An account of her internship experience from one of our 2019 Summer Interns, Jordan Walts:
There is a lot of pressure put on college students to figure out exactly what you want to do when you graduate. This pressure starts the moment you decide which college you’re going to attend. Some students go into their freshman year with a major picked out, some go in as undecided. And then there are the students like me who go into college with a major picked out and decide somewhere down the line to switch majors. In my case, I decided to go to SUNY Fredonia to study Communication Disorders & Sciences. When I was entering the second semester of my sophomore year, I made the decision to switch to Business Administration: Finance. At the time, I was very nervous about my decision because I knew that it was going to set me back in terms of graduating on time, and I also didn’t know the first thing about the world of business. It took a lot of work to catch up to the classmates who came into college as Finance majors, but after taking summer classes and 18 credits each semester I eventually caught up. Now, I’m going into my last semester of college and I couldn’t be happier about my decision to switch to Business.
Many colleges require students to complete an internship before they graduate. I used to think that this requirement was tedious and quite unnecessary; however, I now completely understand why colleges want their students to complete an internship. As an intern, students can see what it’s like in the business world while they’re still in college.
My first internship was in Syracuse, NY at a nonprofit organization called ProLiteracy. I was the Development Intern and worked mostly on coming up with new and different ideas to promote upcoming fundraisers through social media. I also got to work with the finance department quite a bit since my supervisor knew that I was a Finance major and she wanted me to see what Finance is like outside of the college classroom. ProLiteracy was a great internship opportunity because it was my first job that was in a professional work environment. Going into this internship I was very nervous because I had no experience in business aside from my college courses and wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that I was going to be surrounded by highly educated men and women that had a lot of experience in what they were doing. With that being said, everyone there was so kind and made me feel a part of the team. I felt that I learned a lot about professionalism and the office workplace at ProLiteracy.
My second and current internship is here at Sterling Financial Group. My work here has been much more relatable to Finance which has helped me to realize that this is something that I would like to do long term. Without these two internship experiences, I would probably still have no clue what I wanted to do after I graduate from college. My advice to college students would be to apply to internships that are related to your major and give them a try. You may be surprised by what companies and jobs you like and don’t like.