Advice on Making the Most of Your Summer Internship

Name: Matt Bonner

Major(s): Financial Economics

Class Year: 2024

Intern Title: Internal Audit to Private Equity Analyst

Internship Story

I started looking for summer internships late in my sophomore year. Fortunately, I landed an accounting role at a mid-sized life insurance company (applied through LinkedIn and had 2-3 interviews). Although I wasn’t content with the exact position, I was thrilled to have a foot in the door in the financial services industry. 

Following my semi-successful search I made a note to work diligently for the 10-week program. Although it seems like hyperbole, I showed up as early as possible and stayed as late as possible. I plugged away at my projects and used my free time productively. Through intercompany networking, I reached out and was put in contact with associates, seniors, and “higher-ups” in other departments I was interested in. I learned the kind of work each co-worker did and what a career in their area entailed. By the end of the summer, I had a much clearer understanding of what I wanted to do. I was also in good standing with the company.

Toward the end of the summer, I began my internship search for the next year. I interviewed for roles that were of interest to me and after some acceptances and rejections, I ultimately accepted a different internship role within the same insurance company. Thanks to the mindset and work ethic I displayed in the summer, I had strong internal references that put me ahead of other candidates for the competitive role I wanted.  

Main Lessons

Make the most of what you have. You do not need to be perfect all the time. If the role you’re offered isn’t close to what you’re looking for – it’s better than nothing. As an intern, you have the prerogative to network and establish connections with employees at almost all levels of the organization. This privilege should be fully exploited. You’ve got nothing to lose by requesting someone’s time for lunch or a chat.

By Ashley Strausser
Ashley Strausser