College Seniors gearing up to enter the job market know that in order to stand out to hiring managers, they need to look for ways to differentiate themselves beyond their degrees. In my experience, finding the right internship that could provide real-world experience and mentorship was key to my future success.
There is no shortage of internships available, but finding the right one can be a challenge. Most of us don’t want to spend our days fetching coffee and filing paperwork – we want a great learning experience and the opportunity to make a real impact on the organization we're working for, even if just for the summer. Of course, not all organizations are equipped to provide this level of support, often due to a lack of experience running an internship program which leaves interns without enough meaningful work to keep them busy.
As I sought out the right internship opportunity, I wanted to be sure I would get hands-on with projects that mattered and learn firsthand how everything I had been studying translated into the real world. I was lucky to get an internship with BDO Digital's HR department where I did just that. I am now coming to the end of the summer and reflecting on what I’ve gotten out of the experience.
Support and Mentorship
BDO Digital provides the support and mentorship needed to develop careers early on. For example, Software Solution interns are paired with Career Advocates who act as formal mentors and help them advance in their projects and roles. The highly collaborative work environment allows interns to adapt to the corporate world in a meaningful way.
Collaborating with senior developers made me feel like I was part of the team and not just an intern.
- Former Intern
Learning and Development
The best way to learn is by doing. Getting hands-on with projects has given me the opportunity to think critically. BDO Digital interns also attend monthly lunch-and-learns with the rest of the full-time team, giving interns the opportunity to learn about other areas of the business and understand the overall big picture. Participating in BDO Digital's development program has been an invaluable experience.
As an intern, I was exposed to real world development that allowed me learn new skills I would’ve otherwise not learned in the classroom.
- Former Intern
Most notably, I was trusted to handle projects of importance. For example, after assisting with several, I was put in charge of leading new hire orientation. This helped me understand the importance of employee onboarding. I also worked closely with the Talent Development Specialist and helped design a training curriculum for new managers to develop interviewing skills.
I was given the opportunity to work on a client’s project and I felt like I was adding value to team.
As I come to the end of my internship and graduation looms closer, I feel prepared to join the job market after college. I can now speak from experience about the concepts I’ve been studying for the past four years that were previously only hypothetical. I’m excited to see what comes next – and as BDO Digital does have a 75% internal intern-to-hire rate post-graduation, you may just see me around much longer!