Internships: The ins and outs


Yuan Feng Chao
Yuan Feng Chao addresses the audience as fellow panelists Tyler Kluempke, left, and Keenan Seguancia listen during the Students Speak Out event on Jan. 27.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and come up with at least one to ask every day.

Find a mentor.

Anticipate interview questions and practice answering them.

Research the company well in advance.

Lose your ego and be ready to learn from everyone in the company.

Develop your communication skills, both the formal and informal ones.

Understand that you’ll likely be asked to do at least some amount of grunt work.

Those were among the internship lessons passed along Jan. 27 by an eight-member panel during Students Speak Out. The Career Success Center organized the event, the first of its kind, and the near-capacity audience of about 50 in the Robert Family Events Room included a mix of majors and grade levels ranging from freshmen to MBA candidates.

Senior panelist Keenan Seguancia praised the first-year students for taking the initiative to learn about internships so early in their college careers and wished he had done the same thing. Seguancia, a business information systems/accounting major, interned with Nike in summer 2014.

In seeking out internships, Seguancia emphasized using the Career Success Center – “They search for opportunities for us day in and day out,” he said – and to research companies to see if their core values and mission statement align with those of the prospective intern. He also stressed the value of joining clubs on campus both for the resume-building and networking value.

Other panelists’ internship firms included Neil Kelly, Daimler Trucks North America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Naked Wines, Mutual of Enumclaw, Olah Inc. and Robert W. Baird & Co.

Tiga Evans, a sophomore majoring in merchandising management and sustainability, spoke of being ready for whatever questions the interviewers might ask, including in her case, “Why do you want to work for this company?” and even “What is your favorite movie?”

Taylor Wobig, a senior in interior design, urged students not to exaggerate their skills when interviewing, and she also offered a networking tip: When you receive someone’s business card, write down additional information about the person on the back of the card for future reference.

Students Speak Out audience.
About 50 students of varying majors and class levels attended.

And Hannah Taylor, a senior in finance, reminded the students that while internships provide for a variety of interesting and challenging responsibilities, they’re not all glamorous ones.

“Know you might be doing grunt work at the beginning,” she said. “It’s what you’re there for.”

For more information about internships, visit the Career Success Center, Austin Hall 102, and also like the center on Facebook,


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