Hillary’s Marketing Internship in Spain

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Sevilla, Spain

Name: Hillary Paige Coombs
Major/Minor: International Business-Marketing/Spanish & Chinese
Company Interned For: EDUCAMarketing (Salamanca, Spain)
Hometown: Canterbury, CT

AC: Tell us a little bit about the company you interned for and who you interned under. 

HC: EDUCAMarketing is a Marketing Firm located in Salamanca, Spain focusing in the Educational Market Sector. It offers an array of services ranging from project management training courses, marketing assistance, and help in penetrating the social media market.

AC: What were your day to day operations as an intern?

HC: For starters, they were all in Spanish. All of my conversations with my boss, projects, e-mails, phone calls, etc. My primary job for the semester was to develop a Formal Marketing Plan for EDUCAMarketing’s newest Project Management Educational project – their PMP Exam Simulator.

AC: How did you hear about your internship?

HC: The opportunity arose through Bryant Universities’ International Business Program, primarily through its director, Madan Annavarjula. They developed a new program in Salamanca this semester for International Business students minoring in Spanish to intern with a company while studying abroad. When I chose to study abroad with this program, they arranged for all fourteen of us to have internships through the Chamber of Commerce in Salamanca, who chose companies for us based on our previous experience and studies.

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AC: What do you think set your internship aside from any other job you’ve held or project you’ve worked on before?

HC: For starters, because it was all in Spanish. My supervisor never spoke a drop of English to me. It made the smallest tasks difficult sometimes. When I first started, communicating was extremely difficult. However, after the past 4 months of working there, my Spanish has advanced so much. I was forced to turn my computer into Spanish, using Spanish search engines, turn my Microsoft Offices into Spanish, etc. It really forced me to use the language in a business world setting, exactly what I needed. In addition, I worked more independently here there in any of my previous jobs. My boss would spend five minutes giving me an overview of what he wanted me to do, and it was up to me to figure out the rest. I learned to take advantage of the internet, research the basics, and then start working on my project.

AC: Which jobs or projects, that you have been apart of here at Bryant, helped you during your internship?

My boss and I at the certificate ceremony for The Chamber of Commerce

My boss and I at the certificate ceremony for The Chamber of Commerce

HC: Of course, my Spanish courses have greatly prepared me for the “Spanish” side of the internship. However, my marketing course at Bryant probably helped me the most as it taught me how to write a formal marketing plan. Without this course, I would have been going on Online Templates, which is sufficient, but not to the degree a company/boss expects.  The course allowed me to understand each component of a good marketing plan, which helped me through my first attempt at a real life marketing plan (in Spanish!). In addition, my Bryant 101 course taught me a lot about the functions of an international business as a whole, along with business practices and norms around the world.

AC: What advice would you give an underclassmen who is also an IB major?

HC: If you have the chance to intern while studying abroad, DO IT! It made my experience ten times more worthwhile. I was able to travel, take classes, and work ALL WHILE HAVING FUN AND ENJOYING SPAIN. This experience has given me a chance to see what my studies could really look like as a job in the future. Also, practicing your language through an internship tops any other language experience. My Spanish and business vocabulary has been immensely increased, as well as my general understanding of global business practices.

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A Finance Internship

fidelity_logoName: Francesca DiGisi
Major: Finance Minor: Sociology
Company Interned For: Fidelity Investments
Hometown: Wellesley, MA

AC: Explain to us what exactly your internship entails.

FD: I work for Pyramis Global Advisors which is the institutional branch of Fidelity Investments. I am an investment compliance intern. I, essentially, work with a team that monitors portfolio management ideas and investment actions. Some of my achievements during this internship were the implementation of a firm wide error database, created a comprehensive reporting/trending package for quarterly review meetings with senior management, and performed conflict monitoring to test allocation of investment ideas across multiple accounts on the alternative investments platform. I am very fortunate to be continuing my work at my internship during this school year.

AC: That sounds like an amazing experience.  Which courses at Bryant would you say prepared you the most for this internship?

FD: I think it is a combination of courses at Bryant that prepare for working in firm, such as Fidelity. In my day to day operations, I encountered excel analysis, team communication, and ethical decisions. All the business courses at Bryant, as a whole, integrate these techniques.  Especially my computer information science and management course.

AC: How did you learn about your internship?

FD: I was first introduced to the Fidelity college relations manager during the final round of the Excel competition for my CIS class. I applied for my internship through Bryant Career Connection or BCC. I addressed my cover letter to the college relations manager and sent her an email indicating that I was applying. I was surprised to hear back after sending my resume because they mostly were looking for juniors. Understanding my competition, I immediately called The Amica Center for a mock interview. I believe that this preparation, helped to ensure my acceptance into the position and I would definitely recommend it to all students looking for employment.

AC: What, if any at all, were some of the company culture “rules” you had to adjust to? 

FD: Company culture is extremely professional in financial services. I was used to the dress code because of the presentations in classes at Bryant. Basically, my understanding of Fidelity’s culture is that one should embody professionalism, character, and intellectual curiosity in all their interactions inside and outside of the workplace. I used technology that I have never seen before. My advice is that one should have an open mind, accept all challenges, and ask for help. In regards to power structures, I would try to treat every person with the same respect you would treat upper management. It is important to keep in mind that everyone in an organization plays a vital role in getting objectives accomplished and you never know when you might need something from someone.

AC:  That’s a very good way to look at it.  What were some challenges you faced in your internship and how did you overcome them?

FD: The greatest challenge I faced was that I was the youngest intern there with the least amount of knowledge on financial services. I came into my position as an accounting major without taking Finance 201. I had very little background knowledge on the industry I was working in, however I consistently took act to bridge the gap between myself and the other interns. I have an incredible manager who taught me the basics. To supplement his support, I read industry news and followed breaking current events involving these topics I was working with every day.

AC: Last question, any advice for underclassmen?

FD: Get started looking for internships early! Go to the career fair as a freshman just for the experience! Also, make connections with some of the professors who also have some great connections.


Katie Phung’s Finance and Tax Experience

aaaaaaaaaaaaaName: Katie Phung
Major/Minor: Accounting, Double Minor in Communication and Sociology and Service Learning
Company Interned For: City of Cranston: Finance and Taxation Department
Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island

AC: How do you believe Bryant has helped you throughout your internship? 

KP: My freshman year at Bryant consisted of taking every opportunity that came my way so I took that idea and applied it to my internship. Each opportunity that I had to gain experience in finance and taxation, I took. Practice makes perfect, after all.

AC: How did you learn about your internship?  

KP: I learned about my internship by networking with the City of Cranston mayor, Allan Fung, spring semester of my freshman year. My involvements throughout high school and the community helped me gain a closer connection to working with the City of Cranston: Finance and Taxation Department.

AC: What attracted you to this company? 

KP: Upon graduation, I want to work for the federal government and would like to get experience with how a government works beforehand so I decided on getting that right in my city. This summer, I am hoping to increase my experience with the State of Rhode Island government or the federal government through another internship.

AC: What were your day to day operations as an intern? 

KP: There was no set day to day operations for me as an intern. The only thing that was set ahead of time for me was my work schedule from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. In that time, I was always working on a project that the Director of Finance set for me. As an intern, I was responsible for performing tax collection duties such as data entries, transactions, and collaborative work. In addition, I provided assistance with end of fiscal year tasks for Cranston Public Schools.

AC: What were some challenges you faced in your internship and how did you overcome them? 

KP: Some challenges that I faced in my internship was being the only intern of the summer, the youngest in the office, and no prior internship experience. I was able to overcome these challenges through open communication with my supervisor, the Director of Finance, and the City of Cranston mayor. Time management and asking questions also helped me to better understand what needed to be done and how.

AC: In looking into your future, do you think interning has helped you with your career development?

KP: This internship will definitely help me with my career development. It confirmed my choice for a career path in the business field with a concentration on governmental accounting. The number of connections that I made through my internship for the City of Cranston will also further my career options.

AC: Any advice for underclassmen who are majoring in accounting? 

KP: I suggest that Accounting underclassmen students do the following: 1) take classwork seriously because it is actually applied in the office, 2) complete at least one internship before graduating, 3) take advantage of office hours with the professors (most have a CPA or Doctorate degree), and 4) make sure that you love what you do!


Karmaloop’s Bryant Intern: Abigail Adjei

Myself and other Bryant students as new members of NEW

Myself and other Bryant students as new members of NEW (I’m the one holding the sign!)

Name: Abigail Adjei
Major/Minor: Management/ Sociology
Company Interned For: Karmaloop
Hometown: Accra, Ghana

AC: How do you believe Bryant has helped you throughout your internship?

AA: At Bryant, I continue to have the opportunity to learn various aspects of business that I can relate to real life situations in a business environment. This knowledge definitely helps me out in interviews and also while I’m on the job. It is one thing to learn a concept in a textbook, but you cannot completely grasp and understand how to utilize it until you are challenged to utilize it in real world situations.  I also have great professors who have helped me realize great opportunities I never knew existed. I am currently enrolled in Management475 Women and Leadership with Professor Lori Coakley. Through this class I was able to join the Network of Executive Women and I currently have a great mentor from Coca Cola! Networking opportunities like these are helping me create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) career goals and recognize different companies I might want to work for after college.

AC: How did you learn about your internship? 

AA: I always had interests in learning about how different business functions in the fashion industry operate as well as what makes them unique. Judy Clare, Director of the Amica Center, put together Bryant’s first business fashion tour in New York City for students who were interested in fashion during my sophomore year at Bryant. This trip facilitated in exposing me to the business aspect of the fashion industry as well as different avenues through which I could find fashion internships for business students like myself.

AC: What attracted you to this company?

AA: In the summer of 2011, I had the opportunity of working with a high fashion designer who specialized in creating haute couture designs. This past summer I made a switch from high fashion to streetwear and got the opportunity to work as a Marketing intern for Karmaloop – one of the largest global online street wear boutiques. Personally when I’m working for a company, it is important for me to have an established interest in the goals and aspirations of the company. This was the case with Karmaloop; they are an online site which provides affordable clothing to people in my age group and give up and coming designers the chance to be featured on their website. As a Ghanaian, this is definitely piqued my interest. Ghana, and the African continent in general, has amazing and incredibly diverse fashion that is so beautifully intertwined with the country’s rich history. I have a great respect for companies that allow Ghanaians to sell their clothes on an international platform and give the respective designers the required recognition.

AC: What were your day to day operations as an intern?karmaloop

AA: Every day at Karmaloop, I had an agenda of various projects and assignments. These included, but were not limited to, negotiating advertising deals with international style bloggers, developing marketing strategies to optimize strategies with the head of the marketing department,  researching new brands, writing articles for Kamaloop’s blog, and assisting on photo-shoots.

AC: What were some challenges you faced in your internship and how did you overcome them?

AA: One of the challenges I faced during my internship at Karmaloop was getting the courage to let the head of my department know about my desire to expand my knowledge of the company and the online fashion industry by working with different department heads. It took a lot of courage, but I got some great advice from my mentor in the Marketing Department and reached out to the head of HR and the head of Marketing at Karmaloop and made my desire to work on different projects known to them.

AC: In looking into your future, do you think interning has helped you with your career development?

CaptureInterning has definitely helped put together what I believe are great starting blocks to my career development. One thing I will always carry with me from my internship opportunities is the fact that, just because an internship does not turn out to be what you expected does not mean you wasted your time working in that industry. With every internship position I’ve held, I leave knowing what I liked about the internship and what I did not like. Internships have helped hone in on different business functions, such as Supply Chain Management and Marketing, which are areas I never thought I would be interested in.

AC: Any advice for underclassmen who are majoring in management?

AA: Regardless of what your major is, explore other functions of business. College is your chance to take risks and try different opportunities. Regardless of what your internship experience is, learn vital lessons from it and put these lessons in your ‘tool box’ when applying for your next internship.