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Spending a Productive Summer

Hello ABSA family! On May 16, ABSA hosted an event led by UW Foster upperclassmen Patricia Li, Amanda Huynh, and Julian Dean. During the event, they shared valuable advice about their experience in internships, working, building their skills to add to resumes, and more. Whether or not you have summer plans, there are many different opportunities to utilize to make it productive while also having fun.

Meet the Panelists:

Patricia Li:

  • She is a senior studying Accounting and Finance with a minor in Informatics

  • She has been involved in ABSA and UBC as well as many case competitions

  • She had a previous internship at EY

  • She will be returning to EY and doing consulting

  • Fun fact: Patricia was the ABSA president in 2020-2021!

Amanda Huynh:

  • She is a senior studying Finance and Information systems with a minor in Dance

  • She has been involved in ABSA and AKPsi

  • She had previous internships at US Bank and Amazon

  • She will be returning to Amazon to work with the finance rotation program

  • Fun fact: Amanda was the ABSA finance director in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 (recently graduated early in winter quarter)!

Julian Dean:

  • He is a senior studying Operations and Supply Chain Management with a minor in Diversity

  • He has been involved in UDS (as an intern), YEOC (as a mentor), Black at Foster, ALPFA, and Building Networks

  • He had a previous supply chain management internship at Boeing

Q & A:

What was your experience, both as an underclassmen and upperclassmen, in seeking internships or productive things to do over the summer?

Patricia: As an underclassmen, she had no experience but she got a part time job at UW Medicine as a Fiscal Office Assistant. The next summer, she went to Liberty Mutual for an analyst position program. Although it was an analyst oriented program and not consulting related, she recommends finding as much opportunity as you can. Afterwards, as long as you have more experience on your resume as well as improving on yourself and capitalizing on resources you have, opportunities will come your way, especially as you become an upperclassmen. After all, companies know you have two more years. Over the summer if you’re not interning, she recommends picking up a new hobby or something valuable, maybe you can use it as a fun fact in the future.

Amanda: As an underclassmen, she had no idea where to start and felt like she didn’t have any valuable experience to be able to get one. She also felt like going into it, the first step was to find any sort of experience. For example, as a freshman, she started as a student assistant at UW Finance in order to be able to talk about her experience at interviews for internships. As she grew older and gained more experience, one thing to note in having a productive summer is to plan out and know your personal goals - it doesn’t necessarily have to be an internship, but the key is to make a plan towards achieving that goal.

Julian: As an underclassmen, he spent time at both WSU and UW. He didn’t know he wanted to pursue business before, but then he chose it because of his interest from a student activities committee and marketing committee. From there, he learned how to market events, make a poster, make t-shirts, and promote an event from upperclassmen. He also did marketing for FASA when he got to UW. He recommends updating your Handshake and LinkedIn profile based on his experience of his first internship coming from Handshake. Outside of work and his internship, he also worked on personal development skills. For example, completing the Foster Excel for Business course available on Canvas to students helps sell yourself to the world because knowing how to use functions and vlookup is beneficial. Even knowing how to use Outlook and other basic Microsoft Suite apps puts you at an advantage. He worked at the Amazon Fulfillment Center where he learned supply chain skills. He also worked out while doing a summer internship because going to the gym recentered his focus. He advises to find ways to meditate and stay off your phone or find quiet time.

What specific resources have you used or do you recommend for students struggling to successfully create a “summer plan”?

Patricia: As an underclassmen, Handshake is helpful specifically for UW students. You will have an edge if you do update, and it’s how she got her internship. Meanwhile, for non-internship related tasks, she likes to make a vision board in the beginning of the summer, which includes what goals she has for the summer. As time goes by, it’s easy to be in your bed, on your phone all day, and suddenly two months have passed. It’s better to be more organized and lay out what you want to do every week. For example, when she said she wanted to read two books, she planned when she wanted to get the first one done. Plan out smaller goals and set a plan for yourself every day. Over the summer, she drew five paintings, which became part of her memory. She recommends doing something, even if it’s small, it can be a good takeaway for your summer. Sometimes we can get too fixated on finding a job or internship, but find something else you’re interested in and take a break.

Amanda: She used Handshake a lot for finding internships. Another resource is the people around you because you can both have a goal of getting internships, work together to motivate each other and keep each other accountable. Having a friend helped and when it comes to actually planning, something she did was put a whole list of what she wanted to apply to, due dates, and what’s needed. At the beginning of summer, she was creating a plan to get fit and do everything, but ended up watching kdramas. However, she broke out of that cycle by focusing on one thing first. During quarantine, she was keeping fit while inside and did several Chloe Ting challenges. She enjoyed having a schedule for herself that was just for fun and not professional-related.

Julian: For resources, he recommends stopping by the career center (in DEM 203). The people who work there will help you out with a resume and will connect you with coffee chats, which is good to utilize. They can help support you in getting a plan started, thinking about what you’re interested in, and what you want to do this summer. It can jump start your career and is an effective resource and tool where they are always looking for people to come in.

What are some best practices when applying, recruiting, and interviewing for potential internships?

Patricia: She recommends thinking about whether you are actually a good fit for the job - if you don’t think you are, don’t force it. Look at the job descriptions and prepare by thinking of experience you have that demonstrates you have that sort of skill. Think through all the past experiences and how they make you the perfect fit for the role. After all, employers just want to figure out if you're the right person for the job and that you have supporting experiences or if you’re able to support the role. Be yourself and have some experience and stories ready and prepared. The main idea is to convince them you are the right person for the role. Centering your story or experience around that role is helpful for preparing for interviews.

Amanda: She recommends making sure you understand and actually know what the job entails. Ensure you come in knowing yourself, you don’t have to be 100% confident in the technical skills because you will learn them in the role. It’s less on the technical side, but more on behavioral and how you will answer or shape your stories around the questions they ask. Overall, don’t stress too much on technical skills and be genuine and prepared.

Julian: For interviews, he likes to think of it as someone you meet at a party or event. They’re just another person. Think of it as a casual conversation (not too casual), but be calm. You know yourself the most. Tell the truth, be honest, and be yourself because that helps a lot with interviews.

With that, we hope that this recap was helpful in some way for you to start brainstorming and envisioning what you want your summer to look like. Remember it’s completely okay to have days where you spend time recharging your energy rather than constantly on the go. As we’re approaching the end of the quarter, make sure to take some time to relax, breathe, stay calm, and rest. We have an exciting event coming up on Monday with Starbucks so we hope to see you there!

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