Undergraduate Students Share Insights, Experiences from Internships

On January 28, 2015, the summer internship experiences of five undergraduate business and economics students were highlighted at the school’s Wednesday Night Insights program.

The event provided a forum for student attendees to ask questions on a wide range of topics including the panelists’ responsibilities in their positions, the internship search process, interview tips and how to apply the key lessons from their academic experience in  the workplace.

Jennifer Frick, senior associate director of CMU’s Career and Professional Development Center, introduced the panelists to kick off the event:

Gujri Singh: Sophomore economics major; interned at BlackRock

Christine Yang: Junior business administration major; interned at the White House’s Office of Management and Administration and Deloitte & Touche

Jane Liu: Senior business administration and social and decision sciences major; interned at IBM, IdeaLab and EmptyLegMarket

Karthik Annaamalai: Senior business administration major; interned at Evercore, Incline Equity Partners and PNC

Greg Allen: Junior business administration and history major; interned at Colony Capital and will intern at Goldman Sachs in summer 2015

The panelists advised that when searching for an internship, students should reach out and network with anyone and everyone. Specifically, it is important to utilize the Tepper School alumni network. “[Alumni] want to give back and help Tepper students,” said Liu. Annaamalai added that it is advisable to research alumni who are working for companies of interest and reach out to them via email.

In regard to highlighting one’s qualifications in an interview, the panelists were in agreement that the best skills are learned on the job. “A willingness to learn is really important … be social and ask questions,” said Allen. Yang elaborated, stressing the importance of educating oneself on the corporate culture and position description before heading into an interview. “They want to know that you care about the company,” she said.

The group also discussed how they have applied what they have learned at the Tepper School to their internships — from quantitative skills and writing proficiencies to the ability to work within a group to accomplish tasks, their experiences have resulted in an impressive tool kit. Both Liu and Singh noted the strong work ethic that the Tepper School has instilled in them. “While other interns were overwhelmed by the amount of work, for me, it seemed like a normal day,” said Singh.

Finally, the panelists spoke about the importance of on-campus organizations and highlighting what is learned from involvement in an interview. “Be sure to pick organizations that you really enjoy,” said Allen.

“And put your heart into them,” added Annaamalai.