The professional event I recently attended was a Finance Panel hosted by The Woman in Business Society. A few upperclassmen sat on a makeshift panel, and offered their experiences with their Finance internships. At the same time, they gave authentic advice for us, underclassmen. One of the girls was involved in an internship at EY, and she gave both pros and cons to working with that particular firm. Being an underclassman, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to talk with upperclassmen in a setting, where we wouldn’t be judged for our commentary. During the event, participants were able to ask questions in an informal matter, which is something that isn’t always readily available. Going into the event, I had no prior knowledge on the host society; however, after leaving the event, I had a lot more interest in the Woman in Business Society. The Woman in Business Society is one of the many organizations that is involved in the Backpack to Briefcase organization.
One of the questions addressed during the event was how long internships were. I was very amazed to hear the range of times that people spent at the internships. For instance, one girl would work from 8 in the morning until 10 at night. Whereas, one girl worked the classic 9 to 5 schedule, that most business people commonly have. Another important topic that was brought up was taking risks. Every single girl on the panel agreed that it is extremely important to take risks in your internships because taking risks shows your ability to be confident. Being confident is something that makes business students stand out. Someone can be the smartest person in the room, but if they never vocalized their ideas, then no one would ever know.
During the presentation, one of the biggest takeaways I received was to make your presence known and ask questions. Internships are meant to be learning experiences and it’s better to ask questions earlier rather than later. For instance, one of the girls stressed how she was timid and didn’t want to ask questions, and ended up making a mistake. She expressed how if she would’ve asked a question earlier on, then the problem could’ve been avoided. All In all, employees would rather you ask a question, rather than have to fix an issue that you could potentially cause in the future.
Walking away from the event made me realize how important the Backpack to Briefcase education is. It helps familiarize business students with real life experiences in an informal setting, which makes it less stressful. Additionally, it keeps business students motivated, on task, and familiar with different business opportunities in the real world. Check back next week in order to hear more about the different experiences and opportunities that this successful organization offers!