By Rachael Berthiaume
All college students want relatively the same thing, to be successful. But success doesn’t always come easy. To become successful, there are many steps to accomplish, obstacles to overcome, and lessons to be learned. One step that is recommended for college students to achieve success in their future goals is taking part in an internship.
Hanan Ibraheim, a student at Worcester State University majoring in math, has realized first hand the significance an internship has on future endeavors. Ibraheim recently had an internship with the Hanover Insurance group in the claims department where she and another intern worked on a process improvement project.
“Internships make you so much more marketable. It makes your skills and your resume more marketable,” Ibraheim said.
The internship itself isn’t always the hard part, as the process she went through to be accepted for the internship was arduous.
Ibraheim said, “I signed up for the mock interview through Career Services and was set to interview with Hanover. I got some really valuable feedback that really helped me and I was able to put that into the cover letter when I was applying.”
“Then in January I [had an] interview with them. There was a lot of time in between me applying and them interviewing me, and when I interviewed it was at an event of theirs and they got back to me after six weeks. Then in March, I had an interview within my department and they got back to me within a few days and gave me an offer.”
For Ibraheim, the acceptance process was very long and she explained that she had even applied once before, but because her application was so late she did not get accepted. The second time around was different, and Ibraheim made sure the company knew she was really interested in the position.
Not every internship runs smoothly, but Ibraheim was fortunate to have experienced an internship that fit her needs, gave her experience, and helped her grow in more ways than one.
“I was very grateful and proud that was I was able to get this internship,” Ibraheim said. “It’s not an easy thing to get into, and for me it was not even the technical skills but the communication skills that were so valuable to me and learning how to take feedback and turn it into something positive.”
Communication is a huge part of any internship and one of the challenges that Ibraheim experienced in her internship was because of bad communication.
Ibraheim said, “As you know when you work with someone else, it’s not necessarily one of you isn’t a team player, but sometimes you just work differently. There was a lot of challenges along the way and there were phases of the project where we didn’t communicate and we ended up with a presentation that wasn’t our best. After I went and talked to the other intern and things got much better, the last phase of the project was so successful.”
Ibraheim’s experience is a perfect example of how an internship can teach you how to overcome difficult situations that you can’t learn in a classroom. This has been Ibraheim’s second internship and she shared some useful advice for students who want to get an internship.
Ibraheim said, “No matter what, go and show them you are interested, show them you can do the job. Go and read the description of the internship and look at the qualifications and try to match it so when you go to the interview you can give them concrete examples.”
Ibraheim was very lucky and because of her hard work, she was eventually offered a position at Hanover Insurance starting on January 7th, after she graduates in December.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a specific internship, the application process, or any questions regarding career development, you can send them an email at email@example.com or head over to Career Services on the third floor of the student center to make an appointment to discuss your opportunities.
Career services can be viewed online at https://www.worcester.edu/Career-Services/