How my Externship Jump-Started my Career Development
This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Sydney Huang ’20.
Applying for an externship my freshman year was one of the best choices I made at Babson. This seemingly small event served as a catalyst for my career development years to come by giving me a mentor, helping me assess what I want in a career, and a summer internship opportunity.
How it started:
I heard about the opportunity and I was intrigued. Job shadowing seemed perfect because it is difficult to get an internship as a freshman but job shadowing still gave me some insight and experience so I can have a better idea of what career path is right for me. I applied through Handshake with my resume and answered some application questions. I was interested in entrepreneurship/start-ups and my location preference was LA. CCD did a tremendous job in pairing me and satisfying my interests and preferences. I was paired with an alumnus who is a successful entrepreneur with his own start-up and also serves as a mentor/consultant to other growing ventures.
As part of the application process, a PCA actually looks at the resume you have submitted, edits it, and emails it back to you for you to update. This was like killing two birds with one stone. How often do you apply to something and get resume feedback/review at the same time? Then, if you are accepted, there is an orientation process where each step of the externship is outlined very clearly. The presentation will talk about how you should reach out to your host and what questions to ask.
I reached out to my host via email and we scheduled a phone call. Through the phone call, we were able to determine a time for the externship that works for both of us. My host kicked off the day by telling me a little bit about himself (his Babson experience and how it led him to different opportunities) and what he is currently working on. He then proceeded to ask me about my career goals. My host then proceeded to give me some tasks to complete as part of the externship process. Before I left for the day, my host gave me some remote tasks to work on and we scheduled another time to meet. Throughout Winter Break, I went to the office a few times. I was able to work on actual tasks so it gave me hands-on experiences.
I had such a good experience with my host that even when I went back to Babson in the Spring, I continued to work on remote tasks for him. He also served as a mentor to me throughout. The following summer, he offered me a summer internship opportunity which is hard to come by as a first year so needless to say, it helped me in my career search later on. To this day, the alumnus I was paired with still serves as my mentor. He helps me with anything from career goals to personal growth goals and I am more than grateful.
Please keep in mind that this was my experience and may not be reflective of every externship as it is highly dependent on the company you get and your host.
If you want to learn more, we will be talking more about externships at First-Year Friday this week 10/26 at 1pm in Hollister 106!