Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain important real-world professional skills through internships. In each installment of this series, you’ll hear firsthand about how one Lerner student secured their internship, what their experience as an intern was like and what comes next!
Justin Silberlust, Class of 2020, double majoring in finance and management, spent his summer in Charlotte, North Carolina as an internal audit IT intern at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA).
Q: How did you find out about this internship?
Silberlust: Through the Lerner Career Services Center from its Director Jill Pante.
Q: What is the most exciting task that you have undertaken in your role?
Silberlust: Our intern group project, working with internal audit interns from four different states throughout the country to perform a risk-based audit on the “open-area working space” initiative which is set to happen over the next couple years. We are presenting our project to the entire Internal Audit Department.
Q: What did you learn through this internship that you don’t think you would have learned anywhere else?
Silberlust: Sometimes in life you need to step outside of your comfort zone. I had opportunities to work in Delaware or New York and opted to expand my boundaries. Not only have I learned a lot about TIAA and internal audit but I have also experienced and adapted to a different culture and environment than I am used to.
Q: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at the Lerner College to your role?
Silberlust: My leadership abilities while working with a team. I helped my team come up with specific solutions to risks of the audit we worked on. In my time at Lerner, I’ve been a part of many group projects where I’ve learned the importance of effective communication and problem solving skills.
Q: What has been the most fun part of your internship?
Silberlust: Bonding with the other interns. Not only within the Internal Audit Department but throughout the whole internship program. On weekends, I would go to downtown Charlotte to explore the city with many interns, as well as attend sporting events in the area. Every Thursday night, the internal audit interns would do a fun activity, too, like we recently went mini-golfing after work.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you with your professional goals?
Silberlust: Having experience in internal audit has given me a lot of exposure to different areas within the company. This will make me more employable for other positions in the future, as well as more respected by others. I hope to one day become a respected top-level executive in whatever I am doing and I know those things will help me to achieve that goal.
Q: What are your plans or next steps once this internship is over?
Silberlust: Pursue an internal audit career in New York City.
After completing this Q&A, Silberlust accepted a full-time offer for an associate audit position at TIAA’s office in New York City, New York.