Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Experiencing the Unexpected – and loving it

Applying to internships can bring some tricky certainties, and one of them is that that we are sure of how our career needs to be like. For some planners, like me, it is easy to think about full-time job opportunities two years before graduating. Although planning is an excellent habit, it has the potential to frustrate, and we should carefully manage our plans and expectations.

In Brazil, when applying to summer internship opportunities, you can indicate what divisions you are interested in, but that does not mean you will work in them during your summer. In fact, you only get to know what you will do after you get the offer – at least most of the times. When I applied to work at Itau Unibanco, the biggest private bank in Latin America, I was very excited to work with Finance, and I made that clear during my first interview.

However, things did not go the way I expected, and I am currently working with data and processes. As soon as I learned what I was going to do, I did not resist the idea, because I found my project quite interesting. Fortunately, after a month of work, I can say I love doing what I currently do. I have been challenged every day with tasks I am not familiar with, as well as exposed to the (amazing) world of payment processing, which is unknown for most people. Besides that, I have opened my mind to new career possibilities.

Last week, in a meeting with the bank’s recruiter, I asked her why students could not give the last word about where they would work at in the bank. She told me it is a matter of profile. The recruiting team is able to understand where the applicants’ potential would be best utilized, and it places them in the right divisions. Entrusting my summer to people who had only known me through a resume and a couple of interviews represented a humbling experience for me. Of course we do have our passions and we should pursue them. However, during the first years of our careers, I believe being comfortable with experiencing the unexpected is the key to continue learning about ourselves.