“Oh my gosh...I need to find an internship.”
How many of us have said that? Probably all of us! If you’re like most college students, you will first wonder why so many of your peers are scrambling to find internships. You will also wonder why they are applying a year in advance for said internships. A year? That sounds insane!
Then, it will hit you. Oh right, I need a job after college. These people get internships so they can find a job. Everything suddenly makes sense, and then you hurriedly Google the deadlines for various companies. You also Google the acceptance rate for internships at Facebook and nearly get a heart attack when you read it.
Before you get ahead of yourself, remember that there are MANY routes to success. It is very important to not get caught up in the big-name corporations, because the word “internship” has many meanings. There are countless organizations in which you can have a fulfilling and incredible internship experience. This article is meant to remind you of that, and we hope you can benefit from Samantha and Pallavi’s stories.
Samantha Lee, VP of Marketing
Interned at: Luminous Capital
“Based on the clubs I’ve joined in college, I think marketing has been my main focus. I wanted to explore new industries, so I reached out to my uncle who is a partner at a private wealth management firm. He assisted me in finding an internship at Luminous Capital, where I worked in the marketing department to attract new clients. I wasn’t much of a finance person in the beginning, but I was intrigued by the work everyone else was doing. I found it very exciting because they were constantly watching the stock market and creating these extremely interesting graphs. I asked to do more finance-related projects after that, and was able to apply my macroeconomic knowledge to the job. It inspired me to switch career paths and pursue the finance industry. I realized that I really enjoyed finance and following the markets, because so many global events affect the market, and in turn, affect my clients’ portfolios.
When I came back to school in the fall, we were in the midst of recruiting season. I wanted to narrow down on an industry, which allowed me to focus on learning even more about finance. This upcoming summer, I will be working in the asset management department at JP Morgan and I’m very excited. My advice is to start researching early, and attend info sessions. These sessions are helpful because you can meet people from the firm and see how they are. Make sure you mesh with the people well, and always make sure the company is a good fit for you.”
Pallavi Chadha, VP of Internal Affairs
Place of Internship: Tucker Solicitors
“I was looking for an internship through Berkeley that would fit my area of expertise. I am double majoring in political science and legal studies, so I am pre-law. I knew I wanted to work in a law firm or with a member of parliament. I was able to interview for Tucker Solicitors, which is a criminal defense and legal aid law firm. This means that they take money from the government to protect those that don't have the proper assistance to defend themselves. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was super intimidated at first because even though I consider interviewing as one of my strengths and something I feel very comfortable with, the interview for this position did not go well. I was asked such intricate questions about the legal system of the UK that I had no way of preparing for, it was over the phone and we had a mix-up with the time. On top of that, my first day on the job was rough because of the new setting. Overall, I was off to a rocky start. But as time went on, I got really invested in the work I was doing and learned a lot from the people around me. After that adjustment period, it was a fantastic experience! The really great thing about interning in London is that their legal system is set up differently than ours. For example, me as an undergraduate here wouldn't be allowed to intern at a law firm because I’m not currently in law school. However, people my age over there were already completing law school. Because of this format, I was able to sit in on client interviews, do a lot of the case work, and was even able to do case analysis for the solicitors there (which they ended up using in their court case!). That was amazing because I never thought I would have made that much of an impact! I would oftentimes find myself working overtime, not because I had to but because I really enjoyed the work I was doing. I really enjoyed that I was able to do this abroad because I was able to dive directly in the real world, which I was unable to do here. I was able to gain hands-on experience and overall had an incredible time.”
A take-away from Samantha and Pallavi’s internship experiences is to put yourself out there and give your internship a chance! Whether you are interning in a field you are not enthusiastic about, or working in a completely foreign location, any internship will be daunting. But stick it out your first few days and you will see your dedication pay off. And if you ever need that tiny extra push, your BWIB sistas are right behind you :)