In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.
Name: Alison Panacek
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Finance / Marketing
Hometown: Montgomeryville, PA
Intern Company/Title: Wells Fargo – Enterprise Finance Intern
Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
I interned in the Enterprise Finance Program in corporate accounting. My risk strategy team was one of six teams in Enterprise Controls and Oversight. I worked in the Wells Fargo shared risk platform, analyzing the financial reporting risk associated with new business initiatives. I approved risk ratings for product change assessments and evaluated actual effects in post-implementation reviews. Plus, I edited required training materials for publication, focused on regulatory reporting and governance over-testing.
On top of my risk-specific tasks, I completed Wells Fargo’s Professional Development Program. I attended numerous speaker series with company executives and completed a virtual service project. My most significant milestone was presenting to leadership in the enterprise controls and oversight department during the July extended leadership meeting.
How did you land your internship?
I researched internships opportunities, both through Whitman and through my own tracking. I saw Wells Fargo’s internship posting and applied directly through Wells Fargo’s career webpage promptly upon the internship posting being made available. Throughout the series of interviews, I incorporated both my professional and personal experiences into my responses to behavioral questions.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
My internship experience gave me exposure to working in the corporate world. Some things I learned include:
1) A lot about the risk and regulatory reporting policies Wells Fargo abides by for regulations;
2) How to use various platforms to rate financial reporting risk; and
3) Corporate etiquette and professional development tools.
Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
After this internship experience in a corporate environment and my previous internship experience in marketing, I feel well equipped to enter the workforce when I leave college.
How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
I gained specific skill sets as a result of interning in risk strategy. I advanced my presentation skills as a result of presenting to leadership. I also further developed my networking skills as a result of calls, meetings and speaker series with company executives. Lastly, I gained an understanding of standard corporate etiquette.
Overall, as a result of this internship, I feel confident joining a big or small company and communicating properly to share my knowledge and ask the right questions to gain new understanding.
How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
The Whitman School has prepared me in the classroom directly through my coursework, presentations and projects. I’ve been exposed to a wide range of teamwork, case studies, and research assignments.
Whitman has prepared me through networking events, etiquette dinners, crash courses and conversations with career advisors outside of the classroom. Also, in having two majors – finance and marketing – I’ve connected with two different departments and professors at Whitman.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Despite my internship going virtual and shortened, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel that I had many meaningful interactions in my time with Wells Fargo, and that is what I enjoyed most. I had one-on-one calls with every team member in my first week and daily calls with many team members throughout my internship. I spoke directly to the controller of Wells Fargo on Zoom and had calls with other company executives. Everyone was so willing to talk to me, help me or for networking purposes, and that is what I enjoyed most about my experience. I felt that I had a place and purpose as an intern in such a big company.
Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
I recommend using both Handshake and doing some research on your own when looking for internship opportunities. There are many resources out there. I believe that it is essential to apply directly through the company website. Also, looking for Whitman alumni who work at the company you are applying to and connecting with them (via LinkedIn, for instance) can be a great resource.
Lastly, throughout the interview process, don’t undermine personal experiences – leadership, teamwork and extracurricular – particularly for behavioral interview questions; those experiences are just as meaningful as previous work experiences.
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