6 Great Summer Internships for Undergrads
Students in the School of Management share their experiences at their summer internships, and how those experiences are helping them change the world from here.
USF students may have left campus for the summer, but that did not stop them from working towards their futures.
Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, Human Resources Internship
Ashley “Dani” Swisher BS Business Administration Hospitality ‘16 began working as a human resources intern at the Fairmont in May, and will continue working at the hotel--in October, she will start working at the San Jose location as Human Resources Coordinator. Swisher’s personal project, which she said she worked on for about two-and-a-half months, is the “Sustainability, Health and Wellness Fair.” At the showcase event, she explained, “over 30 community partners come in and teach about 250 of our colleagues about different steps they can take to improve their well-being.” Swisher described the event as the “most exciting and stressful project I’ve worked on.”
This internship has greatly improved my organization and ability to talk on responsibility,” said Swisher, “USF has prepared me for this by giving me a strong foundation of hotel terminology, structure, and typical labor concerns.
USF Alumna Ashley “Dani” Swisher
With Swisher’s experience in doing summer internships (working at the Fairmont being her third), she advises other students to seek out internships in their industry as soon as they can. “This is the perfect time to build strong relationships with a company for whom you would love to work post-grad,” she said. “This time is precious!”
Park Hyatt Ningbo Resort and Spa, Hospitality Internship
Zi “Rebecca” Lin BSBA Hospitality ‘16 worked the summer before her graduation at a luxurious resort in China. Since she interned for only two months, Lin described it to be more of a “training and learning internship.” At the hotel, Lin primarily worked at the front office where she served as a concierge, receptionist, and representative for the Guest Service Center.
Lin explained that her studies at USF helped her while she was away - especially BUS 487 Catering and Fine Dining Management, which she said taught her about emotional presentation when serving customers.
Lin said that she became more confident in the field of hotel work and hospitality as her scope of knowledge increased during her hands-on training. A piece of advice she gives to other students interested in interning is to try work at different stations within one department as it will help with getting a better understanding of what every station needs to do - “it will also benefit your future.”
KPMG, Global Federal Tax Internship
Edward Viera BSBA Accounting ‘17 spent four weeks of his KPMG internship on an all-expense paid trip to Bangalore, India. During his internship at KPMG, one of the biggest accounting firms on the globe, Viera focused on federal tax practice, which involved data entry, e-filing tax forms (filing taxes via the internet), and working with different programs and software than those in the United States. “It was really nice getting to learn more about the programs and software that [are used] in India,” said Viera.
One of his exciting tasks was when his manager in India allowed him to work independently on a client’s tax return as well as e-file it. “I felt that they trusted me in what I was doing. I already had enough training, and I finished the project efficiently,” Viera said proudly.
KPMG offered Viera a full-time position, which he said he will begin in the fall of 2017.
It’s never too early to start looking at companies and to start thinking about your career, because in the end, I think it can lead to many opportunities.
USF student Edward Viera
KPMG, Audit Internship
Hannah Cole-Leathers BSBA ‘17 also spent her summer working for KPMG. As the President of Beta Alpha Psi (accounting and finance honors fraternity), Secretary of the Women in Business club, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma (business honors society), Cole-Leathers said she “had an amazing time working in San Francisco’s Financial District every day.”
For her first week, she, and all of the other KPMG interns were flown off to Orlando, Florida, for their required training. “During this week we got to participate in leadership exercises, begin learning our technical skills and make friendships that could last for an entire career. We also had a great time exploring Orlando,” she said.
Cole-Leathers interned as an equivalent to a first-year associate. “I helped document and value different types of investments on the part of venture capital firms and large banks alike. I was able to see firsthand how the financial statements of a given company are audited, revised, and then published to the public.”
“This internship was not just about developing the technical skills required to be an auditor, but also how to develop the relationships necessary to be successful in your career and happy at your workplace,” said Cole-Leathers. After graduation, Cole-Leathers said she will be joining KPMG full-time next fall.
All experience is great experience, and you never know where one opportunity may lead you.
USF Student Hannah Cole-Leathers
Cisco Systems Inc., Project Manager Internship
Dalton Foxall BSBA ‘17, an entrepreneurship and innovation major, said that he began thinking about his future as his junior year was winding down--leading him to send out 20 internship applications. “Although cliche, be confident and be yourself. Practice interviews, do your research on the company you are applying to, and have some stories in your back pocket to tell your interviewer,” said Foxall.
For his position at Cisco, he explained “allocating the right resources and tying the team together,” were his main responsibilities. “I was given projects to complete, whether it be identifying process gaps, assisting a client, or bringing the team together to produce the quarterly business review.”
Foxall was offered an extended internship with the company throughout the fall semester and is even working with Cisco’s University Relations to get more USF students involved at Cisco.
Foxall praised the on campus events at USF, explaining how they helped prepare him for his internship.
The Marketing Club’s Yelp event last semester and the career services Sales in Tech Meetup gave me a chance to talk with professionals in the field and garner a thorough understanding of what to expect and how to be prepared to work full-time.
USF Student Dalton Foxall
Bon Appetit Management Company, Culinary Intern
Yousef Babatin BSBA, a recent ‘16 summer USF graduate and Hospitality Management major, is currently an intern for Bon Appetit Management Company at YouTube and Google. As a culinary intern, Babatin started off working in a salad café as a prep cook; next, he was stationed at the hotline, shadowing a lead chef on various projects; finally, Babatin was put in charge of his own cooking station in which he was minimally supervised. With two weeks left out of his twelve week internship, Babatin has been offered a full-time position at the company.
Take advantage of any opportunity that you have and network, network, network! You never know where this internship will take you!
Alumnus Yousef Babatin
Babatin said that his internship has allowed him to refine his technical skills as well as use his time effectively to be an efficient employee. “It is great to learn how do corporate food service work by serving a tremendous amount of people and boost my confidence working with a large kitchen crew.”
When asked how his studies at USF prepared him for his internship, Babatin said: “I think one of the unique things about the hospitality management program is having a career lab where the students learn how to be professional. For example, we learned how to write resumes, dress professionally, conduct mock interviews, and practice networking with real companies!”
By Lonny Wysard