'I was surprised at how fun the office environment can actually be.'
Hometown: Vancouver, Wash.
Minor: Business Administration
Internship Assisted the director of sales at Financial Engines Inc., an investment company that provides advice and account management services for people planning for retirement.
Now: Preparing to graduate in spring 2013 and applying to Western’s MBA program.
More on how to get an internship
What did you do in your internship?
I worked under the director of sales by assisting with the roll out of a new product. This particular product was designed to gradually reduce the risk of retirement portfolios as the investor ages closer to retirement. Most of my time was spent creating databases that tracked portfolio allocations for clients within five years of retirement. The collection of this data was critical in forecasting revenues and determining competitive prices for this service.
How did you find your internship?
A family member knew of an opening and encouraged me to apply. Western has many resources available to help students find an internship, but asking around within your social network is also a great way to come across internship opportunities.
Why did you want this internship?
I aspire to make a career in financial services. The internship with Financial Engines was a great introduction to the financial advising industry
How can students get the most out of an internship experience?
Any internship you undertake is an opportunity to evaluate if that particular field is compatible with your professional aspirations. While interning, try to be continually conscious of the routine work tasks, communication, and management styles you are surrounded by so that you can determine if the field you are in is conducive to your productivity and job satisfaction.
How does this internship relate to your studies?
A large portion of Economics is data and statistics oriented. I came across both data and statistics while at Financial Engines and was able to apply my knowledge to the workplace.
What’s been the most important thing you learned?
The most important thing I learned was the need for efficient communication within the workplace. This means responding to emails when you get them and taking records of calls that contained important information. This type of organizational rigidity will not only help you in school and work, but in general life as well.
Any big surprises or challenges?
I was surprised at how fun the office environment can actually be. If you are willing to be open and get to know your coworkers, you will develop a great social circle that will also encourage you in your work.
How has the internship experience changed you or your future plans?
My internship experience reaffirmed my interest in my studies by giving me a chance to see its application in the real world. I am now much more eager to begin work in financial services.
Do you have any advice for families of students?
Encourage your student to intern before they declare their major. Internships are one of the best ways for an underclassman to find out what their academic and professional interests are.
How has Western prepared you for your internship?
Western has challenged me academically and given me the time management skills that allowed me to work efficiently and independently throughout my internship.-- Interview by Branden Griffith