Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts, Class of 2013
Information Technology Intern, Liberty Mutual, Summer 2012
What would you tell your peers they need to do to find a great internship?
Explore your connections—networking is really important because it helps to have someone who can put in a good word for you, especially with some of the more competitive internships. I’ve talked to a lot of people who love to help out students who are looking for internships, so don’t be shy!
What did you learn from your internship search that you will apply in future job searches?
Again, connections are great, but so are highlighting your skills. Although my degree (Linguistics) is not directly related to my internship (IT), I have a lot of skills that are useful for IT work such as good communication skills, experience training and tutoring others, and knowledge of Microsoft Office. Just because your degree is not directly in a related field does not mean that you have no relevant experience for that field.
What skills are you using and/or learning at your internship that you can use in entry-level jobs?
Honestly, just getting experience doing work outside of a classroom is helpful because it’s so different to read about something or do a role-play in class than it is to actually do it in a professional environment. One of the projects that I did this summer was a research project with other interns from my office on emerging trends in technology and in the workplace, which we presented to upper management at the beginning of August. This gave us experience putting together a business presentation, which, as it turns out, is different from putting together a school presentation—in class, you’re presenting for your teacher and your peers, but this presentation was for upper-level executives. It was scary to present to them, but I feel so much more confident about my public speaking skills now that I know I can confidently present to the senior management team here.
What is one highlight from your internship experience?
I’ve gotten to know a lot of great people. Even though I’m only here in the summer, I’ve made a lot of great connections and friendships with the people I work with, which makes me want to apply for a job here after I graduate because I know I enjoy working here so much.
What is the most valuable part of your internship experience?
I like knowing that the work that I’ve done is actually helpful—I know that the stereotypical internship experience involves making coffee and running errands, but my experience has not been like that at all. This summer I’ve been helping to test a software product, and not only has the testing that I’m doing helped iron out a lot of bugs, but some of the suggestions that I and other interns have made for improvements to the product have been taken into consideration, which shows that what we do does make a difference.
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