Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain valuable professional-level exposure through internships. This year, young scholars were able to traverse the complications of COVID-19 by pursuing an array of internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. Each profile of this series will detail a Lerner student’s experiences working remotely on business-oriented projects.
Q: How did you find out about and choose this internship?
Atuegbu: I found out about the internship through the Lerner Career Services Center.
Q: How did the coronavirus response impact your internship search and working experience?
Atuegbu: At the rise of the pandemic, I was a communications and content fellow at UD Facilities. My role was to generate a culture of engagement between my employer and stakeholders: students, faculty and staff. I feared that reassuring the management of the significance of my role would be a hard sell, especially at a time when a number of facilities operations were halted. Consequently, I intensified my search, put in some applications and got little or no response from the majority of the firms I applied to. I was excited when I got the chance to interview at PCS for a market research role. It was particularly pleasing to hear the leadership reiterate the importance of research especially at this time of uncertainty during my interview. I was convinced of their commitment to the role and took the job when I got an offer.
Q: What did you learn through this internship that you don’t think you would have learned anywhere else?
Atuegbu: One important thing I have learned is the elusive art of report writing, particularly if crucial decisions are based on the content of the report. I have honed the skills required in clearly defining report objectives, gathering relevant information required to carry out analysis and presenting reports in a manner that is not ambiguous and misleading. Additionally, I have learnt advanced Microsoft Word techniques essential for writing good professional reports.
Q: What is the most exciting project or task that you have undertaken in your role?
Atuegbu: An interesting task I undertook was research on a proposed program in the UD Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The proposed program is aimed at equipping professionals with the technical and management skills needed to excel in the construction engineering industry. My research highlighted an overall view of the program, comparative universities offering the program and their strategy, demand for the program and labor market for professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, non-adjusted tuition comparison among colleges offering the program and recommendations that could be considered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to achieve their aim.
Q: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at Lerner to your role?
Atuegbu: I often apply data visualization and analytical processes learned from my BUAD 621: Decision Analytics and Visualization class when carrying out program analysis and labor market analysis for my reports.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you with your professional goals?
Atuegbu: This role has helped me to hone qualitative and quantitative analytical skills as well as professional writing skills that are crucial in deriving and reporting valuable insights from data. I am able to clearly define the objectives of any research after collaborations and meetings with stakeholders, collect relevant data of interest and clean it up to minimize errors. Depending on the research and objective, I have become effective in using select analytical techniques to analyze data and report findings in a clear manner. I believe that these data analytics skills would be essential in my professional career as a financial research analyst.
Q: What are your plans or next steps in your career once this internship is over?
Atuegbu: I plan to continue pursuing a career in financial analytics together with a candidacy in a Ph.D. program in finance. I am interested in carrying out extensive research on gender-lens investing in Africa, particularly Nigeria.