As internship application time rolls around everything may seem confusing so I’ve asked some fellow ISE’s about their internship experience. Check out my interview.
. My name is Cecilia Alfaro and I am from Guatemala. There isn’t just one specific thing I love about Lehigh, but two of my favorite things is watching the four seasons in this beautiful campus (in Guatemala there’s only spring and summer year round) and how the school is big enough to meet someone daily, but small enough to see people you know every day. This summer I interned in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in New York City.
2. I decided to apply to the company for multiple reasons. For starters, PwC gave me the opportunity to get an internship as a first-year in college, something big companies rarely do. As well, the internship I applied to was directed towards advisory otherwise known as consulting, an area that really interested me. The interview process consisted on a online application where you sent your resume and filled out general information. After a week or so I heard back from them saying they were going to give me a first-round interview. Later on, I was asked to join them in a Super Day in Mid-November where I went to NYC and had three interviews with employees who had different positions in the company. On that same day, on my way back to Lehigh I received a call from one of my interviewers congratulating me and offering me a chance to join PwC that upcoming summer. The interview questions were mostly behavioral. They wanted to talk about my past leadership experiences, how I worked in team environments, and my overall thinking process.
3. Various things helped me out during the interview process. Even though you have no idea what they could ask, there are multiple ways you can prepare for the interview. You can research more about the company and prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. You can think about scenarios or situations that you have been a leader in the community or been part of a team and how you can use these to answer behavioral questions. As well, if you know you’re going to be asked additional questions about a specific computer skill or a case study you should review and practice them beforehand. In addition, something a lot of people forget to do is to go over your resume and be prepared to be asked on it. Even if you think you know everything you have written down on it (because you’re the one who built it), practice how you would explain things you have participated in or accomplished in the best way possible.
As hard as it is, breath. Job interviews can sometimes become overwhelming, intimidating, and stressful, but be yourself. Remember that the company is just as interested in you as you are interested in them. The person who is interviewing you probably went through a similar process than you are going through right now, so they understand you might get a little nervous or you might not have the optimal answer to every single question.
4. One of my favorite things about my internship was the culture of the firm. Until I worked at PwC, I never thought the culture as being a big decision factor on the company I want to work with full time. You can contact partners, directors, and managers in the firm to learn about what they do or their experiences and they are more than willing to speak with you. At PwC I never felt like I was “just an intern”.
5. I had the opportunity to work with the US Consulting and Market Leader and his Chief of Staff. I had multiple roles and projects I had to complete during my internship. Even though with consulting you deal with clients outside of the company, I worked in IFS (Internal Firm Services) and learned a lot about what consulting is at PwC, the different types of consulting and what they do, and how they plan to improve advisory in the future. My two bosses wanted me to be engaged and to constantly ask questions and there was never a day where I had nothing to do at the office.
6. There were several skills I did learn at Lehigh that helped me throughout the internship even though I had only been in school for a year and a half. One was my research skills, being able to understand what I was looking for and doing it in the most efficient way possible. I also learned how to manage my time more efficiently. I was working about eight hours a day, which may seem like a long period of time, but time flew by quickly and you really had to take advantage of it.
7. Don’t quit because of one company’s rejection letter.