Every May marks the beginning of a new intern season at Combined Insurance. An internship allows college students to gain experience in their perspective careers before applying for full-time positions in the workforce. With that said, each cohort brings in a set of fresh faces and diverse backgrounds, who are ready to tackle the new projects handed to them for the summer.
This year, Jennifer Muszczynski, Talent Management Specialist, facilitated our Millennial Panel which featured former interns who have transitioned into full-time employees, as well as current emerging talents. From this development session, our millennial employees held an engaging discussion about their opportunities, challenges, and taking charge of their own careers.
This panel included:
On being an intern
Our panelists all agreed that finding an internship has already helped the interns take some burden off their shoulders. They are already a step ahead with understanding what to expect as a full-time employee. Echoed by the rest of the panel, Matt McFarland, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, emphasized the importance of soft skills. He stated, “the soft skills you gained from your internship (i.e. collaboration, communication, time management) is priceless and will facilitate your career advancement as it distinguishes you from other applicants”.
Be adaptable, flexible, and open minded
Millennials should be flexible in their career trajectory. The panelists stressed that nothing is set in stone for your career path. Having an open mindset and flexibility in your next steps will open you up to more opportunities when you apply for jobs as your interests, technology, and the workforce changes. Be open, but diligent to any opportunity that comes your way.
Advice to your younger self
One question that the interns asked of the panelists was what advice they would give to their younger selves. A consensus from the employees was to take advantage of every opportunity and own your career. It is up to you to decide what you want to do. Take initiative for your own interests and volunteer for more responsibilities as you build credibility and trust among your coworkers. Having a good boss does not mean he or she should build your career for you. At the end of the day, whether you succeed or not is up to you.
Personal advice to the summer interns
For more tips on having a successful internship, check out: How to Make a Splash in Your Summer Internship