For Eddwina Gregg, her summer internship started long before she even got the offer from Citigroup. It would be her second and final internship of her college career, and she wasn’t taking it lightly. She had 10 short weeks to determine whether a career in finance was for her, so the analyst internship was definitely much more than a break from classes and a chance to live in New York City for a summer.
“I went to a community college before entering Morgan State in Baltimore, and I was just a little worried about whether I was up to speed,” she admits.
She talked to her corporate finance professor about what she’d be exposed to in the internship interview, and she did some extra homework. “I researched key financial concepts, read Citi’s annual report and even bought a financial dictionary so I’d understand the terminology better.”
Once she had secured the internship, Eddwina set some goals for herself. “First, I wanted to learn about Citigroup, how it is structured, what drives its business. Second, I wanted an outlook on the industry as a whole, and third, I wanted to leave the internship completely comfortable reading the Wall Street Journal or watching MSNBC.”
On the first day, she decided to set the tone for her 10 weeks, making sure her boss knew that she was ready to be challenged. “I asked him if I could sit in on calls just so I could learn about what was going on. I asked for as much work as possible, and I set up a weekly check-in meeting with him,” she says. “That was a good conversation for me to have. Because of that, he introduced me to a lot of other people and gave me assignments that I might not otherwise have gotten.”
And then she combined a lot of hard work with a lot of fun. Taking advantage of all the networking and social events that Citi sets up for its interns is an important part of the experience. “We were all spread throughout the company and wanted to gain knowledge from each other’s experiences,” she says. In addition to learning from her fellow interns, Eddwina was assigned an “analyst buddy,” and both a junior and a senior mentor within the company—so she had a lot of resources to take advantage of at different levels, and she definitely made the most of them.
Eddwina had achieved all of her goals by the time the 10 weeks was up, and she knew she was in the right industry and the right company. “I knew that if they offered me a full-time job, I would take it,” she says. “The culture is great, and I gained an appreciation for Citi’s business model. Because Citi is global and has a wide variety of different businesses, I felt like I could have a really long career, and could even keep reinventing my career.”
Once she was back at school, Eddwina made sure to keep the door open, asking her Citi supervisor for advice on what classes to take and industry publications to read. She also kept in touch with her analyst buddy. “There was lots of interaction after I left, so when I got the offer and returned a year later, it felt like a seamless transition.”
Making sure she was prepared, staying focused and setting goals, Eddwina can say that her internship was a resounding success. “You want to make sure this is the field you want to be in and the company where you want to start your career,” she says. “The whole internship is as much an interview for the student as it is for the company.”
Make sure you’re summer internship is a success involves getting prepared prior to, staying focused, and setting some goals for yourself. Find out what one student did to get and stay ahead of the pack.