get to know the other interns from around the country. It was also a safe zone for questions we might have thought were embarrassing, like where someone’s office was or how to use the fax machine.
  3. Skechers Events: If you happened to be at the DSW in Dublin on July 17th you would have seen 1 of the 23 Skechers Kids Parties that I helped with. The store in Dublin had a try-on event complete with a DJ, face painter, balloon artist and free prizes! This was really cool for me to attend and see over a month of planning come to life!thumbnail_skecher
  1. Pokémon Go: I know you’ve heard of the app that has taken over the world! This project was very unique because we didn’t have much time to plan at all when the app exploded with popularity. I was able to work with people in Communications, Signage and Media to pull off Pokémon Go in select DSW stores in just a few days. Customers received $10 off that day if they played Pokémon Go in the store! 
  2. Art Review: This was just one of the regular weekly meetings I always went to, but my favorite! Every week in Art Review different people in Marketing present their email, signage, gift card, website artwork and more. It was so cool to hear the feedback and see all of the behind the scenes work that goes into this business.
  3. Holiday Look Book: This was my big intern project and my favorite one too! I was able to gather products to show magazine editors what DSW would have in stock for their holiday issue. From the selection of products by the Trend team, to getting them shot by our Photo Studio, designing a layout myself and gathering over 100 contacts to send them to, this project was extremely rewarding. The whole project went through my hands from the beginning to end, and ended up turning out great! Keep a look out in your favorite magazines for DSW in Holiday Gift Guides!
  4. Bloggers: If you follow Barefoot Blonde or other bloggers, you’ve probably seen them wearing New Balance, Vans, Converse and many more DSW carried brands. I was able to see how these posts unfold from beginning to end, so fun!
  5. Buzzfeed: Ever wonder how Buzzfeed writes their articles? It’s from lots of drafts back and forth! Check out this one that tells you what your shoes reveal about your horoscope! I have to admit, mine was spot on…

    These were my results from the Buzzfeed quiz. What are yours?
    These were my results from the Buzzfeed quiz. What are yours?
  1. Events Planning Committee: Make sure to get involved! On the first day of my internship (still can’t believe that was 10 weeks ago), I volunteered to be on the Intern Events Committee. Throughout the summer a few of us have planned events like happy hours, Columbus Clippers games, cycling classes and a dinner. What better way to keep involved inside and outside of work!
    Some interns and I at Cycle614!
    Some interns and I at Cycle614!

    Interns take on the Columbus Clippers!
    Interns take on the Columbus Clippers!
  2. Amazing Mangers: Seriously, everyone who works here is fantastic. I report to two amazing women in PR (Hi Maria and Kris!) and have learned more than I ever thought I could in one summer. I’ve gotten my hands on some amazing projects, but more importantly received invaluable feedback each step of the way. I can’t thank them enough for the coolest summer I’ve had yet!
Maria and I at DSW's carnival that raised money for United Way!
Maria and I at DSW’s carnival that raised money for United Way!

*Fun Fact: All employees at DSW get 30% off! And that’s off clearance too! DSW’s employee benefits are amazing…I’m going to miss this!

**Tip of the day: Set up lunches with people that you would like to get to know better! In a quick hour lunch you might learn about a career path that you had never even thought about. I haven’t heard a “no” yet!

***Embarrassing moment: So you know how in #6 I worked on a Pokémon project? Yeah, I still can’t believe that just came out of my mouth. Well, in order to have it work in stores, I first had to test to see if it work which involved me going to the 3 stores in DSW and playing. More than one sales associate caught me taking selfies playing Pokémon Go. Oops! I have to admit though, it was really fun! IMG_8667