Student Professional Development Center.

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Career Moves: SPDC’s online resource, biginterview, helped Elon senior land exciting internship

Ali Bradley is one of several talented students featured in a series of E-Net profiles on the recent experiences of students and alumni who work alongside professionals in the Student Professional Development Center.

Beyond spending time working with career advisors in Elon’s Student Professional Development Center, Ali Bradley, a strategic communication major from Acton, Massachusetts, prepared for her interview with Raytheon, a global aerospace and defense company, using resources offered on the SPDC website. ​

Bradley is one of several talented students featured in a series of E-net profiles on the recent experiences of students and alumni who work alongside professionals in the Student Professional Development Center to explore career interests, find job and internship opportunities, prepare for interviews, develop graduate school application materials, and more.

Bradley recently answered questions from the SPDC about her experience.

Who did you work with and what help did you receive from the Student Professional Development Center?

I worked with Amber Moser, assistant director of career services in the School of Communications, and Rachael Rysz, assistant director of career services for Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, during the process of applying and interviewing for internships, and with the guidance of Kim Giles, SPDC communications manager. I worked on my resume, etiquette, and interviewing skills, and went into each interview with confidence. I also prepared for my interview using bigInterview, one of the online resources offered on the SPDC websiteand it was a HUGE help. I learned about various industries, different types of interview questions, and how to set myself apart in an interview.  

How and when did your interest in the organization develop?

I learned about Raytheon from my sister’s best friend’s mother, who worked at the organization and said it was one of her favorite places to work. She suggested I look for internships there.

Through research, I discovered Raytheon, a global company, is a powerful, diverse, and innovative organization, and the opportunity would further my education and my passions.

Please tell me about the company and your role as an intern.

Raytheon is a global aerospace and defense company with six separate businesses. I served as a corporate affairs and communications summer Intern at its global headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. For a company with thousands of employees, I was honored to be granted so many opportunities as an intern. I assisted on various research projects, sat in on interviews, meetings and phone calls, and gained hands-on experience. I was immersed in the company culture and learned about functions outside of my own. I traveled to two business headquarters, the PR agency, and an office in Washington, D.C. I met with the Vice President of Communications Pam Wickham and CEO Tom Kennedy. I was encouraged to give back to the community, as is an expectation and ritual of all employees. Raytheon truly exemplifies leading by example, and I am so grateful for my time there.

What have you learned from the experience?

learned about its companies and how corporate overseers function. I know what a global presence really means, and how in-house communications vary from agency to agency. I worked in corporate communications functions such as public relations, executive communications, public affairs, business development, digital and social media, employee engagement, corporate social responsibility, attended meetings, events, and trade shows. 

My internship there was an eye-opening experience. My two biggest takeaways include corporate etiquette and how communications function in-house. There are roadblocks that come with an internal setting. With a global organization and government agency, there are more steps, larger teams, more rules, regulations, and policies to learn, and larger campaigns.

What recommendations would you like to share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?

My number one recommendation is to take the time to go through the SPDC website. There are a plethora of online resources and services available to Elon students. Use them!