Looking Back: A First Year Career Story
Written by Micah Nelson, Class of 2018
As a first year student at Babson, one of my primary goals was to find a quality internship that would not only allow me to continue learning about business over the summer but also act as a building block for future internships and eventually a career. I began my internship search in December and was under the impression that it would be near impossible for me to secure a solid internship as a first year student. Fortunately, after a couple of visits to the career center, my mindset quickly began to change. When I was introduced to the vast amount of resources available at the career center, I realized that finding a great internship was certainly realistic. The career center helped me to fine tune my resume, build my cover letter writing skills, prepare me for interviews and introduced me to multiple internship databases. After a couple of trips to the career center, armed with a polished resume and a strong foundation in the art of cover letters, I was ready to confidently apply to any internship that I was interested in.
After applying for a couple dozen internship positions I landed three interviews. I took the advice of the career center and thoroughly prepared for each of these interviews. The interview strategies presented to me by the career center must have worked well because I was offered a position at all three places I interviewed with. I was more than happy with my three offers and found myself in a position that I had never anticipated: having multiple great offers to choose from. I eventually made up my mind and couldn’t be happier with my current internship. I am working for a private wealth management firm just outside of Boston. The firm I work for is one of the most highly regarded firms in the wealth management industry and focuses on providing top notch service to ultra-high net worth individuals. I assist a three person investment team with investment research and analysis. The firm is small, but this is great as I am regularly working with highly knowledgeable and experienced senior people. So far I have been receiving an excellent introduction to the wealth management industry and have had plenty of opportunity to network with prominent people from all over the investment industry, which has given me real world exposure that goes far beyond wealth management.
I learned a lot through my internship search and a few pieces of advice I would have for future first year students looking for internships are: write specific cover letters, be well prepared for interviews, and talk to people about your search. When applying for an internship your chances of landing an interview increase dramatically if you submit a well written and specific cover letter. Many companies receive thousands of resumes and an exceptional cover letter is the best way to set your resume apart. Also, companies will notice if your letter is specific to their company or just a general letter. I did not hear back from any of the companies that I did not send specific cover letters to. Interviewing well is extremely important; it is likely the most genuine contact that a company will have with you before they extend you an offer. Try to anticipate some of the questions you might be asked and have good answers to these questions prepared. Just as importantly, have several thought provoking questions in mind before you start any interview. Also, do your due diligence on any company who interviews you so you can sound knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the position and the company. Lastly, if you are interviewing over the phone don’t be afraid to cover your desk with answers to questions, questions for the interviewer, and any other information that might be helpful during the interview. Talking to people about your internship search is surprisingly helpful. Even if you just mention it casually in conversation you will be astounded at how many people want to help your search be successful. Talking to people about your internship search is likely to lead to some great connections and often to internship opportunities that are not posted or advertised anywhere. These can be some of the best opportunities you will ever come across.
I am very happy with the results of my internship search and grateful for all of the help and resources that Babson provided me with. I am looking forward to leveraging the experience from this internship into another great internship next summer and eventually into, what I have no doubt will be, a fantastic career.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us Micah!