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.
Marina Simunek, class of 2024 management information systems and business analytics double major, spent her summer as a software engineer intern with Bank of America.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you pursue it?
Simunek: After discovering that Bank of America was looking for students to apply to their Global Technology Program, I knew I wanted to pursue this opportunity because it has always been my goal to work in the technology industry. Since the technology field is constantly growing, I wanted to take advantage of this to get my foot in the door and jumpstart my future career.
Lerner: What was the most exciting task or project that you completed?
Simunek: Throughout the summer, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a small team working on a data visualization application used within the bank. The most rewarding part of this project was knowing that all the time I put into writing code and analyzing large sets of data made a real impact. As a result, the work I completed was eventually implemented into the application, which will now be utilized and viewed by all of the application’s present and future users.
Lerner: What did you learn from the internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Simunek: One of the most valuable things I learned from working for Bank of America was better understanding workplace culture. Working in a large corporate office was a huge change in environment for me, and definitely took some time to get used to. After my 10 weeks as an intern, I can confidently say I have learned how to conduct myself more professionally and have improved my communication skills.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Simunek: The semester before my internship, I got the opportunity to learn about the foundations of agile framework and the software development life cycle. Throughout the duration of the summer, I got to experience firsthand what it is like to be part of an agile team; more specifically, how to work effectively as a team to meet and exceed the expectations of stakeholders.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Simunek: The biggest challenge I faced was learning how to feel confident in my own abilities. Prior to the start of this internship, I was so fixated on feeling like I wouldn’t be able to perform well and up to expectations. Once I realized that this opportunity is a learning experience and nobody is going to expect me to know everything, I felt a lot more comfortable in my work knowing that all my peers wanted to help and see me succeed.
Lerner: What are your career plans, and how do you think the internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Simunek: After this summer, I am extremely grateful to have been invited back to the bank to work full-time. Once I graduate this spring, I will be returning to Charlotte to continue working with the same team, as part of Bank of America’s Global Technology Analyst Program. I believe this opportunity will be a great start to my career, considering how much I enjoyed my short time as an intern.