Choosing a career path is a daunting task. With so many possibilities, it is important to put time and effort into understanding how to make such important decisions. Internships act as a great building block to a successful career and provide the opportunity for skill development while gaining professional experience.

We spoke with Adrian Salinas, a Bachelor in Behavior & Social Sciences student. He’s currently completing an internship as a Data Analyst Intern in the Talent Management department at IE University alongside his studies. We chatted with him to get his insight into his experience. 

The recruitment process

The Careers Portal has many opportunities for IE University students to take advantage of, so naturally, this was where Adrian turned. Initially skeptical over whether he would get a call, his CV proved successful, and he had a phone interview followed by an in-person interview. 

Though he was nervous about his in-person interview, this proved to be unfounded. This is what he had to say: “I got a clear explanation about what was expected of me if I got the internship, and then I was asked if I could do it and how I could improve what was already done. I answered honestly and was offered the internship a few weeks later.” 

The day in the life of an intern

Adrian’s daily tasks generally fall under performance management, which involves helping the recruiting and formation teams with whatever they need. This, he explained, can range from “highly technical tasks such as creating dashboards and reports, to more creative work like designing landing pages and communication campaigns.”

One project he worked on involved creating a prototype for a feedback survey. “We didn’t have a platform, so we had to set it up from scratch,” he says. This meant designing the questions, survey design, and all the logic for the survey flow. Another project he was a part of revolved around the assessment used by IE University during the hiring process—but due to confidentiality, he couldn’t share much more!

Internship highlights

Adrian credits his “amazing team” and positive work environment for the experience he has had during his internship. He notes that “although it took me a while to know all of them, I am very glad I was part of the team,” enjoying mini-events and dinners put on by the team.

However, this team cohesion has been intentional. As Adrian puts it: “Even though we are all incredibly productive in our respective jobs, we always find little spots throughout the day to talk with each other.” In terms of professional highlights, he has “learned a lot from them from a career perspective, especially from the recruitment side of HR.” 

Education in a real-world context

Internships provide students with the perfect place to hone their skills and get professional experience. Adrian says that working on multiple HR projects has allowed him to learn a lot about different aspects of a company and develop his skills. The diversity of projects that he has had the opportunity to work on means that he has “acquired pieces of knowledge and experience with every one of them.” 

Speaking of the experience as a whole, Adrian says: “The part that I enjoy the most is seeing those skills compound and get enhanced with each other.” In terms of gains to his studies, he has “also grown massively as a behavioral scientist due to all the projects. Having the opportunity to apply some behavioral science concepts to every project has been very fulfilling.”

Looking to the future 

Following his internship and studies, Adrian is keen to pursue a career in marketing and customer experience, noting that “a consultancy type of job goes very well with my personality and work rhythm.” 

He has come to this conclusion by taking part in the internship, realizing that he prefers working on different projects to doing repetitive tasks. While he isn’t completely crossing HR-related work off his list, he says he wants “to try different things while I still can.” 

Advice for students 

The work starts before the internship begins. Adrian advises students to “spend quality time with your CV. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to be a clear reflection of who you are and how you can contribute to the person looking to hire you.”

Adrian also encourages students to get their CVs looked over by someone else, recommending the IE Talent & Careers team, who can be reached via email or at one of their sessions. 

“My second piece of advice is to be completely honest, both with yourself and with the recruiters. This is especially true during interviews.” However, Adrian warns of the dangers of overdoing it: “Practicing and preparing for them is necessary, but don’t go in with premade phrases that you think they want to hear.” Adrian’s parting piece of advice is to “have confidence in who you are, and who you can become.” For more tips, check out Adrian’s article on The Stork!