A Day in the Life of an HR Intern

What is a typical day for an HR Intern at a medium-sized company? Hopefully this will give you an idea of what my work day looks like as well as what projects I’m tackling.

I generally set my alarm for 6:30AM, which gives me plenty of time to play on my phone until I actually need to start getting ready. I try to be out the door by 7:15 but can leave as late as 7:45 to still be at work by 8AM. My department tends to get to work pretty early and not many people stay past 4:30 so I’ve shifted my schedule to maximize that time.

When I get to work, I always write out what meetings I have for the day and any projects I know I need to work on. Things always get added to this list as the day goes on but it’s a good start to planning what I’ll be spending my time on. Today, I really need to finish up a task that has taken me about a week of on/off work to do. My team is working on transitioning from one applicant tracking system (ATS) to another one that will be more integrated with our other processes. I’ve been doing various tasks to help with this but today I’m exporting all of our job descriptions from the past three years so they’re available after we discontinue service with old system.

At 9AM, I need to head over to our other location (only 3 minutes away by car) to set up for a fundraiser that I’m running. Highlights has a Pelotonia team and each intern is partnering with a business leader to help fundraise for our riders. I actually have two teams that I’m working with, so you might hear more about my second project later in the summer. The one I’m starting today is a campaign called #WhatsYourArrow that encourages our employees to design their own Pelotonia arrow and submit it with a five-dollar donation. We’re planning to raffle off Amazon gift cards to those that participate. By the time I write this post 24 hours later, I’ve already raised $130!

After I set up for that, I head back to my desk and finish some outstanding projects that I’m working on. One is making a checklist of tasks for new-hires to complete in their first few days and weeks after their start date. Another project I’m doing supports some employer branding efforts that we’re working on. Highlights for Children has a few different companies under their umbrella and I’m auditing all of their social media accounts to see which companies are represented and where. While I’m working on all of this, I take a thirty-minute lunch break at my desk. We can take up to an hour for lunch and a lot of people go out to eat, but I like to pack my lunch and listen to a podcast. I still end up going out for food with people from work about once a week though. There are a bunch of great restaurants in the Grandview Heights area and I love having a reason to eat at them more often.

At 3 o’clock, the whole HR team has a bi-weekly meeting, so I join them in our conference room. I really enjoy these meetings because it gives me more exposure to some of the projects that everyone is working on, and I usually walk out with something new to help with. After the meeting, everyone disperses, and I use my last hour to get started on the PowerPoint that I’ll be presenting at the end of my internship. Our CEO and business leaders will be there, so I’m trying to make it as informative and engaging as possible.

At about 5:15, I head out for the day. It’s raining so I skip my run and watch YouTube videos instead. Anybody else feel like YouTube is better than cable? Just me?

Hopefully this gave some good insight to what a day at the office looks like and an idea of what projects HR interns might work on. It really varies by company (and especially by company size!) but I get to have a hand in a lot of different things and that’s been a great experience so far.

Weekend in Columbus

Summers in Columbus? In my opinion they’re the best part of the year in the city. Campus is nearly empty and there’s plenty of free off-street parking, along with all kinds of events going on in town. This is my second time living in Columbus outside of the normal academic year and I’m getting the most out of it.

At Highlights we have a flexible summer Friday schedule, meaning that as long as I get my 40 hours in before noon on Friday I can head out early. This isn’t my first internship that has this policy and I definitely appreciate it. This past week, I decided to join my boyfriend for an afternoon in Goodale Park, which is right downtown. He’s a musician so he hauled his gear out to play in the nice weather and I read my book underneath a nearby tree. After a couple hours we walked two short blocks over to North Market and picked out some lunch, Thai red curry for me and tikka masala for him. No trip to North Market is complete without an ice cream cone from Jeni’s, too. After that, we walked back and visited the Pizzuti Collection that sits right next to the park. The Pizzuti Collection is a small section of the Columbus Museum of Art that displays pieces donated by the Pizzuti family. It’s a quick visit, free for students, and great for local, modern artists so I would definitely recommend it.

On Saturday I woke up early and went straight to the Clintonville Farmer’s Market. Clintonville is the neighborhood just north of the University District and they hold a farmer’s market on one of their blocks from April – November. I participate in a compost exchange, so I was there just to drop off my weekly food scraps and get a new collection bag. After that, I hopped on a bus to the Short North and got my hair done at Penzone. The salon is on the pricier side but has a great vibe and excellent stylists. When I was done I decided to walk the ten blocks back to apartment since it was another nice day. Not long after I got back, my mother arrived after driving up from Dayton and we went out to the local vintage shops to look around. There’s a collection of three vintage/antique stores all on one corner on North High (the Boomerang room is my favorite) that we go to a lot, along with Grandview Mercantile over in…you guessed it, Grandview. We ended the day with dinner at Aab India which is undoubtedly my favorite place for Indian food in the city.

Sunday was spent getting groceries and relaxing before the start of another busy week. I’m looking forward to all the other Columbus fun I’ll have this summer, including ComFest in just three short weeks. If you ever need suggestions on something fun to do in the city, I’m happy to give suggestions

Introduction: A girl from China interning in the US

I’m Siwei Xu, an incoming senior, studying finance with a double-minor in business analytics and economics. I’m a corporate finance intern at Dana Incorporated this summer, and this is the fourth week of my internship. (I know… I’ll post a detailed update of my first month next weekend) For my first journal, I’d like to talk about myself, as an international student from China and how/why I found this internship.

Why do I need this summer internship?

This might be a weird question for the American students since most of them have their full-time job after a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, a good summer internship plays a significant role in helping students’ network, build their resume, and solidify their career. However, most of the international students from China will continue with post-graduate education like a master’s degree, which is preferred or required by more and more entry-level positions in China. Therefore, many Chinese students will spend this summer on GRE or GMAT exam preparation. GRE and GMAT are the two most common exams for the application of American post-graduation programs. If they have free time, aside from preparing for the exam, they will find a summer internship as well.

Does that mean I give up post-graduate education? Nope! Multiple internship experiences help me to shape my career path better. I’m able to evaluate different roles and industries through the real work environment and daily work routine. After more self-exploration, I can choose the best post-graduate program fitting my career goal. A finance student has thousands of career options, but some roles are more popular. For example, investment-related roles, consultants, and corporate financial analysts. I’ve had internship experiences in asset management and corporate strategy after freshman and sophomore year. So, this time I wanted to try something different, and that’s why I’m here, as a corporate finance intern.

How I found this job.

International students face more challenges while hunting for jobs in the US. An external reason that prevents international students from finding an internship is that an increasing number of corporations will no longer sponsor work visas for them due to government policy. Even though internships do not require the work visa, most companies look for full-time candidates from internships and don’t expect to waste their time and money on training someone who has a lower chance to come back. As a result, there are only limited options left for international students. For example, I’m really interested in working for a technology startup, but I can’t because these kinds of companies usually don’t have the capability to sponsor international students.

Fortunately, there is always a way. As Louis Pasteur’s famous quote says, “chance favors only the prepared mind.” I summarized two critical tips for international students to succeed in job hunting.

  1.  Join at least one group where people share similar career goals

After going through the application process by myself, I realized that the application timeline and required materials are very different between the US and China. As it is my first time looking for jobs in an unfamiliar country, I learned most application processes from my friends who have greater experience than me. I joined a consulting club where people frequently exchange information of company recruitment processes and case interview skills. While surrounded by people who grow themselves incredibly, I was forced to learn, like a sponge, absorbing all the knowledge at a fast pace.


  1. Set short-term and long-term goals for your career path

Rome was not built in one day, which is the same for finding an internship. I have a friend who graduated this May and will work as a full-time investment analyst for a world-famous bank. He started as an engineering student but found a better fit in finance through a scholar program. After his first internship, he found an affinity for a fast-paced work environment, such as investment banking, in a big city. He set it as a long-term goal. But to reach the goal, he needed to pay off step-by-step efforts. His short-term goals include joining the investment banking preparation program, networking with alumni in the industry, having a summer internship in an investment bank, etc. Hunting for a job is like sailing over the ocean. You need to follow the Polaris in the dark and reach every target coordinate, where the Polaris sets the direction as a long-term goal, and each coordinate track your progress as short-term goals.

I really didn’t expect my first journal to be this long. So if you followed me till here, I sincerely appreciate your interest. 🙂 Comment below to let me know what you want to learn more about me, and I’ll start recording my internship experience next week.

Back to School – One Last Time :)

So after an awesome twelve week internship and an awesome summer, it’s finally time to head back to THE best school one last time. I’ve definitely been busy these past few months; between the end of last semester, my study abroad trip, internship, and going back to school, I’ve only had two free weeks this whole summer! The past few weeks I’ve gone through a lot of transitions – leaving Detroit, moving back home to Akron for a week, and moving back to my apartment in Columbus. Unfortunately, because I was so stressed and worked so much the week before, I got super sick with a cold the week I was home. I normally get sick during or after finals week from being so run-down, so I wasn’t really surprised! The moral of the story here is to always give your body a break and let yourself relax so you can stay healthy and avoid getting sick like I did..   🙂

Like I had mentioned in an earlier post, working full-time has definitely helped me appreciate the college life. It’s really nice to be able to come home in between classes and get stuff done. However, I also feel at this point that I’m ready for my future career and future life. It’s a strange feeling going back to school after working full-time all summer and “adulting,” and it’s also hard to stay motivated in school when you’ve been doing it for so long! I’m trying not to let senioritis take over, though, and I’m definitely going to enjoy my very last year of undergrad (and continue to work hard in all of my classes!), especially because a few years from now I will eventually go back to grad school for my MBA! The thoughts of graduating college in eight months and only living in Columbus for one more year before moving away forever have me in my feels, but I take pleasure in knowing the best is yet to come. I would also like to point out that as an underclassman, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with everything going on and to feel like you have absolutely no idea what you want to do or what you want your life to be like when you are older. I PROMISE that everybody goes through this, and while it can be confusing when you are younger, by the time you get to your senior year, all of your hard work pays off and everything falls into place perfectly. Always follow your intuition, because if you do what you know in your heart is right, you will pretty much always be happy with the outcome.

Now that the only classes I have left are the classes in my specializations, it’s been really cool to be able to apply what I’ve learned during my internship and from working in the “real world.” Sometimes the professors even ask us to talk about our internship experiences in class! In turn, I definitely think that my internship has helped me gain a deeper understanding of the concepts that I’ve learned through Fisher by being able to apply them at work. I also feel like the knowledge from the International Business and Marketing classes I am currently taking will really help me in my full-time job after I graduate.

Speaking of full-time jobs, I am very happy to say that I have accepted a full-time offer with Quicken Loans as a mortgage banker in Cleveland upon graduation! I don’t exactly have a break from work for the next year though; part of my preparation to finally get on the sales floor as a banker includes taking state licensing courses and exams. Throughout this school year, as I finish my degree, I’ll ~kind of~ continue my internship by clocking in to work at home and spending anywhere from 10-15 hours a week doing the training and taking the licensing exam for different states. Quicken, as a company, is licensed in all 50 states, but each individual banker is licensed in different states (most bankers are not licensed in all 50). The company will decide which states I will obtain my license in depending on the company’s need. The average banker takes between 10-12 state licensing exams, so that is approximately how many I will take throughout my senior year to prepare for my full-time job. You cannot actually write a mortgage loan unless you are licensed at the federal level as well as in the state that the house you are writing the loan for is located in, so this is a crucial part of being a mortgage banker. With that being said, I am very excited for what my senior year and my future after college have in store for me!

I truly hope that over the course of these past few months you have all gotten something out of my blog posts and my own internship experience! If you have any questions or would like to keep in touch, don’t hesitate to connect with me on social media (Twitter & Instagram: @marieannagrace) and LinkedIn (Marie Klein). I love meeting new people and am always here to help so please feel free to reach out!

If there is one piece of advice that I could leave you with in terms of your future internship, college career, and professional career, it is this:

Image result for good things come to those who hustle

Good luck with your internship search, your remaining years of college, and all your future endeavors!! And lastly, GO BUCKS!!!!!


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Winter Break is Coming

Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Jennifer Burns

Congrats! You’ve finished all of your exams, you’re officially done with Fall semester, and you’re about to head home for a month of not thinking about school.

At first you’re probably relishing in all the time you have to do nothing but sleep in, see friends and family, and eat as many Christmas cookies as you want without worrying about any homework, exams, or papers.

But then reality hits, and you realize that you still have two more weeks of winter break and nothing left to do.

So what can you do to pass the time? Take advantage of your time off with some of the ideas below:

  • Winter break is the perfect time to set up a job shadow or informational interview with someone in your home town. You have lots free time during the work week and this is a great way to learn more about a specific company, role, or career path you are interested in. Use your personal network, LinkedIn, or AlumniFire to connect with professionals near you.
  • Haven’t become QUIC yet? There are a lot of QUIC interview openings available right now on FisherConnect and you can get a head start on prepping for your interview. The QUIC interview is a great way to practice your interviewing skills and get 1-on-1 feedback from a Career Consultant. Make sure you’ve made a profile on FisherConnect and have completed the QUIC modules before signing up!
  • Take advantage of those awesome after-Christmas sales and purchase a suit. That way you’re ready the next time you need to be in business professional attire for an interview! (bonus tip: you will need to wear a suit for you QUIC interview too!)
  • Still looking for an internship or full-time opportunity? Start prepping for the Career Fair coming up on February, 6th by downloading the OSU CareerFairPlus app, doing some preliminary company research, working on your elevator pitch, and making sure your resume is up to date. Starting preparation for the Career Fair early will help keep stress to a minimum when you are well into your spring semester classes and getting ready to attend the fair.
  • Did you recently receive or accept an internship or full-time offer? Upload it to FCDC (Fisher Career Data Central) and look at the salary data to compare your offer to what your peers have been offered.
  • Trying to make a decision between multiple job offers you have received? Review the evaluating and negotiating job offers resource available on the OCM webpage, or make an appointment with a Career Consultant to discuss what you are thinking. (bonus tip: there are appointments with Career Consultants available to you over the break, either in person or over the phone!)

Enjoy your time away from school, relax, and spend lots of time with family and friends. But don’t forget to take advantage of all your time off!