1st Year Intern Experiences - A conversation
Many of you guys might be wondering, so this first year internship thing sounds great, but what does it really mean? What will I be doing, what can I expect; is it even worth my time?
We've asked some of your most pressing questions to a panel with three of our former interns - Sean Gu, Lauren Hwang and Annie Zhang - so let's see what they have to say:
Question#1 : Introduce yourselves!
Annie: Hi! I was a first year intern last year, and now I'm the internal affairs director at RCIG. I'm also specializing in finance.
Lauren: I'm currently the co-director of Corporate Relations and I also started off as a first year intern. I'm specializing in management with a concentration in strategy.
Sean: I'm a co-director of CR along with Lauren and I was also a first year intern last year. I'm specializing in finance and economics.
Question #2: Why did you choose RCIG?
A: Actually, I didn't really know what I wanted to do so I picked RCIG - it gave me the impression that its really open, and innovation can be taken with you anywhere you want to go. Plus the team is really cool!
L: I also had no idea in first year what I wanted to specialize in, so I just applied! I stayed because there's so much diversity on the team. Innovation is everywhere and it's the future - I want to help expose the student body to the fact that innovation is not just in small tech start-ups as people tend to think it is, but it's in every industry and every job.
S: To add on to what they've said, I talked to Rachel (our president) and she explained the social impact aspect of RCIG. I thought that was really important to me and this group stood out to me as a place where I could make a difference.
Question #3: What was the most rewarding part of the internship?
A: I really valued the one-on-one mentorship - you get a chance to meet an upper year who has similar interests as you. I was paired with Rachel and she really helped me with not only advice for school but also with personal development.
L: For me, the highlight was the consulting project. In my year, we worked with a not-for-profit that created apps for youth with disabilities. It gave me great real life exposure and introduction to management consulting. It was amazing to see that I could make a difference in an actual real-life company and we actually continued working with them even after the project ended!
S: What was valuable to me was that all the upper years were willing to give their time to us and give us so much advice. I still remember when Keith spent hours before my first case competition giving me some really valuable help!
Question #4: What kind of jobs did you do on the consulting project?
L: Consulting sounds kind of like bs honestly - especially as a first year. But we did a lot - we had biweekly meetings with the clients where they would brief us on their issues and we'd help brainstorm solutions and plans. We also got help from all the upper years in the group who had their own unique experiences.
Question #5: How did you balance being in RCIG with academics and how did your experiences here affect you in terms of your Rotman courses?
S: Honestly, managing time is not too hard - we're all students and the upper years completely understand what it's like. If you ever feel like you can't handle something, everyone is super understanding and will definitely help you through it! Everyone understands that you responsibilities and deadlines for school as well.
A: We also did workshops with resume writing, help with LinkedIn, and a lot of other stuff related to personal development.
L: In terms of affecting academics, I didn't feel like "innovation" was really in my classes - that's why I'm here at RCIG because it's absent from my actual classes. In reality, the skills I learn here are definitely applied in real life. Joining student groups in general is very important in getting involved outside of classes - not only Rotman student groups but just clubs and groups in general.
So it sounds like our former interns had a great and very rewarding experience - don't miss out in the chance!
Applications close on Thursday, September 28th. Apply now through Rotman Portal.
The RCIG Team