Students gathered on September 8 to reflect on their summer internships as part of the career program, “Your Intern Experience: Looking Back to Move Ahead.”

This was the first event of the year jointly organized by the Business School and the Office of Alumni and Career Services to help students prepare for the Corporate Career Expo on September 22, and it also set the stage for the Careers in Public Accounting program on September 15.

Reflection was the central objective during the program.  “Self-reflection is a critical step in making a more informed decision about the kind of work [a student] wants to do,” Shelley Burns, Director of Career Programs in Business said.

Yolanda Macklin-Crewe, Associate Director of Employer Relations for the Office of Alumni and Career Services, echoed Burns’ stance on the importance of reflection:  “[This program] gave students the opportunity to really reflect on their internship in regards their accomplishments and what they really liked in terms of projects, people and environment.”

Christina McClung, Senior Manager of Recruiting at Capital One, facilitated student conversation about their summer internships. “My goal was to help them evaluate their internship, identify strategies to stay connected with employers and give them confidence,” McClung said. 

McClung took students through an exercise where students paired off and interviewed each other about their internships to determine the root of their individual passions or dislikes.

Students discussed specific tasks they completed in their internships, projects where they took initiative, skills they developed, and then reflected on what skills or tasks they enjoyed most and what skills or tasks they enjoyed least.

Next, McClung debriefed the students, asking them what they learned from this exercise and what was surprising to them about the exercise.  She also asked if the students would consider working full-time at the company.

“Through their reflection, many discovered new insights about what they would like to do with their career.  Some discovered what they enjoy is different than what they thought.  Some also discovered it is okay to have an internship and realize this is not what you want to do,” Macklin-Crewe said. 

Macklin-Crewe explained the role that reflection has in developing interviewing skills:  “When the students reflected on their tasks, projects and skills they gained via their internship, it helped them formulate answers to interview questions they will have in upcoming interviews,” she said.

Overall, the program achieved the goal of preparing students for the Corporate Careers Expo.  Burns said, “I'm not a separate entity here in the Business School; we really do work in concert with each other and, as a result, we have stronger programs and stronger resources.”

Macklin-Crewe agreed that this program harmonizes with subsequent events throughout the semester.  “The Office of Alumni and Career Services has a collaborative relationship with the Robins School of Business in planning career programs.  This program is aligned with [our] vision and mission.”