By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant
DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.
This summer, Roy Harris, a fourth-year student majoring in computer science with a concentration in software engineering, found himself in his first full-time position managing and updating Allstate Insurance Company’s database as an application development intern. This internship experience gave Roy the chance to use his classroom knowledge in web design while gaining exposure to the business world.
“I have never taken a business class and have never worked in a business setting,” Roy said. “Through my internship, I have learned small things like how Outlook, an email provider, works and how to schedule meetings, to more over-arching aspects like office etiquette and how departments communicate with each other.”
One of the biggest things Roy gained from his experience was learning what it was like to work full-time at a large organization. Initially, Roy was hesitant about working at a Fortune 100 company, but his experience taught him not to listen to every stereotype he hears about big businesses.
“They put you on real projects doing real work,” Roy said. “It is not a ‘filling up coffee and busy work’ internship. It’s more like a 12-week job than a 12-week internship; you do basically the same things as entry-level positions.”
As a full-time employee there was always work to be done, but Roy enjoyed the busy atmosphere. “I have been working on a prototype for a redesign of a web application. It feels nice when I actually get a lot of work done on it and I can see the results.”
In addition to working on impactful projects, Roy also got the chance to participate in fun team-building activities, including competing in a company Olympics, attending a minor league baseball game, participating in community service at a campsite, and assisting in the making of Allstate’s “Mayhem” commercials.
Roy networked his way into this position through DePaul’s Career Center, and would advise prospective interns to attend as many job and internship fairs as possible.
“My biggest advice: don’t search by yourself,” Roy stated. “Go to DePaul’s internship and career fairs. It could not be simpler; walk around, schmooze it up, and hand out some resumes. Make sure to follow through, don’t just hand them a resume and assume they will contact you. You need to take the initiative.”
Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.