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  • Grace Ke

My First-Year Intern Experience and Application Tips

Looking back on my first-year experience in the Rotman Commerce program, I can’t help but reminisce on my involvement in RCIG as a first-year intern and how it allowed me to meet like-minded students, develop skills, and overall help with the transition from high school.

Why did I apply?

I had participated in the summer mentorship program to gain valuable advice from upper years, meet other students, and learn more about RCIG. My mentor provided helpful insights on topics such as courses, specialists, and student clubs. I met more of the RCIG team and instantly felt the welcoming, friendly, and hard-working culture of the club. But don’t worry if you didn’t participate in the mentorship program! Intern applications are open to any first-year Rotman Commerce student and several of last year’s first-year interns did not participate in the mentorship program so just apply!


What was the application process like?

Similar to many other clubs or positions, a resume and cover letter are needed and submitted through the Rotman Commerce Portal. Although I didn’t have any prior formal job experience, I highlighted my extra-curricular involvements, personal projects, and other accomplishments. Tip: keep your resume to one page! It may be difficult but choosing your best experiences and concisely quantifying the impact of your work is what makes a great resume. In my cover letter, I highlighted my interest in the club and stated specific reasons why I wanted to join RCIG as well as what I could contribute. I also name-dropped my mentor - this could be anyone who you’ve talked to in RCIG that sparked your interest in the club.


What were the main highlights of the intern experience?

Consulting Project

One of my favourite parts of the intern experience was being able to participate in a four-month-long consulting project with other RCIG members that I might not have had a chance to work with directly in a portfolio. There were three consulting projects taking place last year, and I was a part of the Metrolinx team. We met weekly to discuss the problem statement, implemented frameworks such as MECE, and presented our recommendations in a detailed report alongside a presentation. It was my first time being exposed to a project like this and was certainly a great learning experience.


Portfolio Work

Once you are an intern, you will have the opportunity to formally join one of the portfolios - Events, Corporate Relations, or Marketing. I was in the corporate relations portfolio but also helped out in marketing as needed. I helped with tasks such as reaching out to potential partners and designing graphics for events.


Mentorship

As an intern, you also have the opportunity to be paired up with an upper-year mentor throughout the year who will be able to guide you further and answer any questions you might have.


Socials

The amazing internal development team plans several socials throughout the year for the team! Last year, it included a murder mystery, mentor-mentee competitions, and intern socials. I found that these were great opportunities to get to know the team aside from the work we accomplished.


How can I make the most out of my application?

Since you made it to the end, here are my best tips for anyone thinking of applying to the RCIG intern program!


Limit the number of clubs you apply to

Choose 1-3 clubs that you are generally interested in and apply to them. I actually only applied to RCIG during my first year (talk about a hit or miss). Not to mention, your interviewer may ask you about how many other clubs you applied to and you should be honest about what your top choices are. So just keep it real and limit your applications - it’ll be easier for you too as you can only intern in one RC club!


Name drop on your cover letter if you’ve talked to someone in RCIG

This could be your mentor during the mentorship program or anyone in the club! This shows that you put in the effort of getting to know the team and further demonstrates your interest.


Be yourself during the interview

If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard the phrase “be yourself,” I would be dropping out of Rotman. Although it’s such a cheesy phrase, it’s really applicable to many situations including the interviews. You should conduct yourself in a professional manner, but don’t be afraid to let loose a bit and be honest in your answers.


Treat the interview like a conversation

Per my last point, let your personality shine! Your interviewers will probably only be a maximum of three years older than you and have been in your shoes before - I even heard that some of them were milly rocking during an interview (talk about a casual interview?!). But seriously, RCIG is hiring people, not robots. You will most likely receive some classic interview questions, but also several non-generic ones where you will have the opportunity to craft a creative answer and stand out from other applicants!


Intern applications are open now on the RC Portal Job ID: 17780! Be sure to apply before September 30th at 11:59 PM and if you have any questions, feel free to message us on Instagram @rc.ig. Good luck! We look forward to reading all your applications.




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