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Internship Experiences: A Closer Look with Katie Waters

Story: Caroline Fink, Design: Bob Craig

Internships play a vital role in providing students with an opportunity to experience the types of real-world situations they will be facing in a few short years. According to a 2009 study conducted by Ohio State, 32 percent of undergraduate students attested that their internship provided them with  the most valuable information for their future careers.

A number of resources are available to assist students in their search for the perfect internship.  In Fisher, the Office of Global Business and the Office of Career Management connect Fisher students with internship opportunities both domestically and across the globe.  

Katie Waters, a fourth-year marketing major graduating in the spring, used these resources to successfully secure her internship and, ultimately, her full-time job offer.  

When did you first start seeking out an internship?

I first started seeking an inter
nship seriously during my sophomore year at the Fisher Fall Career Fair. However, as a freshman I went to the Spring Career Fair to get experience and practice talking with recruiters, giving my elevator pitch and handing out my resumes. This also gave me a good idea of what companies I would like to work with and pursue seriously in the future.

Did you have many choices of where you wanted to intern, or did you only seek to work with one company

As a sophomore, I did not have a lot of opportunities available to me, so I only interviewed with Unilever. I loved the company so much and felt like it was the best opportunity available to me at the time, so I did not feel the need to look elsewhere. I interned with them again the following summer, and I will be working for them full-
time after graduation.

What types of skills did you learn while in the field? Did you feel well prepared by Ohio State?

I felt fairly well prepared by Ohio State and Fisher, especially from my CSE [Computer Science and Engineering] class. However, there were some things I had to learn from the job that could not possibly be learned in the classroom. For example, one of the most valuable things I learned was how to form meaningful and productive relationships with coworkers, and how to develop trusting relationships with customers. I also learned how to conduct myself with confidence in a business situation and how to present to an executive committee of employees.

Did anything you experienced during your internship affect what you wanted to do with your career?

Absolutely. After working so closely with both my coworkers and customers, I knew I wanted a career that involved working with others a lot. I learned that I really enjoyed working with others and building strong business relationships, and that this was a strength of mine that I wanted to leverage in my future career.

Do you have plans to return to the company you interned with?

Yes! I will be living in New York City after graduation and working for Unilever as a member of their Unilever Future Leaders Program on a Marketing track.

What would you recommend to underclassmen as they prepare to find themselves an internship in the future?

Be confident. If you do not feel confident, fake confidence and eventually you will feel it authentically. If you have confidence in your abilities and in who you are as a person, an employer will see that and appreciate that.
Waters is one example of what Fisher students can accomplish through the utilization resources through the Office of Career Management. However, if students want an international experience, there is no need to fear. The Office of Global Business has a multitude of programs available to guide students on a journey around the world. Both summer and semester long internships are readily available for students to gain experience in places like Australia, England, Germany, India and Spain.

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