Olin Correspondent: The Ins And Outs Of Internships

The Weston Career Center at Olin Business School

What is every Olin student’s goal upon graduation? You may have guessed reaching 500 plus on LinkedIn or reaching gold status at Starbucks. And while these may be true, every Olin student hopes to leave with a full-time job offer. The best way to get that job offer is through internships — 39% of full-time offers from Olin’s Class of 2017 came from internships.

Internships are not only a great way to figure out what you want to do, they are also helpful in figuring out what you don’t want to do. Often, students spend each summer in a different industry and at the end, hopefully find one that interests them.

Starting the internship search process can be daunting, so hopefully these tips and tricks brought to you by myself and my fellow Olin students will set you up for success.

SO, YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AN INTERNSHIP…

Start early and cast a wide net. Especially the summer after your sophomore year, be open to all different types of internships and don’t be afraid to apply to 10, 20, or 50 of them. Odds are, the first internship you have will not be your dream job. But, it will serve as a great talking point for future interviews and internships. This advice comes straight from my experience. The summer after my sophomore year I had my first ever internship which was in the compliance department at a Chicago-based bank. While by the end of the summer I realized I didn’t have a passion for compliance, I learned about the inner workings of a bank which prepared me for my next internship in wealth management at JP Morgan.

A senior at Olin explains, “There is way more to the search/recruiting process than getting your first job. If you approach it with finding a job being your goal, it will feel tedious. However, if you make your goal to find something you really enjoy doing and are passionate about — and make getting your first job just a step in that journey — you will be amazed at how much you can learn.”

One piece of advice seemed to be echoed by every student I asked: use your network. Here is where having 500+ connections on LinkedIn comes in handy. Having a strong alumni network is crucial in learning about different internships and the experiences students had before you. One Olin student mentions, “Don’t be afraid to reach out to connections, especially alumni from your school, and hop on the phone to learn more about their careers! It doesn’t matter if they’re in their first year out of college or in a senior position.”

SO, YOU WANT TO BE NOTICED…

Olin senior Stacy Goldberg

Not everyone speaks six languages or holds the title of nation’s best chess player. However, there are more practical ways to stand out from a stack of virtually identical resumes. One way is through unique school organizations — I found myself talking a lot about my experience as Director of Marketing for WashU’s hackathon, ArchHacks, while interviewing. It was definitely something they had not seen before and were very interested in my experience.

Another way is through experiences abroad. Take Olin senior Stacy Goldberg as an example. She got the opportunity to intern at Manchester United while abroad in London last spring. Having experience working in a different country really sets you apart from the competition and gives you great talking points while interviewing for future internships.

The road to securing an internship is tough, but knowing you are surrounded by other students going through the same thing or have gone through the process makes it a bit more bearable.

Have any other bits of advice for mastering the recruiting process? Comment below!

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