With the global pandemic still heavily present in many countries, students everywhere are asking themselves what their next move should be: is it worth it to apply for internships? Is the experience as fulfilling if it’s virtual? What resources do I have to find positions when it’s more competitive than ever?
At IE University, we’re here to assure you that education doesn’t have to stop, and that it’s still possible to have enriching academic and professional experiences amidst the crisis. The team at IE Talent & Careers will accompany you every step of the way.
Luis Joaquín Martínez, a fourth-year Dual Bachelor in Business Administration and International Relations student, is a great example of this. When planning how to make the most of his summer last academic year, he decided to pursue an internship, despite the restrictions made by many firms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the help of his Career Advisor at the IE University Segovia Campus, Luis Joaquín was able to secure an internship at the Deutsche Bank branch in Segovia. He shared his experience with us, and strongly encouraged any student who is on the fence about applying to internships to take the leap.
Why did you want to partake in a summer internship?
I was very interested in taking part in an internship over summer because I believe it’s the best way to grow during undergraduate studies and a great addition to one’s CV. Summer internships give everyone the chance to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, gaining insights into not only the know-how of the business, but also the daily life of the employees. I had a very successful experience last summer working for a technological startup, and I was looking to continue learning in the finance sector this year.
What did your summer internship consist of? What were your responsibilities?
During my summer internship, I was responsible for bank teller duties. This included tasks like balancing the vault, ATMs and cash drawers, and activities like resolving customer problems with financial products. I was at the front desk answering calls and talking to clients, constantly challenged with new issues or doubts that needed solutions, as well as aiding my co-workers with different issues. While I received great training from my co-workers and helped them with their individual work, it surprised me that I still needed to improvise unique solutions for individual client needs on a daily basis.
How did you hear about this opportunity, and how do you feel your IE experience and/or IE University Talent & Careers helped you secure the position?
I read about this role during my first year at university after a meeting with my Career Advisor in Segovia, but I was too young to apply. It was not until this year, my third, that I was notified by my Career Advisor that the position was available, so the department really helped me prepare to get the internship. The internship was almost canceled due to COVID-19, but at the last minute I was informed a position had opened in Segovia and everything was able to go through.
What would you highlight about this internship?
Without a doubt, I would highlight the interaction with people as the main source of learning and sense of fulfillment. Working at the front desk, I was the first face and voice any client had contact with. Whether it was face-to-face or on the phone, clients had diverse issues that needed an almost instant solution. Facing these kinds of problems was challenging, but also extremely rewarding as most clients would express their gratitude for me helping them. I was very exposed to client feedback, and as most of it was positive, I’d consider it a job well done. In addition to this, I was very well welcomed into the team, which made it easier and more enjoyable to learn.
What would you say to other students who are considering doing an internship?
Of course, my advice is that all students should try to have internships during their studies. It is hard to get one because you have to go through many application processes, but once you get accepted, it’ll all be worth it.