Student perspective: My summer internship experience
One of the key experiences recommended during your time as an undergraduate is doing an internship. Gaining work experience is key for boosting your employability, especially as a business student. That’s why, after my second year at Hult, I chose to go back home to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to intern for a part of the summer.
I undertook a six-week internship at a local bank, called Rawbank. I was one of about thirty university-level interns—what they referred to as “academic interns.” Myself and my fellow academic interns were not there in the hopes of getting a job with the bank later, but rather we were there to learn and understand the inner functioning of a bank.
Rawbank is one of the biggest commercial banks in the country, with multiple big clients. So the first thing we had to do was sign non-disclosure agreements to make sure that the privacy and anonymity of their clients were maintained. After that, we were assigned a supervisor. We were expected to report back to our supervisor at the end of each week with questions and an overview of what we had learned.
At the start of each week, we were sent to a new department where we were briefed and given a person to shadow. During the shadowing, we mostly took notes and were given small tasks or errands to run.
Thanks to the classes I had already taken at Hult, after two weeks I was assigned to a “permanent” position at the front office of the bank, where I dealt with small daily operations such as check deposits, withdrawal slips and such.
In short, for four weeks I was treated and acted like a regular employee of the bank. I had to be there at 7:30 every morning, dressed professionally, and ready to have positive interactions with clients at all times, no matter how I was feeling personally. Over those four weeks, I developed friendships with my coworkers, got feedback from my superiors, dealt with frustrating clients, and was—for the first time—treated like a fully-grown and responsible adult.
“Thanks to the classes I had already taken at Hult, after two weeks I was assigned to a ‘permanent’ position at the front office of the bank.”
The highlight of my time there was working the front desk the morning of pay day. I had to deal with an endless stream of impatient and demanding clients, but just seeing the solidarity between my colleagues, and heading out together to socialize at the end of the exhausting day, made it all worthwhile.
My six weeks at Rawbank allowed me to grow personally, but it also helped me to gain new skills in basic accounting and customer relationships—experience that I did not previously have. I also gained a better understanding of the banking industry, made a new network, and gained a few new references for the future. But most importantly, I gained a new sense of professionalism and a clearer view of what it meant to be in the professional world.
So, I would advise everyone to take the opportunity and do an internship, even if it is not necessarily in the industry that you wish to work in. There is much to gain from it on both a professional and personal level.
“I gained a new sense of professionalism and a clearer view of what it meant to be in the professional world. I would advise everyone to take the opportunity and do an internship.”
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