This week marks the final week of our summer internship at Ember. For Laura and I, this is bittersweet, marking our transition from summer back to the Ivey School of Business at Western University. During our final week we have the opportunity to reflect back on the previous four months and think about all that we learned and accomplished. As a summer interns we had unparalleled opportunities to work closely with Rob, collaboratively with internal and external partners and shape the path of our internship by vocalizing our interests and passions.
Without transforming this post into a shameless plug for Ember, I just want to take a moment to help you understand what our summer at Ember was all about. At Ember we gained unique hands on work experience, with ample opportunities to learn, grow and develop. These opportunities will indefinitely help us in whatever we do decide to pursue. Unlike the traditional idea that many people perceive to be true about interns, Laura and I managed to get our hands dirty and avoid the menial work so often believed to be associated with summer internships. Rather than scheduling meetings and grabbing coffees we worked directly with clients to manage the PMO and participated in key meetings. As we can all agree, summer internships are a crucial component of successful full time recruiting; not only do they provide students with necessary work experience that they need in order to land a job, they help introduce students to different functional areas and shape our future career choices.
As Laura and I transition from our summer internships we wanted to share some of the lessons we learned. We believe that they have universal value and hope that they will be as helpful to you as they were to us. The advice and quotes that we will share are things that shaped our views and changed our perspective and are definitely important to keep in mind as we head back to school and go directly into full time recruiting.
Lessons learned for recruiting and future employment:
- Do not accept an offer just because it is the first that falls in your lap
- Question the definition of industries by looking beyond your current perceptions of what each industry is and includes
- You rarely get what you want if you do not tell people what it is that you want
- In order to succeed within the consulting industry, learn to be the best at the core consulting skills
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
Lessons shared by Ember’s core team:
- A problem well stated is a problem half solved
- Is it better to beg for forgiveness, or ask for permission?
- Active listening is more than just waiting for your turn to speak
- Just because you are good at something and like it, doesn't necessarily mean you should stick with it
- Learning data is an easier way to learn a business
We believe one of the most important parts of having a summer internship, is what you are able to take away at the end. In this case, we are able to take away important lessons from industry experts and valued mentors. What is listed above is only the beginning of what we hope will be a growing list that will be developed as we obtain full time positions and begin our careers.