Career Moves: Track record of internships leads to prime job placement
Senior Morgan Smith used Elon's Student Professional Development Center her first year on campus to find a summer internship at a North Carolina software company. One thing led to another, and three years later, Smith is about to begin JPMorgan Chase's Corporate Analyst Development Program.
Morgan Smith wasted no time her first year on campus.
Three years ago, the Elon Business Fellow from Cary, North Carolina, knew she needed to start building her resume to stand out in a competitive job market. So instead of waiting for opportunities to find her, she sought them out herself - starting in the Student Professional Development Center.
Now, the finance and international business double major is poised to begin her professional career this summer as part of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Analyst Development Program, and she's quick to credit her SPDC mentors for the opportunity.
Smith is the latest to be featured during the 2015-16 academic year in a series of E-net profiles on the successes of students and alumni who have used the Student Professional Development Center to find job and internship openings, help with graduate school placements, or prepare for interviews and improve applications with guidance from staff.
She recently answered questions from the SPDC about her experiences.
Tell me about your experience in landing a career with JPMorgan.
I have had three incredible internships during my time at Elon. After my freshman year I interned with SAS Software, after my sophomore year with Wells Fargo, and after my junior year with JP Morgan Chase. Each of these experiences gave me immense insight into each company’s culture and a feel for what I wanted after graduation. Since not many people hold an internship after their freshman year, this really set me apart during my interviews the following year. Through these experiences, I had a feeling of what I was looking for going into junior year interviews.
How did your interest in the company develop?
I have spent most of my time and energy at Elon involved with the Business Fellows program and my business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. I feel honored to surround myself with such intelligent, talented, and hardworking students. They inspire me and teach me new things every day. I became interested in JP Morgan Chase after one of my fellow fraternity brothers interned with them. To an extent I have always been interested in working for a company like JP Morgan Chase, due to its prestigious reputation and company history.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
I learned that the world of finance can vary from group to group. There are so many different job opportunities and paths to take with a finance major. Although I am not 100 percent sure of the path I wish to take, I know working with JP Morgan Chase will allow me the opportunity to explore. I chose to accept my full-time position there because I am a part of a rotational program. We hold four, six-month positions in the company: Project Management, Process Improvement, Data Analytics, and Risk and Compliance. These different positions will allow me to find out what I like and what I don’t like, in order to find my best fit in the finance world.
What professionals did you work with in Student Professional Development Center?
I have been a Student Ambassador for the Porter Family Professional Center since my sophomore year. I am able to work side by side with our career advisors, creating personal relationships along the way. I would consider Jane Mehringer, who has since accepted a professional opportunity with MetLife, and Brooke Buffington, our current associate director of Career Services, to be some of the greatest mentors I’ve ever had. They inspire me with their work ethic, family-life balance, and joy for life. I honestly do not know what my time at Elon would have been without them. I know going forward that I will take their advice and genuine interest in my career goals with me.
What help did you receive from the SPDC?
Working for the Porter Center helped me to be even more on top of my career goals. Every day I am surrounded by new job openings, resume reviews, mock interviews, and other career development opportunities. I have taken full advantage of having a firsthand glance at events and opportunities. I met with several SPDC staff members during my time here. I not only receive the help from staff, but also from my Business Fellows cohort and business fraternity. One of the things I love about Elon is the supportive environment. In my experience, my fellow students have always been willing to help me prepare for an interview, study for exams, or just let me vent when I was stressed during the interview process.
What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?
I would say to take full advantage of the resources we have here. The staff is so supportive of our future career goals and will do just about anything in their power to help us. I found my mock interviews most helpful, because you get to have the experience of what the interview will be like ahead of time with someone you trust to give helpful feedback.