This summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics discovered new avenues for professional preparation and practical hands-on experience. Lerner College students pursued an array of remote, in person or hybrid internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. From MBA scholars to undergraduates entering their second year at UD, students across a spectrum of Lerner programs shared their experiences accomplishing an assortment of projects.
Each profile of our “My Summer Internship” series will provide a glimpse into one of these unique experiences and how students applied knowledge from their studies to be successful in the real-world.
Danielle Berman, class of 2025 management information systems major, spent her summer as a data science intern at FIDx.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you pursue it?
Berman: I found out about FIDx through a family friend. I pursued this opportunity because it is a fast-growing start-up financial technology company. This firm uses cutting edge technology to sell annuities to advisors via their own user-friendly, convenient, and secure platform. There is so much potential for growth within this industry and I wanted to immerse myself in an environment where I could maximize my opportunity to learn, but also serve as a jack of all trades and experiment with all different kinds of roles.
Lerner: What was the most exciting task or project that you completed?
Berman: I accelerated the sales and marketing teams’ progress by cleaning up Salesforce and making custom reports to lead to direct sales.
What did you learn from the internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Berman: I learned that it’s okay to not know what you want to do for the rest of your life immediately upon graduating from college. I learned that taking the time to immerse yourself into various fields and experimenting with new skills will set you up for success. I interviewed 10+ employees and nearly everyone I spoke to had experience in multiple sectors of business and essentially became a jack of all trades which made them an asset in their role. Knowledge is power, so I said yes to every opportunity because they were all chances to learn something new.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Berman: Misy160 provided me with a strong background in Excel; so, I wasn’t overwhelmed during the first couple weeks when my tasks required me to utilize Excel.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Berman: Yes, many of my tasks required me to leverage Salesforce; however, I did not have authorization to execute my tasks due to Salesforce hierarchical permission guidelines. My supervisor was unsure of what steps were necessary in order to give me access. Nonetheless, I took it upon myself to reach out to the company’s Salesforce consultant, and we came up with a solution for how I could work around this issue. I ended up figuring it out and was able to complete all my tasks promptly.
Lerner: What are your career plans, and how do you think the internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Berman: I plan on working in consulting or people advisory services. This internship offered me insights on what it is like to grow a business, how to collaborate with cross-functional teams, how to effectively communicate with other interns, management level employees, and even chief executives. Furthermore, it taught me how to demonstrate leadership skills, organization skills, reliability, openness, and the ability to adapt and have a flexible mindset. Likewise, it taught me that obstacles are only challenges if you perceive them that way; instead, I perceive them as opportunities to learn and grow. My greatest takeaway was that the path to success is not linear, and your only limit is your mindset.