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

How did I land this Super Awesome Internship?

Looking for an internship and applying can be overwhelming for college students, especially if they’ve never done it before. You don’t have to make it so difficult, just utilize the resources you have. A few ways are through FisherConnect, networking, family friends, or within Fisher directly. There are many ways and opportunities to gain experience while school is out of session.
As for me, school is still in session. I knew I needed a part-time internship because I am currently taking summer classes as well, because I’m trying to defy all odds and graduate in four years. One day I got an email from Fisher about some scholarship-based internships. All I had to do was send in my resume to Fisher, then they would relay it to the companies I was interested in.
I heard back from a software company, interviewed, and received an offer. It was that easy. My hesitation on accepting the offer was I wanted to intern at a different company that I hadn’t heard from yet, North High Brewing. So I called North High up and asked about their internship interviewing process. I told them I had 24 hours to take the offer from the software company but would love to work in the craft beer industry. North High told me to come and interview the next morning, only allowing a 10 minute window to decide if they wanted to hire me! As the story plays out, North High Brewing offered me the position, which I was thrilled about!
So if you are looking for an internship over the holidays or for next summer, don’t fear. The Fisher College of Business does a wonderful job to prepare you for interviews and the workplace environment. They also provide you with many resources such as FisherConnect, scholarships, career fairs, and bringing in recruiters. You can also exhaust your own resources and personal networks. If you want something, you can get it if you put in some work. Good luck on your own internship adventures! Hopefully mine is almost done, and the next step is a full-time position come May. Cheers!north high

25 Short, Sweet Tips for Success as a Summer Intern

by Sarah Steenrod

While it seems like just yesterday (okay, so more like 13 years ago) I was an intern at Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas, the lessons I learned and experiences I had a during that pivotal time in my college and professional career are crystal clear. Here are some tips that will help make your internship a success:

  1. Set goals. Having personal and professional goals can help you make the most of your summer, stay on track, and know if you have achieved what you set out to do.
  2. Ask questions. An internship is a learning process and you may need to seek clarification along the way.
  3. Participate in all intern and company activities that you are invited to. It’s a great way to meet fellow interns and people at the company who are investing their time in your experience.
  4. Share your ideas. People want to know what you think, so speak up!
  5. If you finish your work, ask for more. By taking initiative, you may end up with an awesome project or learning experience.
  6. Pack your lunch. You’ll save money and calories. It’s absolutely fine to join your colleagues and treat yourself to lunch every once in a while, but you will thank yourself at the end of the summer if you don’t blow your paychecks on takeout sushi.
  7. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Always be sure to follow the dress code. Make sure your clothes are clean, neat, and pressed
  8. Get a good night’s rest. If you’re used to going to bed at 2 a.m., the sound of the alarm at 6 a.m. is going to be a rude awakening (literally and figuratively). No one at your workplace will care if you’re tired, so don’t look or act tired.
  9. Consider your internship a three-month interview. This is your opportunity to make the most of each day with the potential of getting a job offer at the end.
  10. Ask people if you can be of help to them. You might think you don’t have a lot to offer, but perhaps one of your colleagues has a child that is considering your university and would love to hear your perspective.
  11. Explore the city…and the food. If you’re in Cleveland, don’t miss the West Side Market and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. St. Louis is famous for fried ravioli. In Houston, be sure to try the BBQ.
  12. Exercise. Take a brisk walk, ride a bike, run, do yoga! Do whatever you like, just get moving!
  13. Drink water. That’s what the water coolers are for! Eight 8-ounce glasses day is what’s recommended, but if that sounds like a lot, just start with a couple glasses a day. It also helps to get a water bottle that you really like.
  14. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, find a way to fix it, and move on. Don’t make excuses.
  15. Connect with alumni from your school. Use your university’s alumni club. Tap into the LinkedIn Find Alumni tool.
  16. Check in regularly with your parents, family members, and friends and let them know how your internship is going….they will appreciate it.
  17. Say please. It’s amazing how many people will be willing to help you if you ask nicely.
  18. Follow all computer rules and lock your computer when you step away from your desk. Also, if your company has a social media policy, refrain from posting on Facebook during work hours.
  19. Ask for feedback. Some supervisors will be good at giving you positive and constructive feedback, while others may be less forthcoming. If they know it’s important to you, they may be more likely to give it.
  20. Avoid office gossip. If someone talks about others to you, they are probably talking about you to others.
  21. Pay attention to your experiences, reflect on them, and jot down a few notes. Your worst on-the-job experience may someday be your best interview story. The trick is remembering all the details.
  22. Wear sunscreen. Seriously
  23. Be present and enjoy the experience!
  24. Keep in touch. Don’t wait until you need something to e-mail your former supervisor. Send an e-mail every once in a while to check in and let them know how you’re doing.
  25. Thank people and let them know how they impacted your life and career. A handwritten note is a very nice touch.

Sarah Steenrod is Director of Undergraduate Career Consultation and Programs in the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The Art of Politely Declining a Job Offer

by Sarah Steenrod, Director of Undergraduate Career Consultation & Programs

You’ve finally accepted a job offer – CONGRATULATIONS! It’s time to celebrate!

BUT…before you do so…Hold up!…Wait a minute!

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Take some time to reach out to any employers you have received offers from or if you are choosing to remove yourself from a company’s candidate pool. It’s better to do this sooner rather than later, as it could help another candidate have an opportunity you are no longer interested in.

You might be saying to yourself, this all sounds good, but what is the best way to go about doing so? We thought you might ask, so we went ahead and pulled together some tips:

Pick up the phone. It is likely that a recruiter has gone out of their way to provide you with information and answer any questions you have had throughout the recruiting process. Show them the same respect and personalized approach by reaching out to have a conversation.

Be very appreciative. Declining an offer can be very intimidating to job seekers. Before cutting to the chase, it always helps to lead in to the conversation by showing your appreciation of their time and interest in you.

Avoid the one liner. Whether in an email or over the phone, nothing feels more like a “slap in the face” to a recruiter than when a student sends them a one line message declining the offer.

Be transparent. It can be very helpful for a recruiter to know why you decided to go with another company or opportunity. Students can either feel free to provide some information about their decision making process and why they chose the company they did or be prepared for questions about their decision. Recruiters often have to report back to their team when offers are declined and it can be helpful to have some context. Some factors may be out of their control, such as a geographic or industry preference, but other factors could be within their control, such as offering housing or relocation assistance.

Keep in touch. A company you decline today might be your target five years from now. It’s always good to keep in touch with people you met during the process. Chances are if they liked you well enough to want to hire you, they will have an interest in keeping in touch as professional colleagues.

Remember – It’s a Small World. Recruiters often change companies and they rarely forget when they’ve been burned. They’re human, right? You should be in good shape if you do the right thing, tell the truth, and always say thank you! Not only are you representing yourself, you are representing the Fisher College of Business and The Ohio State University. Feel free to reach out to the Office of Career Management and schedule an appointment if you would like to discuss anything more specific to your situation 292-6024.

Again, congratulations on accepting an employment offer!

 

 

Reneging on job offers (Don’t do it)

Reneging on job offers is often a touchy subject—but nevertheless it’s a topic that business students are often confused about. What does reneging even mean?

Renege (definition): To go back on a promise, undertaking or contract

Synonyms: default on, fail to honor, go back on, break, back out of, withdraw from, retreat from, etc.

Sounds pretty serious, right? It is. As a Fisher business student, you will be developing a lot of relationships with peers, faculty, staff, and employer representatives. Along the way you will start to develop your “personal brand”—the unique set of characteristics that distinguish you from other job seekers. One of the characteristics of successful business people is having integrity. Loyalty, reliability, and honesty are all hallmarks of some of the most successful leaders in the world. If you want to start you career off on the right foot by gaining the respect of employers, reneging on a job offer is a situation you do not want to find yourself in.

It is very important that as you begin your internship or full-time job search, you manage your offers professionally. A verbal or written acceptance of an offer of employment is considered a commitment. It is never permissible to accept a job offer (either verbal or written) and later decline. This can get you into serious trouble! Not only will you lose the respect of the company, but you are harming your reputation (personal brand) as a job candidate.

The best way to prevent the possibility of having to renege on an offer is to always openly communicate with employers about your current job search. If you receive a job offer, but you are still waiting to hear back from other companies, it is almost always appropriate to ask for a deadline extension. Most companies are aware that you are probably looking at other employment opportunities, so they will not be surprised if you ask for more time to decide. If the company truly wants you to work there, they will accommodate your request.

Here is an example situation: Let’s say that you interviewed with Company A on October 12th and Company B on October 15th. Company A is your top choice, and Company B is your second choice. Company B really liked you, and they promptly made you an offer on October 16th and asked for a decision by October 23rd. You still have not heard back from Company A, your first choice, although they told you that you would know by October 27th.  The most appropriate way to handle this situation is to tell Company B about your status. You could say,

“Thank you so much for the offer. I am definitely considering your offer; however, I am currently in the process of interviewing with another company and would like to follow through with their process. I should hear back from them by October 27th. It would really help me to make the best decision if I could have an extension on accepting your offer. Could I have until November 1st to give you my decision?”

Asking for an extension this way accomplishes 2 things:

1) You are being honest and open with the company about your situation, thereby promoting integrity in your relationship with the company

2) If the company agrees to your new deadline, you have given yourself the opportunity to evaluate both job offers, if you receive an offer from Company A

In most cases, the company will agree to your terms. During fall recruiting season, the Office of Career Management encourages all companies to give students an acceptance deadline of November 1st, or four weeks from the time of the offer (whichever date comes later). In the spring, we recommend 2 weeks in order to give students adequate time to truly consider the offer.

Not only does reneging hurt your reputation, but it also can come with some pretty serious consequences! If it is determined that you have reneged on either an internship or career position offer, you will be asked to meet with one of our full-time staff members in Career Management to discuss your situation. Depending on your situation, consequences could include: your writing of a letter of apology, your access to FisherConnect being discontinued, and/or your access to services as an alum being denied.

If you find yourself in a situation with multiple job offers, it would be very helpful to you to meet with a Career Consultant in our office to discuss the offers and how to manage deadlines, so that you can make good decisions and not violate any policies. Simply call our office at 614-292-6024 to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you in any way we can!

For more info, check out this blog about an employer’s perspective when students renege on an offer: http://blog.naceweb.org/2014/08/19/when-a-student-reneges-on-a-job-offer-an-employers-perspective/