Business Internship Spotlights
By Julia Greenland
More internships equal more experience to Samuel Frances-Barrot. This Business major has participated in several internships and considers each experience rewarding. Frances-Barrot interned in Harrisburg this spring and in New York City this summer.
At the beginning of January, Frances-Barrot moved to Pennsylvania’s capital city and interned with The Harrisburg Internship Semester program in the Governor’s Budget Office. The Governor’s Budget Office prepares the budget for all expenses in the state. As an intern Frances-Barrot said he was “always helping the staff members complete their work.” He also reviewed documents, attended meetings, took notes at those meetings, and wrote letters about a bill for the budget.
In June, only a month after completing his internship in Harrisburg, Frances-Barrot began his second internship for MTV, a division of Viacom Corporations, as the Production Audit Intern. The Production Audit Group audits all the production expenses for all the divisions of Viacom Corporations. Frances-Barrot’s duties included invoicing, auditing, making sure the date and signature were correct on documents, and making sure documents were coded correctly.
For both internships Frances-Barrot moved away from home. Moving to Harrisburg was “More difficult. I didn’t really know anyone,” said Frances-Barrot. However, the transition to New York City was much smoother because he already had family living in the area and was able to stay with them.
Frances-Barrot’s most memorable moment working for the Harrisburg Internship Governor’s Budget Office was when Pennsylvania’s governor gave a budget address. Frances-Barrot had never before been permitted into the building where the address was given, and he recalled being excited to enter the building for the first time.
Frances-Barrot’s most exciting moment working for MTV came when he participated in an audit of Comedy Central, which was his first audit.
The internships showed him that “one of my weaknesses is writing, particularly grammar.” Frances-Barrot also learned that he works well with others. “I’m really team oriented,” he said.
Both internships helped Frances-Barrot decide what he is looking for in a career. At MTV, Frances-Barrot said, “I wish I did more financial related stuff. I don’t want to do auditing or accounting. Finance is dealing more with daily transactions like stocks and investments.”
Frances-Barrot believes he needed to gain experience interning for both the government and for a major corporation. He said, “I needed that transition to stand out to employers.” He also hopes to use these experiences as stepping stones. “Internships prepared me for future possibilities,” he said.
Samuel Frances-Barrot found his internship in Harrisburg through Dr. McQuaid, a political science professor at Lock Haven University. For MTV, he went to its website and applied online.
By Danielle Burkhart
One Lock Haven University student has been familiar with the process of stock exchange since he was in middle school. Even then he knew his calling in the business world.
Matt Adams, senior at Lock Haven University, spent the month of August interning at Merrill Lynch in York, Pa.
Adams is a finance and management major at Lock Haven and was one of 3000 out of the 9000 applicants in the nation to be accepted by Merrill Lynch for an internship position.
Merrill Lynch’s main focus is wealth management. The company will invest money for people for retirement and education purposes and also for young adults to build on.
The internship at Merrill Lynch was a perfect fit for Adams because his internship responsibilities were very similar to what he wants to do for a career. Adams worked a 40 hour work week but often times would stay late to finish up his work.
Adam’s responsibilities included preparing reports, scanning clients’ portfolios, and administrative work. Since Adam’s was an intern and not certified to work directly with stocks, he could not buy or sell stocks, nor recommend securities to clients.
In the afternoon the company would meet with clients and go over their accounts. The staff would discuss with the client what they want to do with their money and if they wanted to make any changes. Some afternoons, they would also present to businesses in order to expand their client-base.
On the first day, Adams was nervous, as are most interns on their first day of an internship, but Adams soon realized that he was more prepared than he had thought. He jumped right in to the assigned work and had a very successful internship overall.
While interning with Merrill Lynch, Adams learned something about himself that he had not known before the internship. He had never thought of himself as a hard worker until he worked for Merrill Lynch. There were days when Adams would not take a lunch break because he wanted to continue with his work. Other days he found himself in the office until 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. just tying up loose ends.
“The best advice I received while I was working with Merrill Lynch was to ‘be a sponge,’ and absorb information from everyone around you while keeping an open mind,” said Adams.
There were two fellow employees who particularly made Adams experience fulfilling. Sara, a Penn State University Graduate worked very close with him throughout the internship. “Rookie, a newer employee, answered a lot of my questions as well,” said Adams.
Adams will be attending the Penn State University Career Fair in December to make new contacts and strengthen old ones.
Adams next step in the finance and management field is an interview with Wells Fargo in Mechanicsburg.
“The position will either be a management or a sales representative position, but either way I would like the job for the experience,” said Adams about the upcoming interview.
Matt Adams found his internship with Merrill Lynch through a family member; however, the Career Services Office is a great place to start you internship search.
Merrill Lynch is in the top ten for best internships for business majors.
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By Danielle Burkhart
Opportunities are endless when attending a college or university. Some opportunities require work and searching while others present themselves effortlessly.
For one Lock Haven University student, a career opportunity landed right in his inbox. Leroy Baker, freshman business major at Lock Haven University, received an e-mail from Career Services promoting a program titled “Road Trip to the Real World.”
“Road Trip to the Real World” is sponsored by the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE). EACE develops educational programs and services that aim to help students make the transition into professional careers while also working with businesses that seek to hire college students and alumni.
Baker chose to participate in this one-day, free program in Boston. He made the seven-hour trip to Boston in January of this year to take advantage of the seminars that were offered. This particular program in “Road Trip to the Real World” gave students the opportunity to learn about life on Wall Street.
Students worked closely with employers of several financial investment companies to learn about investments and growth on Wall Street. A company called State Street played a large role in the program. State Street is one of the world's leading providers of financial services to institutional investors.
“I spoke with people who were at [the level] where I wanted to be and were ahead of where I wanted to be. They gave me guidelines on how to get there,” said Baker.
Baker noted that most of those who attended the seminar were seniors. Even though Baker is a freshman, he said that the experience was what you need to do by the time you are a senior. “It blew me away.”
Baker was one of thirteen students who attended the program. He was the only participant from a state university while all of the others were from prestigious institutions such as St. Bonaventure, Harvard, and Holy Cross College.
“It was a big experience, and I was shocked that no one from here (Lock Haven University) went,” said Baker.
Advice given to Baker while attending the program was to raise his GPA. Baker, who has a very respectable GPA, was surprised to hear this suggestion. Other advice was to study abroad and find an internship in his field.
“The pool is small and the competition very heavy. You are going up against Harvard grads and students with 4.0 GPA’s. People go in wanting to be Wall Street stockbrokers but the pool is very large,” said Baker.
Baker also benefitted from the program by taking advantage of the opportunity to practice his networking skills. A member of the talent research department gave Baker his contact information and advised him to stay in contact. “Your social skills always have to improve. Always go outside of your element. You have to expand or you will fail miserably. Everyone there knew how to speak and knew how to work - everyone there was very social,” said Baker about the competition.
Baker learned a lot about the trading floor. Watching from the balcony, he witnessed different bills being closed. “There is a trading floor in the main part of the building where brokers can make trades from Boston and not have to worry about the congestion of NYC. I thought that was a little bit different because they were trading on Wall Street, but they were doing it from Boston,” stated Baker.
He described the experience as, “A great overview as to how the establishment is run.” This experience has pushed Baker more towards his field. He realizes now that he is not the only one who traveled 7 or 8 hours just to be a part of the experience.
Leroy Baker used his on campus resources by taking advantage of opportunities offered through the Career Services Office.
By Danielle Burkhart
Many students would consider cold calling random people difficult and would view the ‘not-so-nice’ comments that they receive in return, as somewhat discouraging. Katie Cloud, a senior majoring in Business Administration: Management, said such experiences “teach you how to handle objection and rejections.”
Cloud spent her summer interning with Northwest Mutual located in Philadelphia. She began her day at 7:15 a.m. and worked between eight and 12 hours per day Mondays through Fridays.
Cloud had all of the responsibilities as a full-time financial representative. She attended meetings daily starting at 10:00 a.m., and attended more meetings and consultations in the afternoon. It was Cloud’s responsibility to build her own client base via phoning during the first few weeks of the summer. Cloud worked on building the client base each day from 8:45 a.m. until her meetings at 10 a.m.
It was required for the interns to report their numbers to the college directors. Their numbers included the number of appointments set that day, the number of people that were called, the number of people who were reached throughout the day.
During Cloud’s internship with Northwest Mutual, there were 16 other interns and three college unit directors. College unit directors are full-time financial representatives who also completed the internship program at Northwest Mutual.
“All three college directors let us know that things like rejection, is something that they also went through when they were in the intern position,” said Katie.
Other advice that the College unit directors gave to the summer interns was that there wasn’t a brick wall in front of them, and that they could succeed in this business.
Katie Cloud’s internship at Northwest Mutual directly related to her career goals because it helped direct Cloud to the sales industry where she was initially interested. Cloud worked with people one on one and had meetings with prospects to get referrals. Throughout her internship, her career goals began to lean more towards management rather than sales. After learning and enduring the hardships of sales, her interest in management grew.
Every intern has at least one moment in which they will not forget. “Selling my first policy was the most memorable moment. I was the first intern to sell a policy, and it happened quicker than expected, said Cloud. Most who intern with Northwest Mutual sell their first policy in July opposed to June when Cloud sold her first. This was a great feat for Cloud.
Cloud describes her overall experience as great and beyond what she had initially pictured. “I didn’t expect to be thrown in so quickly, even though the company did tell us that we would be able to run their company,” Cloud added.
Cloud said her Marketing and Financial Management classes helped her during her internship especially when she was required to pass a difficult state exam in order to even get the internship.
”My internship enhanced my employability and gave the interns experience of running their own businesses as students,” said Cloud. “I learned that I could interact with adults on a professional level.”
Cloud’s confidence in herself and her ability to work in the professional world has grown through her internship. “Anyone who is interested in interning with Northwest Mutual, there is a lot of work but is very rewarding in the end,” said Cloud.
Katie Cloud found her internship with Northwest Mutual through the Career Services Office at Lock Haven University. Northwest Mutual is in the top ten for best internships for business majors.
By Amanda Alexander
At a time in which the economy is one of the top concerns on Americans’ minds, one student got to work with international trade relations this summer, in hopes that good relationships with other countries will help our economy in a positive way.
Jessica Douglas, a senior, worked as an intern with the American-Turkish Council (ATC) this summer in Washington, D.C. The ATC is a non-profit business association that is, according to the website, “dedicated to enhancing the promotion of U.S.-Turkish commercial, defense, technology and cultural relations.”
Members of the ATC include Fortune 500, U.S. and Turkish companies, multinationals, nonprofit organizations and individuals with an interest in U.S.-Turkish relations. Douglas was placed in the program by The Washington Center for Internships.
“I’m really interested in the international business aspect of things, and the relationships between countries and trade. It was pretty much a perfect fit,” she said.
Washington Center suggested a few other internships before Douglas chose to work with the ATC. “Initially, I turned a couple down,” she said. As a business administration student with concentrations in finance, economics and international business, Douglas found an internship with the ATC to be just right.
She was able to dabble in many of her interests during the internship, which took place from the end of May until the beginning of August.
Douglas worked on many different projects; everything from writing briefings and reports to doing research on biofuels and investment opportunities in Iraq. The typical eight-hour day included reviewing the news for updates on Turkey or U.S.-Turkey relations, working on projects and sending out correspondence.
“I learned a lot,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t really know anything about Turkey.” Douglas’s interest in Turkey has since grown, and she’d like to visit the country in the future.
Her least favorite aspect of the internship was all the writing involved. “I’m not an English major,” Douglas said while listing the editing and writing work she was involved in. “It was a challenge.”
However, she also got to participate in many activities that she found incredibly exciting, such as committee meetings. The ATC has a variety of committees to discuss things such as agribusiness and food industries; banking and finance; construction and energy; culture and tourism; defense and security affairs; information communication technology; pharmaceutical; and trade and textiles. The thing she enjoyed most about these meetings was “the interactions with the corporations and the government officials.”
She also got to go to Congress and brief the staff members on the Congressional Staff Trip to Turkey. According to the website, the trip is important because it “gives ATC an opportunity to show the achievements of member companies within Turkey such as power plants, schools, factories, joint ventures and other businesses.” Meeting members of Congress was one of Douglas’s favorite parts of the internship.
Throughout her internship, Douglas learned “how the culture, politics and economic conditions play into everything.” She also realized how much work goes into each detail and how much thought is put into each decision made. She was amazed by the strategy behind everything.
This helped her realize what to focus on in her job search once she graduates. “I definitely want to do more with international trade,” she said. “It really set the grounds for me with working with the political things involved in dealing with trade.”
Douglas is very enthusiastic about her field and hopes others will soon see the effect it can have on the economy. “Trades can be a mechanism for economic growth,” she said. “I want people to realize that with trade policy.”
She feels that the most valuable things she gained from her internship were “experiencing the professional atmosphere that it takes to be able to… interact with people” and the networking skills needed for a job in international trade.
Douglas and her fellow interns were also able to work with people who were willing to correct them, encourage them and help them grow. “They wanted to see us succeed beyond our internship,” she said.
Douglas took 21 credits during the summer, enabling her to graduate one semester early.“Six of my credits counted for an internship in my major, six as electives, six for the two classes I took at the Washington Center, and three for an online Macroeconomics course I took,” she reported.
The Washington Center helps find internship sites for students in Washington D.C., it provides classes and assists with housing. Douglas applied for the Washington Center through encouragement of Dr. Stan Berard, and it was pushed heavily by the Honors program. She added, “The application process was grueling, but worth it.”
The program was rigorous, too. “We were required to complete, throughout the summer, numerous papers/reflections that were later compiled into a portfolio. This was an amazing tool for providing strategic direction to our time spent in D.C.,” stated Douglas
Washington Center also offered other components to the program. “In addition, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the Saudi Arabian Embassy, listen to Secretary of Commerce speak, a Darfur survivor, and numerous others,” she said.
Douglas said students who’d like to have an internship like hers should check out organizations such as The Washington Center that help students find the right place for them, or just call the organization and get more information.
By Danielle Burkhart
The Washington Center is a nonprofit organization that provides students, from hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the world, the opportunity to be challenged, to learn and to intern in Washington, D.C.
Many of The Washington Center’s alumni now successfully work in leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Stan Berard has been the liaison for The Washington Center at Lock Haven University since 2004. “The program is great for networking and making solid connections,” said Dr. Berard. He advises students of all majors to apply for The Washington Center’s internships since every major has a policy that applies to it.
Dr. Berard handles the application process that takes place on campus. Most of the process is now completed online, but students need to be prepared for all of the requirements of the program including, providing a writing sample, having a professional resume, and the interview process that takes place following acceptance.
“Because of retirement, it is possible for the internship to become a job possibility,” said Dr. Berard. This is a huge incentive for students to jump on these internship opportunities.
“Our students do well,” said Dr. Berard. “I tell my students, ‘you can do this’ because they can.” The Washington Center internship program is a chance for the student to apply what they know.
Lock Haven University has had many students participate in The Washington Center in recent years. Two Lock Haven interns from this past summer are junior Samuel Frances-Barrot and senior Dina Uzhegova.
Samuel Frances-Barrot is a business and administration major at Lock Haven University with a concentration in economics and finance.
Frances-Barrot worked as a Records Management Intern with the Minority Business Agency in the Department of Commerce. This particular agency aims to enhance the growth of minority businesses and help minority business owners.
As an intern, Frances-Barrot’s responsibilities were to complete a physical audit on a library, check that the business requirements are being followed, and many other records management tasks.
“The internship was rigorous, and I was relieved when it was over. But, it was an enjoyable experience that is not comparable to any other,” said Frances-Barrot.
Frances-Barrot’s goals are to become a CFO and own his own business. The Washington Center helped him to think of ideas to start his own business, and showed him the possibilities that are out there.
Supervisor Michael Stallings took Frances-Barrot under his wing throughout his internship. He could really relate to Stallings since they have similar goals in business and finance.
Frances-Barrot emphasized the importance of networking and the many networking opportunities that The Washington Center provides. He had the opportunity to meet the Assistant Attorney General of Washington D.C. and also the Vice President of Clark Construction.
Another intern who represented Lock Haven University at The Washington Center this past summer was Dina Uzhegova. Uzhegova was placed with the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition. The agency helps survivors that come from other countries and helps them to find pro-bono lawyers, money, housing, and other services.
Uzhegova’s responsibilities were organizing information when survivors came to the center, researching foundations for grants, and writing proposal letters.
Uzhegova expressed her appreciation for the people that she had the opportunity to work with. Sister Alice, one of Uzhegova’s fellow employees, was very helpful to her and was understanding of the fact that interns come to learn.
“Communicating with all these people was memorable; they all have something to tell, and they all have their own histories,” said Uzhegova.
As an international student, she originally wanted to work in an embassy, but her time with The Washington Center broadened her experience.
All majors are welcome to apply. Through the years, LHU students from criminal justice, communications media, social work, political science, business, and the international studies programs have interned at agencies through The Washington Center. Some of the internship sites obtained through The Washington Center include Law Media Group, U.S. Department of Commerce, American-Turkish Council, the Department of Justice – Office of International Affairs, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Children’s Rights Council, State of Maryland – Department of Corrections, U.S. Department of Defense – Air Force Litigation Division, and Entertainment Industries Council.
“What students get out of their experience with The Washington Center is the experience of Washington and working in Washington.” - Dr. Stan Berard.
By Amanda Alexander
Many college students work part-time jobs and know what it’s like to be bossed around. But Kara Hunt got to spend her summer learning what it’s like to be on the other end, as a manager dealing with employee problems and working with managers from other businesses.
Hunt, a senior Business Administration major, worked at New Pig Corporation this summer in the corporate sales department. New Pig, located in Tipton, Pa., near State College, sells environmental cleanup supplies. Hunt learned a lot of about communication between businesses, as New Pig works only with other businesses rather than with individual consumers.
“It was kind of a new twist to things,” said Hunt, who had only learned about marketing to consumers in her classes.
While the internship was more focused on sales, Hunt said it also gave her plenty of experience in marketing, which is the field she would like to work in when she graduates. “Sales and marketing go hand in hand,” she said.
Hunt found the internship by researching online. She competed with 10 other applicants for her position and worked with six other interns from different departments. “I wanted to get my foot in the door,” she said as the reason she searched for the internship.
Determined to show her dedication, Hunt began her internship the Monday after school ended and finished it right before the fall semester began. Many times she worked 40 hours a week, although she had a flexible schedule and was able to choose her own hours. Fortunately the internship was paid, so that was extra incentive for the long hours she worked.
A typical day for Hunt included attending group meetings, working with her boss to run sales reports, and spending plenty of time making Excel spreadsheets. “I wasn’t really given much guidance,” she said, adding that her boss expected her to already know how to work with Excel. She said her classes at LHU really helped prepare her for the internship. “It was nice that I knew what I was doing (with spreadsheets),” she said.
Another one of Hunt’s responsibilities was finding potential companies for New Pig to work with in the future. After finding “leads,” Hunt would refer them to her boss and give her all their contact information so New Pig could attempt to set up a partnership with these companies.
“I learned a lot more than I thought I was going to,” Hunt said. Rather than wasting her time doing menial tasks, Hunt was pleased that she was given plenty of substantial assignments.
“There were so many things that I’ve applied,” she said, adding that it gave her real-life experience she thinks will give her a leg up on the competition for a job once she graduates. “I got my foot in the door.”
One of the best experiences Hunt had while interning with New Pig was the opportunity to sit in on interviews with potential employees. While the company was looking for someone to fill a corporate position, Hunt was able to sit through three interviews and discuss the candidates with the other seven members of her department.
“It was extremely eye opening,” she said. Hunt was able to see how business professionals respond to interview questions, and how employers evaluate them. She was also able to offer her opinions on the candidates and discuss them with her coworkers.
Learning from her coworkers and supervisors was one of the most valuable things Hunt gained from the experience. “My boss, Deanna Gibbons… really took me under her wing and showed me how things were from a management standpoint,” she said.
Hunt said that while in the past she always saw things from her own perspective as an employee, working with Gibbons showed her the point of view of a manager, and she found it more difficult than she expected.
For anyone looking to get into marketing and management, Hunt said an internship is the way to go. Her advice to people who want an internship like hers is, “Take it as seriously as possible. Do as much as you can and be a hard worker.”