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

Point of No Return

This past weekend I visited Cedar Point for the first time in ten years. While at the park, I decided that I would work up the nerve to ride Top Thrill Dragster. After waiting in line for an hour and a half, I was shuffled closer and closer towards the cars. That’s when the anxiousness set in. Before I knew it I was strapped in the car and out of the loading station ready to be launched over 400 feet into the air at record speeds (120 mph). At that moment, I experienced the point of no return. I had crossed the threshold and there was no going back (regardless how terrified I was).

This week during the internship I experienced a similar point of no return. Thankfully my managers did not launch me 400 feet into the air or send me off at 120 mph. This point of no return surrounded a case study that the interns and I had been working on since the moment we joined Key in early June. The case encompassed four different hypothetical prospect companies that Key was interested in. We were tasked with deciding which prospect was most attractive for a partnership or a merger. The RRG interns were broken into two teams for this project. We named our team Risk Team 6 (in reference to Seal Team 6 – because we’re that good). Throughout the past 8 weeks we worked diligently to bring a presentation together.

At last, on Monday, the big day arrived! In addition to our case being the capstone of our internship, the entire risk leadership team was in attendance including the General Auditor Kevin Ryan. After working on this presentation for 8 weeks, we embarked on our final journey as a team. As we approached the presentation room, my heart began to race. To our nerve’s demise, we were selected to go second. While we waited outside the presentation room, I couldn’t help my mind from wandering back to Cedar Point. I remembered the way I felt as I inched closer and closer to the ride. I recalled the way I felt when I was strapped into that wild ride and just waiting for my turn. While I was waiting for my turn to present, I again experienced that point of no return. We had already completed our research, built our slide deck, and practiced our presentation. We were strapped in and just waiting for someone to pull the trigger.

The minutes passed by like hours, but our turn to present finally came. Our deliverable went off with only a few hiccups .We received positive feedback and insightful questions. Just like my anxious experience on Dragster, our team survived and thrived.

These experiences have thoroughly resonated with me as I reflect on my internship. I encourage anyone who is reading this to never let your fear hold you back from anything. Whether it is flying by at high speeds or impressing the entirely leadership suite; never let your nerves hold you back from anything. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how much experience you have, or where you come from, if you trust your intuition and silence the self-doubting voicing in your head there is no limit to what can be accomplished.

Check out some of this week’s intern fun:

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Intern Lunch at Carrabbas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intern 1
Interns at the Rock Hall!

 

 

 

 

 

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Interns at the Indian’s Game!

 

Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent those of KeyBank

How to Prep for your Final Presentation

The end of my internship is almost here (holy crap that went fast), and with the end an internship comes the final presentation.  Most major companies will have their interns present what they accomplished during the summer and their major projects to their teams.  Each company approaches intern final presentations differently.  For example, my roommate working at P&G only has to present to four people, but those four people are pretty high up in the company.  At Lux, I’m presenting to my entire brand team (around 25 people), which includes managers and higher leadership, as well as the recruiting team, and any other Lux employee that wants to stop in and listen.

Regardless of the final presentation structure, you definitely want to end on a great note and rock your presentation.  Here are some tips I’ve discovered to help you do just that:

  1. Go through the template of what to include in your presentation and start inputting your information (whether it’s on a hard copy or on your computer). It helped me to get all the content I wanted to cover written down first, and organize it later.
  2. Run through the content you want to present with your manager. She can correct terminology and give feedback on how much time to spend talking about a particular project.
  3. Meet with other interns in your department. I met with the two other interns on the Target Optical brand to share our ideas for what we need to cover in our presentation, what format to use, and other feedback we had received from our managers.
  4. Practice! Run through your presentation by yourself a couple times, then reserve a room to practice it out loud in front of your manager or other interns.

And on the day of your presentation…

  1. You’ve been working on your projects all summer.  You know them inside and out; it should be easy to talk about them.  All you have to do now is brag yourself up showing everyone what a great job you did!