By Adam Aurioles, Guest Author
Although not everyone reading will be searching for an internship, I think the lessons I learned throughout this past year are applicable beyond just my situation. The internship search is tough, in fact, if you want to go into banking some internships are already full for the summer of 2019. I started applying for internships for this summer in August of 2017. It is hard to believe that a whole school year has gone by since then but I applied to the biggest name in banking, Goldman Sachs. I didn’t really expect to hear back but to my surprise, I got a digital interview which I promptly completed. Again I didn’t really expect to hear back. A few weeks later I got an email telling me they were going to fly me to New York for a superday (a day with multiple interviews back to back), oh and it was in three days. With barely any time to think I was off to New York and it was quite the experience.
Interviewing with Goldman Sachs was probably the most important event so far in my professional development. It was my first real interview with a large firm. I had three one hour interviews and two were in line with what I expected in terms of the format and questions. The main thing they taught me was that I really didn’t want this internship. The culture was not what I wanted and the work that they did just wasn’t all that interesting after hearing their day to day, a personal preference for sure but one I couldn’t ignore. The third interview taught me a much more important lesson than the other two, getting a job is just as much about your technical knowledge as it is about your interpersonal skills (also make sure your interests section on your resume is accurate and you aren’t lying). In my interests section was rugby, a sport not many know and is near impossible to fake your way through a conversation about (it’s a good thing I had played for 5 years at that point). It turned out that both of my interviewers were former rugby players and we ended up talking about the great game for almost half of my interview (funnily enough another one of my interviewers for a job I would later take was also a rugby player). Although I didn’t get the Goldman Sachs internship, I learned valuable lessons from that day which impact me still.
My career focus has shifted significantly as I now want to go into consulting rather than banking. A lyric from one of my favorite songs was perfect for this situation “Dreams that have shattered may not have mattered, take another point of view.” At the time that point of view was hard to take though. I had another year of school ahead of me and a lot of that time would be spent applying for internships. I got pretty far into the process of applying for another internship in Cleveland to the point of being in a final round just to be told another two weeks later that I didn’t get it either. Then one night in March, I was told by my career advisor to apply to Accenture Strategy’s sophomore internship program. About a week later on a Friday, I was in back to back interviews that were three hours each. That next Tuesday I got a call during one of my finals which I missed and all I could see in the transcript was “congratulations”. I was over the moon.
Overall, I learned quite a few this year. First, what we think we want now might not be what we actually want. Second, sometimes clichés like good things come to those who wait are both right and wrong (patience is a virtue but you have to fight for what you want) and third even though things seem to be going wrong, with some patience and determination you can get to where you want to be. It was tough being patient with these virtues since it was a pretty grueling 7 months but looking back on it I am happy things worked out the way that they did.
The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only. The articles are not the opinions of ProCore Advisors, LLC.