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Home My Eller Experience Externship Roundup or What I Did Over My Winter Break

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By Eller College Undergraduate Students


  
Over the 2016-2017 winter break, several Eller undergraduate students undertook externships to gain valuable insight into the business world. Externships are shadowing experiences that allow students to explore career fields through a typical day or week on the job, experience fast-paced workplaces in person, understand how their academic majors can be applied in actual job settings and career paths, assess their “fit” for particular positions or organizations, make career connections and strengthen networks, and add value to their resumes. Externships can be an invaluable part of students’ professional development at Eller.

Eller Buzz checked in with three students about their externship experiences:

  
Caitlin Marie McHugh, MIS ’17
Externship: Salesforce, Chicago, Illinois

“The best thing about my externship experience was that I got to do several different things during my time at Salesforce.”

Caitlin Marie McHughWhy did you want to do this externship?

Salesforce is a company that I am interested in working for after college. I did this externship because I wanted to gain a better understanding of their product functionalities, business processes, and company culture. I also wanted the opportunity to speak to Salesforce employees in person since they don’t visit the University of Arizona.

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

The best thing about my externship experience was that I got to do several different things during my time at Salesforce. I had three informational interviews while I was there so that I could learn more about the different positions in the company. In addition to this, I had the opportunity to sit in on several sales pitches throughout the day. I learned so much about the way that Salesforce functions and the products and services that they provide that I would never have known otherwise.

What did you learn as the result of this externship?

I learned the ways that the different Salesforce platforms work and are integrated to create a successful CRM solution. I was happy to find that you don’t necessarily have to be a computer programmer or have an in-depth knowledge of coding to work at a tech-based company. Also, I now have a new appreciation for the art of being a salesperson and constructing a sales pitch. My externship really confirmed that Salesforce is a company that I would want to work for in the future.

  
Kyle Jacobsen, Pre-Business (Finance) ’19
Externship: Edward Jones, Tempe, Arizona

“I learned that the utmost priority for traders was ensuring that they were allocating their client’s capital in a way that paralleled their high ethical standards as a firm.”

Kyle JacobsonWhy did you want to do this externship?

I elected this externship at Edward Jones in order to gain a better understanding of the techniques securities traders use to maintain proficiency in acquiring securities in the secondary market. The other appeal of the externship was the opportunity to distinguish the revenue generation differences between Edward Jones from bulge bracket investment banks. The opportunity also allowed for me to compare the trading position to other buy- and sell-side positions in my desired career field of investment banking. Ultimately, the experience served as a method for me to recognize what market-based skills I can develop at Eller to effectively stand out in the competitive field.

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

Over the duration of the day, I shadowed four different trading desks at the Edward Jones Tempe headquarters. I spent time on the unit investment trust, equity trading, municipal, and corporate bond trading desks. The externship occurred during trading hours, so it was valuable to observe how the traders balanced various orders and tasks while still reacting to market developments. Off of the trading desks, I was fortunate enough to meet with the trading floor managing partner and discuss different roles on the floor. The day concluded with a Q&A session with two traders and a tour of the different amenities available to the employees.

What did you learn as the result of this externship?

The time I spent with traders taught me the crucial role they serve in scaling in client positions and ensuring the best execution prices on the bids they place for clients. The traders portrayed that one of the most important aspects of their jobs was ensuring proper risk management on client portfolio positions. I also learned about the certain specifications traders look for when bidding on municipal fixed income securities. In the equities trading division, I was taught how traders used the correlation between market volume and position size to ensure that their bids were not causing drastic price changes on specific stocks. Lastly, I learned that the utmost priority for traders was ensuring that they were allocating their client’s capital in a way that paralleled their high ethical standards as a firm.

  
Lillian Newman, Business Economics ’18
Externship: Microsoft, Seattle, Washington

“I learned the inner workings of the sales departments at the biggest software company in the world.”

Lillian NewmanWhy did you want to do this externship?

I was interested in this externship with Microsoft because I am unsure specifically what I want to do after graduation. This externship and others in general help students explore a new avenue and could potentially lead to a career choice.

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

I shadowed a channel exec at Microsoft. We went through her daily schedule, which was a lot of meetings, and then we also spent a good amount of time at the tech center fixing her laptop. This gave us a lot of time to chat about life and her job at Microsoft.

What did you learn as the result of this externship?

I learned the inner workings of the sales departments at the biggest software company in the world. This included a lot of sales tactics and learning to work in a big company. Besides that, mostly everything was confidential, but the welcome and involvement I received from Jessica and her team was unprecedented!

  
Want to read more about undergraduate students’ externship and other professional development experiences? Check out the Eller Professional Development Center blog, Bear Down. Suit Up., at www.ellerpdc.com.


Top image courtesy Lillian Newman.