Internships Can Save Your Future

Let me guess…Spring Break is right around the corner, and you have full-fledged senioritis?!  I GET IT!  College is right around the corner, and you are daydreaming about shopping for your dorm room and moving out for the first time!

Today I decided to write a college tip for you!

I cannot express the importance of this.  I used to be a finance major.  I loved math. I loved stocks.  And I loved the fact that you could combine both and make money in the process!  And then I did an internship at one of the world’s largest brokerage firms the summer before my senior year.  I was SO excited to start this internship.

I was finally going to live my dream…and then reality came crashing down on me.

I was naive to think that as a financial adviser you would have the best interest of the client involved at all times.  My jaw hit the floor when I sat in on meetings about the latest mutual funds they were pushing; funds that were great for the company but not necessarily the client.  I also saw sneaky tactics they would use to try to gain more clients.  And it’s not unheard of to have advisers sell off stocks in a portfolio to purchase the ones that did well during the past quarter so the client would think, “Oh wonderful!  I’ve owned a fund that has done so well this year!” In reality they have owned it for 2 weeks.  Are all financial advisers this way?!  NO.  But this was my exposure, and it promptly left me with a sour taste for the industry.  I was not wanting to enter the world into an atmosphere where it was cut-throat or die.  And I surely didn’t want a job that would rip out the one thing I loved so much about myself…my integrity.  Bottom line, I didn’t have a good experience.

So then it was time to re-access.  What in the world was I going to do?  I was 2 semesters out from graduation.  I didn’t want all of those credits to go to waste; but my spirit for the finance world was burned.  I ended up seeking advice from a school counselor and switched to Business Administration and bumped up my marketing classes (which I loved) to get an emphasis in it instead.

Top 5 Reasons to Seek an Internship:

1. You will get a taste of the industry and what your job will be like to see if that is truly the path you want to take.  I am truly grateful for my internship…it taught me a lot about myself and forced me to really access if that is what I wanted for my future.

2. It builds your resume up a bit when leaving college.  Heck, I’d recommend you try to do a couple different internships before graduation to get your feet wet and diversify your resume.

3. It creates contacts in the industry when it comes to looking for a job.

4. Real world experience is SO valuable.  It’s one thing to learn it at school, and it’s another thing to implement it in the real world.

5. Reread number 1!

Internships are available…you just have to seek them out!  Talk to your professors.  They have connections within the industry and can not only guide you in the right direction, but possibly provide you a recommendation as well.  Also check with your department…they will post them occasionally in the office areas.  Or if there is REALLY a company you want to work for (dream big) then go ASK.  And ask AGAIN!

Stay Fearless,

M O N T H L Y   G O S S I P   C O L U M N