Networking

Networking is probably one of the most frequently used business buzz words. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy to practice as it is to say. Ever since entering OSU and the Fisher College of Business, my professors, faculty, and even classmates have emphasized networking. I have to admit in the beginning I was very skeptical. Even now at my first internship all of my managers, mentors, and coworkers emphasize the power of networking.

Has anyone ever told you something along the lines of, “if you’re interested in something, let me know! I will try to get you connected with right people to make it happen”? Personally, I have always thought that those were just polite words put together in a sentence to sound good. Contrary to my original notion, Key is entirely sincere when offering to aid me in the pursuit of my passions. At the very beginning of my internship I expressed interest in Data Analytics. Data Analytics interests me because it is a fast growing industry. In addition, I have previous experience with Tableau software through my involvement with the Buckeye Undergraduate Consulting Club (BUCC) on campus. I mentioned this interest once or twice during a training session. A few days later my manager pitched me an opportunity to sit down with the manager for the Data Analytics team. In addition, a meeting was schedule with a rotational analyst on the team. Within three weeks of interning with Keybank, I am being offered an opportunity to see another function within the company. I strongly believe this extraordinary opportunity is all thanks to networking.

Before my internship, I figured I would arrive at work at 8:00am and work on projects until 5:00pm and then head back home. Once again, Key surprised me. Even though I will only be with Key for a 10-week internship, they are dedicated to integrating me into the culture and making me a full member of the team. A perfect example of this is the Key Young Professional Networking Group (KeYP). This group aims to connect young professionals in after hour philanthropy, education, and social events. I learned about the group while researching the company before my interview. During my first week, I expressed interest to one of my mentors who put me in contact with the current president. The next thing I know I am invited to the next philanthropy dinner. While at the dinner I ran into the head of Credit Risk Review. Later in the summer all of the interns have a speaker series scheduled with this individual, but that night I was able to have a one-on-one discussion with him. The opportunity was priceless.

Reflecting on all that has been accomplished in the first two or three weeks of my internship energizes me for the next eight. If you have interests in a group or a project that is outside of directly assigned duties, ask your manager! Chances are you can sit in on a meeting or better yet, pick up a section of the task to work on! Every day is an opportunity to improve, try new things, and grow! Don’t let a second get away.

 

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RRG Interns

 

 

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

How to Land a Killer Internship

Below are some tips on how you can successfully land a killer internship. This is based on steps I have taken to land 3 different internships including my internship this summer with PepsiCo

Disclaimer: This blog post is focusing on the not so obvious factors that will help you land a killer internship. I do not mention maintaining a high GPA and being involved with clubs.

Freshman Year: Setting yourself up

Take CSE

One of the most important classes I have taken at Ohio State is Computer Science Engineering 2111 (CSE). This class taught me the basics of Microsoft Excel which is CRUCIAL for any internship. Excel is a skill which is required by nearly every company. If you can master this skill you can start any internship and not only look smart but add value. Make sure you take this course freshman year and learn it to the best of your ability.

Network

Although it is hard to land an internship freshman year it is definitely possible. Utilize all your family members and friends to network. Express interest early on that you want an internship for the summer. Many large companies have internship positions for relatives and family friends of employees. My freshman year I interned at Citigroup Inc. through their “Friends and Family Program”.

Become QUIC

In order to land an internship you must be able to nail an interview.  QUIC is a practice interview process Fisher offers. By going through this process you will learn how to approach an interview and appropriately market yourself to interviewers.

Sophomore year: Next Steps

Continue to Network

Once you return from your freshman year summer it’s time to pick up where you left off. Continue to reach out to family and friends and express your interest in obtaining an internship.

Practice Interviewing

Go to the fall career fair and get as many interviews as possible. The best way to land a stellar internship is being exceptional at interviews; the only way to improve is to practice. After the fall career fair send your resume to companies on FisherConnect. Companies usually screen sophomore resumes during second semester for candidates in positions they did not fill. These companies screen resumes in their database for key words. One key word I strongly recommend getting in your resume, if you can, is Pivot Table. This catches recruiter’s eyes. You can get you an interview if you have knowledge and practical experience.

Have an Open Mind

Stay positive and be willing to relocate/take a non-paid internship. I was not called for an interview my sophomore year until the week before spring break. This was after the fact that LBrands (sophomore year Internship Company) screened most of the juniors. With a stroke of luck they started screening for sophomore interns.

A great way to get practical experience if you cannot land a paid internship is with nonprofits. These organizations never have enough resources and you can get some serious exposure interning with one.

Junior Year: Landing the Internship

Hard Goal

Once you return from sophomore year summer it’s time to start grinding. Set a deadline for when you should accept an internship offer; mine was October 31. I sent out my resume to nearly every company on FisherConnect and I did not stop grinding until I landed my internship.

Practice Practice Practice

Really get after it and do as many interviews as possible. Before I had my PepsiCo interview I had gone through 7 interviews with 6 different companies. After each interview I critiqued myself on what I did wrong and which situational questions I could have answered better. Once you hit five interviews you should be a pro and have the highest level of confidence.

In summary, landing a killer internship is in your hands. You can do it if you stay focused, be persistent and don’t give up.

Good luck and happy interning!

 

5 Lessons Learned during Freshman Year

-By Taylor Ruby, current Fisher student

Entering college, hundreds of people will tell you that you are going to learn so much in your first year. Without the experiences that come with being a college freshman, it is hard to understand what they are talking about. I would like to discuss a few things that I learned during my freshman year at Ohio State about the business profession and life in general.

1.) You are never too young
A lot of younger students are afraid to start actively developing their professional network because they are so young. While being the youngest one in the room can be intimidating, it can also be impressive. In the business field, it is never too early to start practicing professional skills. I often times will tell my friends about how, in the business field, everything happens 3 years early. For many people, it takes a lot of interaction with professionals before they feel comfortable in professional situations. Therefore, it may actually be an advantage to get that practice before it is crunch time and you are trying to get an internship. Your young age also sets you apart from a lot of the other students. Some things might not go as planned but that is okay because you are young! Practicing professional communication and networking is a great thing to do at a young age. Also, even the smallest of acts may lead to something bigger. There were many instances this year where I said hello to just one person, yet many other opportunities were shown to me as a result! If you are unsure about anything, I would recommend contacting the Office of Career Management. That is what they are there for! They can be a great resource if you are unsure if an event would be a good place to practice your professional communication skills.

2.) Diversify
Many students try to have the perfect resume but there is no such thing. Resumes are supposed to reflect who you are and what experiences you have had. Diversify your involvement and pursue your interests. I am involved in a lot of things on campus. Some of them are business related but not all of them. I enjoy playing tennis so I make a pointed effort to keep playing and have joined the club tennis team at Ohio State. Sure, that is not directly related to accounting or business. However, my experiences with the sport of tennis will help me with many things in the professional workplace, which leads me to my next point.

3.) Soft skills are important
Having a high GPA and working hard on school work is definitely important for success in a professional workplace. However, in order to become truly accomplished you must also have soft skills. By soft skills, I mean the ability to converse and work with other people. Many employers look for food service on resumes because that is one of the best places to learn soft skills. However, it is not the only place. I see every day as an opportunity to practice my soft skills. As previously mentioned, I am very involved on campus. Every time I am talking with someone or participating in a group activity, I am trying to further develop these skills. By interacting with all different types of people, you will get to experience several different types of situations. I interact with business students on a daily basis in my classes. However, business students and art students are very different. Architecture students and science students are also different! It is important to develop relationships with a variety of different people because your clients in the professional world will be very diverse. Also, sometimes the best relationships can develop with people who are nothing like you!

4.) There is no ceiling
As I was deciding between colleges, I wanted a college where there would be no limit to what I could achieve. Honestly, Ohio State was the perfect decision. If you have a dream, pursue it. You have all of the resources you need to do anything that you want to at this university. Do not be afraid to talk to people about your dreams. If you want to do something and are not quite sure how, ask someone! The faculty may have a contact or know something that you do not. Have no fear. If you do not have a dream yet, that is okay. Start trying out new organizations and activities. You will eventually come across something you are interested in. With the seemingly infinite number of organizations and resources at Ohio State, I can confidently say that there is something here for you.

5.) Utilize upperclassman
You will make many decisions in your first year of college. These decisions include what classes to take, what major to choose, what activities to get involved in and more. Upperclassman are great resource. They have already gone through everything that you are going through. They have taken the classes that you are considering taking, they have chosen their career paths, they have been involved in the activities that you are thinking about joining. Through a program in which I participated, I was matched with an upperclassman mentor. She graduated in May and actually took summer classes in order to graduate on time with enough credit hours to sit for the Certified Public Accounting exam. I reached out to her about my goal to graduate on time with enough hours to sit for the same exam. We ended up meeting for lunch and talking about her experiences, as well as mine. I learned a great deal in just that one conversation. It was nice to talk with someone who had just completed the goal that I am currently working towards. There is most likely an upperclassman somewhere around you that is doing or has already done what you are working towards. They can provide great insight.

These are just a few of the things that I learned during my freshman year. I hope that, even if you are not a freshman in college, these lessons can be applied to your life as well. They certainly helped me through my freshman year.

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.

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

By Kaitlin Bressler, Undergraduate Career Consultant

With summer right around the corner, there is no better time than the present to determine how you will make the most of the journey you are about to embark on. Here are some tips to help you be most successful before, during, and after your internship.

Preparing for your Summer Internship:

Set Personal Goals

Before your summer internship, write a list of goals you hope to achieve over the summer. These goals can be work related, such as completing a certain type of project, or these could even be some personal goals you’ve set for yourself. For example, getting out of your comfort zone, or simply meeting new people and creating new relationships this summer. It’s a good idea to document these goals so that you can go back at the end of your internship and do some self-reflecting and hopefully realize that you’ve grown a lot throughout the course of your internship experience.

Seek out Alumni

It is always a good idea to reach out to alumni at your organization, or even just in your city so you have someone you can look to as a resource. Before you begin your internship, set up an initial coffee or lunch meeting. Have a list of good conversation starters prepared for when you meet up, such as “How did you originally find your position?” or “What do you enjoy the most about working at _____?” This person will likely be a great resource or mentor for you, especially if you are moving to a new city for your internship.

Dress Successfully

Make sure you know the office dress code expectations for the summer. If dress is business professional, you will want to make sure you’re prepared with the appropriate attire before the summer internship starts. Companies have different dress policies, so it’s a good idea to reach out to your HR representative to make sure you’re aware of the company dress policies before you start the internship.

Things to Consider During your Internship:

First Impressions/Confidence

It’s always important to maintain a good first impression. Make sure to be on time, and always be prompt to meetings, even if everyone else is not. During your internship it is important to remember that you are being observed under a magnifying glass, so try to minimize errors, but realize it is always ok to ask for help or clarification on projects. Try to find opportunities to contribute your ideas in group meetings, and find a way to be indispensable.

Track your Internship Projects

It is a good idea to keep track of all the projects you work on this summer. Good documentation of these assignments will help you in the future to remember what exactly you worked on (which will come in handy during future resume writing or interviewing).

Solicit Feedback

Make sure you have frequent check-in meetings with your internship supervisor and seek out feedback on your goals and achievements. Knowing your progress will help you be a more successful professional in the long run.

Handling Social Situations

Build the right kind of reputation by maintaining a high level of professionalism throughout the summer internship. Make an effort to get to know many people at your internship location this summer, and try to be friendly and open when communicating with colleagues or peers.

Stay in Touch with Internship Contacts

Staying in touch with contacts is extremely valuable. You never know when you will need a good recommendation, or need to consult someone about a new project you are working on. Because past colleagues can be great resources or references, it is good to maintain relationships so you can reach out to them if you’re ever in need.