InternView: Why Being A Good Listener Makes A Difference In Your Internship
Highlighting his experiences as an intern, John Grib offers some great advice on the best practices to implement during your internship. John is a student at Syracuse University and was a financial analyst intern at De Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc., a global financial solutions partner. John shared his story in this interview conducted by Jane Horowitz, More Than A Resumé.
Did you have specific career plans when you started college?
I started Syracuse University with an interest in finance and capital markets, but also with an open mind. I found my career direction by taking business school classes, participating in the college’s investment club, and the Financial Management Association. My internship at De Lage Financial Services (DLL) was an ideal match with my interest.
What were some of your experiences that prepared you to start your internship?
When you start an internship a lot of your time is spent figuring out how to get work done and learning about the company culture. In high school I took advantage of the school’s internship program and started working at Ametek Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices. As a business intern I received experience analyzing financial statements, working with business software, and presenting work to managers within the company. Learning what was expected of a new professional in the workplace was a key aspect of the internship.
This internship made starting at DLL much easier. I started having hands-on experience working with data, financial models, and analytics. I also knew how to behave in a corporate environment allowing me to focus on work and meeting people in the company.
What steps did you take to make sure you developed and learned skills from your internship?
Everyone at DLL from the managers to my co-workers in the department and in other areas had an interest in my learning. Right from the start I showed my willingness to learn by utilizing what I call having “big ears” or rather being a good listener. I’m not afraid of challenging myself to work on my own but also know when to ask my manager for clarification and direction. Listening and learning from everyone is essential.
What actions have you taken to turn your internship into a full-time position?
I went out of my way to meet as many people as possible. I got to know people throughout the company by learning about the work they do, how they got started, and how they managed their careers. Additionally, I was proactive in helping colleagues with their work. In addition to my manager, my co-workers and colleagues can attest to the quality of my work and fit with the company.
What advice do you have for college students who are interning next summer?
Don’t be the intern for too long. What I mean is at some point you have to transition and find your place in the company. You need to get comfortable quickly, be proactive, take initiative, and develop a reputation for asking smart questions. Never underestimate the importance of being punctual– your colleagues are counting on you to get work done on time. Get to know the people you are working with as well, everyone has knowledge and experience you can learn from that will help you learn the business and the industry. This is the best way to develop your professional network.
Do you have internship advice to share with your peers? Please submit your request for an interview at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include your college, major and graduation year.