DePaul Diaries: Life as a Financial Services Intern

By: Claire Zhang, DePaul University finance and marketing major ‘17

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.


The first thing that may come to mind when envisioning a career in financial services is the typical image of “Corporate America;” feeling trapped, sitting in a cubicle every work day from 9 to 5, and violently yet routinely typing away on a computer. While this perception may prove to be accurate at certain corporate jobs, my experience with Discover Financial Services was far from this scenario.

With all the innovations in payment services and banking, working in financial services is very fast-paced and the industry is constantly changing. I worked in three different areas: Rewards, E-Business, and Card Acquisitions. Despite the team I was working with, the majority of our projects revolved around digital innovations.

One of my roles as an intern was working with the mobile wallets team (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc.). Because the mobile payments space still has a long way to go before it is widely adopted by consumers, much of my role entailed exploring various marketing tactics to encourage higher usage. From physically testing out mobile payments at the point-of-sale, to analyzing consumer usage data, my 40-hour workweeks flew by.

One of the key takeaways from my internship is that it is not necessarily the industry that matters, but the work that you do within that industry. The experiences taught me to keep an open mind. Remember, any experience, no matter if you enjoyed it or not, is still an experience that you can learn something from. Being a young professional, there are few things more valuable than discovering true passions. Internship, volunteer, or job experiences, whether they are positive or not, will help you shape a career that is meaningful to you.

My advice to other students is to try to go into their respective industries without any bias. Do you accept the challenge?

Are These Fall Career Fairs on Your Radar?

By: Tara Golenberke, marketing professional in the education industry, and former digital media & marketing manager at the DePaul Career Center

Whether you are looking to uncover career interests, discover new job seeking skills, connect with top recruiters or learn about current job or internship opportunities, the Career Center’s events and fairs can jumpstart the quest.

Lucky for you, this fall is packed with exciting opportunities for you to learn more about the career search and connect with the biggest and brightest companies in Chicagoland and beyond.

Fall into fall with these 3 career-boosting events:

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Meet the Firms
September 14  |  4-7 p.m.  |  The Congress Plaza Hotel

Beta Alpha Psi’s Meet the Firms is designed exclusively for DePaul’s accounting, finance and Management Information Systems (MIS) students. This exciting event allows students and recruiters to make new connections and develop strong relationships. Pwc, Allstate, Deloitte, Grant Thornton and many more will have representatives available! Learn more, here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.38.26 PMFall Job & Internship Fair – Day 1
October 6  |  3-6 p.m.  |  Lincoln Park Student Center, 120 AB
Fall Job & Internship Fair – Day 2
October 7  |  11 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Lincoln Park Student Center, 120 AB

Interact with top employers recruiting for jobs and internships at this two-day event! Companies such as Yelp, Aon, Groupon, MillerCoors, Teach for America and many more will be there seeking candidates from all majors and experience levels. This fair is designed exclusively for DePaul students and alumni. Discover more on Handshake.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.38.37 PMTechnology Job & Internship Fair – Day 1
November 2  |  3-6 p.m.  |  DePaul Center, Concourse Level
Technology Job & Internship Fair – Day 2
November 3  |  3-6 p.m.  |  DePaul Center, Concourse Level

DePaul students and alumni of all experience levels are encouraged to attend our tech fair to learn about full-time and internship opportunities in technology-related fields. Companies such as Abbott, CME Group, United Airlines, CDK Global, and Medline Industries are expected to attend! Plan ahead and learn more, here.


The DePaul Career Center hosts career-related events, workshops and fairs all year long. Keep an eye on Handshake and be the first to know about upcoming career events at DePaul.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Finance Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

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.


For DePaul finance major Jewell Solomon, interning at World Kitchen, a company that owns and operates several kitchenware brands, was an invaluable part of her college experience. Not only did Jewell gain exposure to the ins and outs of finance in a practical environment, but she also learned the importance of a positive work environment and company culture.

“We constantly challenge the status quo and restructure the business so that we are improving on a consistent basis,” Jewell said. “Even if I’m not offered a full-time position at the end of the year, I have gained so many skills that I have not learned in school.”

World Kitchen tasked Jewell with many important financial projects, which she believes helped her develop professionalism and refine her skills. However, she was also exposed to many aspects of business, outside of the finance department, which increased her knowledge of business operations as a whole.

“This isn’t your typical ‘go get me coffee’ internship,” Jewell explains. “I worked on projects that are still being implemented today. I made a difference already, in the short time I have been there. And it feels great.”

One thing Jewell really liked about World Kitchen was the environment, specifically the company’s emphasis on values such as teamwork, support, and humility.

“Everyone takes responsibility for their actions, as well as their inactions. When goals are achieved and we reach success, the appropriate people are congratulated and honored. But when there are mistakes and failures, the employees at World Kitchen step up and take responsibility,” Jewell said. “I feel like that is a rare trait for a company to have; World Kitchen excels in it.” At World Kitchen, Jewell learned not only what technical skills she needs to be successful in her career, but what interpersonal skills as well.

One way students can maximize their internship experience and learn these skills is through trial and error. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Jewell advises future interns. “Don’t be afraid to speak your mind; Don’t be afraid to push buttons in a respectable manner. Internships are about figuring out what you want to do, in my opinion. It’s the time to speak up and see what you do and do not like.”

Overall, Jewell enjoyed her experience as an intern, and would recommend students interested in finance, marketing, accounting, sales, or supply chain management to check out the opportunities World Kitchen has to offer.


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.