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 the COVID-19 pandemic 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 on business-oriented projects.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you choose it?
Jacob: Handshake! I felt so comfortable with everyone I interviewed with, and it was a very hands-on job, which I prefer significantly more than a desk job.
Lerner: Did the coronavirus pandemic impact your internship search and working experience? If so, how?
Jacob: My full internship was still in person and I still worked fully in the field.
Lerner: What did you learn from this internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Jacob: I learned every role from the front line employees, such as sales associates to delivery drivers, all the way up to management roles and everything in between. Seeing the entire cycle of roles really made me understand the business significantly more and helped me succeed overall. I don’t think I would have gotten this experience elsewhere.
Lerner: What is the most exciting task or project that you have done or are currently doing in your role?
Jacob: I actually was in charge of selling in monthly priorities and ordering for five of my own stores across the later half of the summer. Having an actual impact on revenue and being able to see the changes I made as just an intern was a turning point in my own career and seeing that I was able to actually apply everything I’ve learned in a real-life setting on my own now.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Jacob: All of my management classes prepared me heavily for interacting with other employees, as when I had my own stores I had to work with sales reps to place orders, as they would be taking back over the stores when I left for the summer. On top of this, my supply chain classes helped me understand the supply and demand issues we faced this summer as an entire company.
Lerner: How do you think this internship will aid you with your professional goals?
Jacob: This internship helped me become 10-times more confident in who I am within the business world. Especially being a woman entering the field, it’s always a concern that you won’t be accepted, but within this company, I felt nothing less than at home and gained more confidence to enter post-grad life than I ever could have imagined. Everything I learned will stick with me.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps in your career once your internship is over?
Jacob: I accepted a full-time offer as a Sales Management Associate with PepsiCo starting June 2022 following my graduation!