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How has Internship work experience affected and influenced your major decision?
Senior, 21 years old
"What area of work should I go into?"
Previous Major(s):Business Management/Supply Chain & Finance
Current/Changed Major(s): same
With two concentrations, it's hard to pick what area I want to go work in. My work with student organizations (specifically Alpha Kappa Psi) helped me realize the value of getting an internship to gain this clarity. We had speakers from different companies who discussed the value internships for the experience, and suggested attending career fairs to connect with other companies who were seeking interns.
I applied for this internship online in September of 2003 after speaking with Boeing at the Minority Career Fair. I was contacted in January of 2004 for a telephone interview prior to returning for the spring semester and offered the internship in March.
I didn’t change my concentration or major as a result of the internship (since I’m doing both), but it did help me see which area of business I would want to work in after graduation.
Advice for Other Students
Interning was fabulous, it gave me a good understanding of what it is like to work in a large corporation, and whether or not I liked this type of work. [After my two internships], I have a much better idea. Everyone should do an internship!! Get out and look at Websites of large corporations; they're always looking for students! Also, don’t be afraid to relocate for the summer. Interning for the summer is a great time to try out a new part of the country for a short time to see if you would like it. Take a risk!
If I Had to do This Over Again
I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience… it was great!
The Results of my Decision
I spent my summer at Boeing's Wichita Development and Modification Center. During my internship, I supported various estimates for new business and aided in the automation of this process. In addition, I created the first-draft of a matrix that will be used in future estimates of Operations costs, currently Engineering estimates are only heavily supported. The hope is always that Boeing's estimate will be lower than competitors and thus will win the new business.
As an intern group we participated in many events. My most memorable are the tours of the manufacturing facilities where I saw the 737 Next Generation aircraft assembly line and all the tooling associated with this large-scale production. We also met with the General Manager of the Commercial Aviation Services in Wichita for an informal discussion of the business. Boeing also set up social events including picnics, a volleyball tournament, mini-golf, go-karting, and "happy hours."
My experience definitely encouraged me to pursue supply chain as a career field. I plan on applying for positions in this field with a large company like Boeing.
Jennifer is a great example of how an internship can help a student make a decision between a couple of career tracks. The worlds of finance and supply chain are quite different, and “living” in that environment gave her much more confidence in her decision. Sometimes, internships can cause a student to re-evaluate a field because they find it isn’t as good a fit as they thought it would be too. This is just as valuable an experience as one that affirms your decision, and can prevent you from feeling “stuck” in a major or career. Jennifer’s experience not only affirmed her decision, but allowed her to gain experience in her field and network with professionals in a well-respected organization. Employers often use internship programs as part of their overall university recruiting program, which means interns who perform well could be offered full-time employment upon graduation. Internships are a win-win situation for students and employers, and all students should consider either interning or co-oping to gain experience and clarify their career decision.
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