Major/Minor: Major: Actuarial Science, Minors: Business Administration, Italian
Year: Senior May 2014
Company Interned For: Benjamin Moore Paints
Hometown: Thiells, New York
AC: What were your day-to-day duties as an intern?
KID: I was a Procurement Analyst Intern at the global Headquarters of Benjamin Moore Paints for two consecutive summers (2012 & 2013). My time there was not spent solely focused on just one duty. I was an intern in the Procurement department, but I also worked closely with the Accounting and Finance departments. An average day involved lots of excel data entry and building my own spreadsheets. Benjamin Moore appointed a new CEO during my time there, and even on an intern level I felt the changes in company atmosphere. Also, Benjamin Moore closed down one of its major manufacturing facilities in North America while I was interning, and a lot of my day-to-day tasks involved informing raw material suppliers at hundreds of companies of this change, and that they should freeze all further shipments to that site. Benjamin Moore emphasized having its interns take on assignments that will impact the future development of the company.
KID: I found, applied, and interviewed for this position on my own search. I had also been applying to internships on the BCC, but had some difficulty finding posted positions which would allow me to live at home during the summer. The BCC is an invaluable resource for Bryant students, but I feel it is also important to seek out opportunities independently. If I had limited my search solely to the BCC, I would not have been able to obtain one of my most prominent professional positions! That being said, The Amica Center was still undoubtedly an asset in preparing me for this internship. I had attended workshops on interviewing hosted by Amica. I had my resume and cover letters critiqued numerous times by their staff as well. My freshman year, I had the fortune of meeting Judy Clare, director of the Amica center, and she has been an excellent mentor to me since. The Amica center is a fantastic resource for students no matter where they are trying to seek professional opportunities, because they provide the knowledge students need to adapt to a professional setting.
AC: What was your favorite memory? Did you make any mistakes during your internship?
KID: My favorite memory came at the end of my first summer interning at Benjamin Moore. My last day was the day after my birthday, so I had a weekend of celebrating and enjoying the last few weeks of summer 2012 ahead of me before flying off to Florence, Italy to study abroad in the fall. The members of my department knew it was my birthday and threw me a joint birthday/last day party. I loved being surprised and being told how much of a help all of my work was that summer. The designer cupcakes they brought in tasted almost as good as the recognition felt. The members of my department also said that if I wanted to return the following summer, I certainly could. I took them up on that offer!
One instance I had to learn from during my internship at Benjamin Moore was learning how to prepare reports the way that your supervisor wants them prepared, even if you do not have a template example. I had created tons of spreadsheets and documents while at Benjamin Moore, and I soon learned to have someone more knowledgeable look them over before submitting them to the head of the department. It’s important to be done early so a co-worker has time to do a peer review!
KID: I have maintained a connection with my co-workers. One of my co-workers spoke Italian, and since I have both minored in Italian and studied abroad in Italy, we were able to form a bond over it. We exchanged several emails while I was abroad to keep in touch. I also realized that one of my co-workers birthdays is the day before mine, so I made a point of sending her a happy birthday email, even though I had already finished my second summer at Benjamin Moore, which ended the first week in August before our birthdays. I have also added nearly everyone I have worked with closely at Benjamin Moore on LinkedIn. This is the easiest way to keep yourself current in people’s minds, and maintain connections with professionals you may not be in contact with every day. Even if I do not return to Benjamin Moore again, I can say with confidence that I have multiple professional references from Benjamin Moore I can list as I continue developing my professional career.
AC: Why do you think it was important to complete an internship?
KID: I think completing an internship is incredibly important. When applying for post grad positions, potential employers want to be assured that you know how to work in a professional setting, that the office atmosphere doesn’t intimidate you. Regardless of what type of work you are doing at your internship, the act of being reliable enough to show up every day and perform your basic duties speaks volumes about your priorities and work ethic, two very important skills to bring into a professional position. Being asked to return for a second summer is another huge selling point. Not only were you liked enough to be hired in the first place, but you excelled to the point that a company asked you to continue working with them. Potential post-grad employers know that if they hire you they’re going to have to interact with you every single day; are you someone they really want to see that often? Having an internship is how you can prove to post-grad employers that you are ready to take on the demands of corporate world.