While some students work, attend summer school or just play hookey, many, especially those from the Marriott School of Management, spend their summers participating in internships.
These internships take them all over the world, where they work for many different types of companies in hopes of preparing themselves for future opportunities.
Jake Lundin, a 23-year-old business strategy major from Rexburg, Idaho, will spend nine weeks this summer working for Fortuhang Bank in Dongguan, China.
“I think internships are important mainly because it gives you experience in the real business world,” Lundin said. “My first internship woke me up to a lot of what is and what is not important in the business world.”
Lundin will research China’s small loan industry for Fortuhang Bank. He feels that an internship abroad will have a great impact on his future. An international internship could provide the experience needed to set him apart when applying for jobs when he graduates.
Alex Ferguson, a senior from Alpine studying accounting, will intern for The Walt Disney Co. in Burbank, Calif. He will work for their corporate management audit and compliance group.
“I feel like I have a lot of opportunities, not because I went out and sought them, but I feel like because I went to BYU I have a lot of good opportunities,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said the accounting program in the Marriott School has played a big role in his getting an internship. He was recruited by Disney through the social networking site LinkedIn.
“Internships are important because they are the first step in the pipeline of getting a new job,” Ferguson said.
Many accounting students hope to work for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms after graduation and an internship is only one part in the long process of achieving that goal. Many firms host summer leadership programs and fly students out to meet face to face before they are offered an internship.
“The internship helps the company know you’ll be a good fit,” Ferguson said. “If it is, then they will offer you a job after a long process of getting to know you.”
Oftentimes internships are imagined as an experience to get away from Provo. Students hope to spend their summer working in a big new city while working for an interesting and influential company. Tyson Anderson, a 23-year-old a pre-management major from Mesa, Ariz., is taking a different approach with his internship. Anderson will be staying in Provo participating in an unpaid, on-campus internship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Perpetual Education Fund.
“It’s a sacrifice, but a temporary and worthwhile sacrifice,” Anderson said. “I have to put in the time now … so that by the time I graduate I’ll have the experience under my belt in order to get a high-paying job.”
Students will spend time working in many different places for many different companies this summer. In doing so, they prepare for life after graduation and, in the process, prove that internship opportunities are as different as the students looking to fill them.