Career Moves: Résumé & interview prep secures internship
An Elon senior worked on a group project for Credit Suisse after visiting the Office of Career Services to also network with a recruiter visiting campus.
When a friend two years ago told Julio Mendoza about "all the great things" he was doing at an internship with Credit Suisse, Mendoza was hooked on the idea of sharing the same experience. The senior computer information systems major from Nicaragua soon visited with staff in the Office of Career Services. After getting feedback on his résumé from the Elon career counselors, and introducing himself to a recruiter from the multinational Swiss bank, Mendoza jumped at an offer that was extended his way.
Mendoza, who completed his graduation requirements after Winter Term 2012, is the latest person to be featured this year in a series of E-net profiles on the recent experiences of students and alumni who use the Student Professional Development Center to not only find job and internship openings, but to prepare for interviews and improve applications with guidance from Career Services staff.
He answered questions recently from the Office of University Communications.
Tell me about the company and your role as an intern.
Credit Suisse is a Swiss multinational financial services company headquartered in Zurich, with more than 250 branches in Switzerland and operations in more than 50 countries. I had the pleasure to work at their Center of Excellence office located in Raleigh. I was placed with a group of interns and we had to create a web application for a problem that the firm was facing. We had a project plan, daily meetings, as well as weekly meetings to inform our sponsors on our progress. At the end of the program we gave a presentation to all the managers and the extended project team involved with the project and managers in New York.
How did your interest in the internship develop?
My interest started during my sophomore year when one of my friends got a position with the firm and told me all the great things about it. He told me about their great 10-week internship program and how they use it as a major recruiting tool for their full-time position. I decided that it was never too early to show interest in them and I attended their information session when they came to the Career Center at Elon. Even though the internship was for juniors and seniors, I decided to meet the recruiter and introduce myself to come back the next year.
I then worked with career services to develop a résumé and signed up for an on campus interview with the representatives of Credit Suisse.
What did you learn from the experience?
This past summer experience really taught me a lot. The internship really gave me a full exposure to the corporate world and how to behave in such environment. The internship was structured in a way that we got an experience like the real job. I improved my presentation skills and how to talk to a steering committee about the current status of a project. I learned to have efficient communication on a group project and how this can be key for its success.
Who did you work with in Career Services to prepare for your internship, and what help did you receive?
At the Career Services I had the pleasure to work with Michelle Jones. I mainly received guidance on how to apply for the IT Summer Analyst position from Credit Suisse. She also assisted me throughout several meetings to help me build my resume.
How do you plan on using Career Services in the future?
I plan on keeping in touch with Career Services to offer any help they need and become a bridge between Credit Suisse and Career Services.
What recommendations would you share with other students about using the Student Professional Development Center and the Office of Career Services?
I would recommend all students to visit the Career Services center at least once so they are able to see what they have to offer. I would also recommend that they do it early because it is never to soon to start thinking about career opportunities for the future.