Hands-on learning is a cornerstone of the Babson experience.
One of the many ways Babson undergraduates roll up their sleeves and learn tangible, real-world skills? Internships. Although internships are not required for Babson undergrads, Eighty-nine percent of the class of 2018 had at least one internship while at Babson.
The Hoffman Family Undergraduate Center for Career Development (CCD) understands how important the internship experience can be to a student’s career decision-making process. To make internships accessible and possible for all, whether low-paid or unpaid, CCD offers an Intern Sponsorship Program, which provides award opportunities for students who accept internships that may otherwise cause financial hardship.
This summer, 68 students received awards. They’re all blogging about the experience on Babson’s blog platform, sharing insight into their day-to-day work, and their biggest on-the-job lessons. Here’s a peek at what they’re learning.
Pick an Internship that Excites You
When evaluating opportunities, ask yourself: how does this align with my goals and my interests?
That’s what Kevin Luu ’21 did. He’s spending the summer as an analytics intern at ISlide, a custom footwear company he initially heard of during his Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship course. He writes, “When I saw that ISlide was hiring for the summer, I knew I had to apply because I believed in the product and their vision for the future.”
As an intern, he’s getting experience in a variety of functions at a company he says feels more like a community. “I have fun working here,” he writes. “I am able to learn things about operations, marketing, and other aspects of the business that I wouldn’t be able to see or learn from other companies.”
Broaden Your Network
Yes, an internship is about building skills. But, that’s not all that can be built in one summer. Think of your internship as an opportunity to build your network, too.
That’s the advice from Rafael Matsumura de Oliveira ’21, interning at Van Veen School of International Education.
“In addition to helping you build a positive image, maintaining a good relationship with your colleagues also improves your performance in the internship program, as these professionals will assist you in learning, clarifying questions, and solving problems,” he writes.
Don’t Wait for Work
If you find yourself with nothing assigned to you, don’t just wait around until a task or project falls on your lap. Be proactive, advises Cheryl Liu ’20, an analytics intern at MERGE Boston.
When she found her workload to be light, she took the opportunity to dive into the programs, process, and people that help her company run. “I asked my team for access to some of the platforms they have been using for creating analytic reports,” she writes. “I talked to interns sitting next to me to get more insights into other departments in the agency. Learning about what other interns do helps me to see how my work will interact with the rest of the company.”
Your Work Matters
As an intern, you may be working on a huge project, or something that feels minor. But, don’t fall into the trap of feeling like the work you’re doing doesn’t matter, advises Steven McDermott ’20, an intern with the American Heart Association.
“Each small task you do in your internship adds up to become greater than the sum of its parts,” he writes.
His example: a spreadsheet. He spent several hours entering raw data into a spreadsheet and reformatting it. But, what felt like a small and sometimes tedious task had a big impact. “The work … would allow for the American Heart Association to reach donors more efficiently and effectively, and in turn raise valuable capital for CPR training, stroke research, or cardiovascular disease education. The morsel of work that I was doing in the moment had the ability to compound into a dollar that could be spent saving someone’s life in the future.”
Featured photo: Submissions from the 2018 #BabsonIntern photo contest. Students featured in the photo are not those quoted in the story.
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