Internship Experience: Genna Atkins, Information Services Intern at Reckitt Benckiser

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: Genna Atkins
Graduation Year: 2021
Major: Supply Chain Management
Minor: Information Management and Technology
Hometown: Mountain Lakes, NJ
Intern Company/Title: Reckitt Benckiser- Information Services Intern

Describe your position and some of your daily tasks? 
Over the summer, I interned for Reckitt Benckiser as an information services intern, working with brands such as Mucinex and Airborne. I was given two main projects over my internship, which I presented to senior leadership during the final week.
My first project was to increase employee collaboration through the use of not only current technology, but the introduction of new applications as well. Then I conducted demos to train members on this technology in order to spread awareness and promote connectivity. My second project consisted of the formation of a capability map to identify current capabilities, as well as competences that are needed for our team to meet future business objectives. 

How did you land your internship?
I applied for my internship on LinkedIn. Then I had two phone interviews with different members of the IT department. After the two interviews, I was extended a job offer! 

What did you learn from your internship experience?
My internship experience has taught me so much, as it was my first position in an IT role. The projects I was assigned made me use divergent thinking, oftentimes tapping into both my critical and analytical skills. From this, I learned how to work outside of my comfort zone which made me develop and grow both personally and professionally. Additionally, I have learned many new applications and processes that I will take with me throughout the rest of my career. 

Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
My experience has changed my post-graduation plans. Before starting my internship, I was unsure of what type of company I would want to work for that would be able to provide me with challenging yet exciting work experience. After working for a Fortune 500 CPG company, I have realized that consumer packaged goods are an industry that I am both extremely passionate and interested in.

How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
My internship experience has given me not only clarity on what type of industry I want to work in, but it has also given me many tools that have shaped my professional growth. Additionally, I have made numerous connections with many extremely talented people who have given me useful advice. Their invaluable guidance will help me beyond just a career, as I know I can count on any of them if I ever need anything in the future! 

How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
The Whitman School prepares students for internships in many ways. Personally, the rigorous curriculum helped me learn how to manage my time and meet deadlines. I have also learned how to efficiently work in groups, as Whitman provides opportunities for many group projects and presentations. Additionally, the Excel certification program was not only a great conversation during interviews, but it prepared me for the everyday tasks that came along with my internship.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
The most enjoyable part about my internship was both the people and the culture. The internship program had 80 summer interns that consisted of both graduate and undergraduate students. Although it was a remote internship, due to the current circumstances, the company allowed for many virtual events to get to know everyone.
Additionally, I valued the fact that I was not treated like an intern, but rather a regular full-time employee. I was given meaningful and impactful projects that I worked on with my team, as opposed to busy work that is typical in many internships.

Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
My advice for anybody looking for an internship would be to find what you are passionate about and look for jobs that align with your interests. Make connections and reach out to people that work in the industry/field you are looking to enter. Connections help you get your foot in the door and can even help you land your first interview!

Kimmy Kimball