Summer internships offer practical experience, even amid global pandemic

The Walker College of Business emphasizes experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, social engagement and value driven innovation to help co-create a more sustainable world. [ More about our mission. ] Through the Walker Experience, the coordination of experiential learning opportunities for business students at Appalachian, students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world problems in industry, the community and society. Primary among these experiences are internships.

The Appalachian internship offers the practice needed to achieve career success after graduation, but, due to the global pandemic, some internship opportunities were unfortunately canceled in Summer 2020. Others, however, evolved and continued. We reached out to a few App State students completing internships to learn how their internship experience is significant to them.

Computer information systems Wendell Addy is a Technology Risk Consultant for RSM US LLP.

"The company values the input of every employee and works to improve the capabilities of everyone," said Addy. "Meeting with clients all around the world/US and understanding their unique issues and working to solve those issues is the best part of this job."

Addy said that his CIS degree coalesce Information technology and business to solve complex problems, and "working as a technology risk consultant, I get to converse with clients and understand their needs." As an intern, he works to  come up with the best possible solutions to address those need as efficiently as possible by being technical and business savvy.

"It is a great mix for anyone wanting to have a broad career which can take you anywhere in the world."

Callie Alexander is a marketing sales major, who is serving as an Assortment Services Intern for Retail Business Services in Salisbury. 

"I have loved meeting my fellow coworkers since working for Retail Business Services (RBS)," said Alexander. "Even though we are working in a remote environment, I am getting to connect with individuals from all around the USA!"

Alexander says that her internship is a part of the marketing and merchandising department within RBS, making the work experience especially relevant to her Walker College coursework.

Computer Information Systems and Supply Chain Management double major Ashley Brim is serving as a Project Management Intern for MetLife.

"My favorite part about being in the MetLife Technical University Program is having the opportunity to learn about many different areas within the company," said Brim. "We have so many resources to utilize, including technical training courses; these will be very helpful with furthering my knowledge in my CIS education."

Finance and banking major Olivia Guillebeau serves as an Annuity Sales Intern for Brighthouse Financial.

"One thing I like about Brighthouse is their dedication to culture," said Guillebeau. "I think any company can throw the word culture on their website, but every conversation I've had with management reinforces Brighthouse's values." She said she feels "lucky to intern with a company that facilitates relationship building and mentorship."

Guillebeau also said that, on the job, she's "learned so much about how financial products go to market and which products fit different clients."

Sarah Huffman is a digital marketing major with a minor in graphic communications management. This summer, Sarah is a Marketing Strategy and Development Intern for Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU).

"LGFCU is incredibly special in that they make work culture a top priority," said Huffman. "The support from leadership and colleagues, career development opportunities and continuous improvement of our credit union is what makes this place feel like home."

Huffman, who is on her second summer internship with the company, said she has been treated like any other employee and  gained more experience and professional development than she anticipated. "The credit union philosophy is "People Helping People" and I feel like that really speaks to the character and values of each employee at LGFCU and Credit Unions around the country."

Sean James, a senior finance and banking and risk management and insurance double major, is serving as a Wealth Management Analyst Intern for Bank of America's Private Bank Wealth Management Department.

"Bank of America has made the virtual internship transition seamless," said James. "I am learning a lot and am applying concepts taught in class. Everyone has been so welcoming and I am excited for the future!"

Marketing sales major Haley Kimball is serving Reynolds American Inc. as a Trade Marketing Intern.

"I love Reynolds because they are very interactive with everyone, even down to the interns," she said. "I love the team that I am on and I can tell that they are like a family."

She added that she is "learning so many things about actively calling on customers and how the business works."

Marketing and economics double major Madeline Manganaro is a Change Management Intern for Red Hat Inc.

"My favorite part about Red Hat is the community," said Manganaro. "The culture is open to new ideas no matter who you are, that's what makes Red Hat so different from other companies."

Manganaro said she is working on multiple projects spanning from blog posts to project management to data analytics. "Being a double major in marketing and economics I have been able to explore data analytics through marketing trends and understood how to accurately capture my audience's attention," she said.

Computer Information Systems major Logan Phillips is an Information Technology Intern for Morphis Law & Mediation.

"I love the team I work with because it is a small group, and we all basically act like family," said Phillips.  "I love working in IT at the law firm because it helps me learn what to expect in an IT career while also learning some law firm experience."

Phillips said that the opportunity for varied work "from web development to flowcharts and data matters to basic IT support and software updates" has been particularly valuable, and he notes that access to professionals has been key. "My boss will buy us lunch every other Friday or so, and I can always talk to him, work related or not, whenever he isn't busy."

Jackie Verrico is a management major earning a double minor in Spanish and media studies at Appalachian. This summer, Verrico is serving as a Marketing and Sales Intern for The David Hoffman Group (DHG).

"I am learning the ins and outs of the real estate world (virtually for now) and participating in tons of Zoom bootcamps and team meetings," she said. "I am doing a bit of everything, from marketing projects and social media, to learning the sales process and shadowing agents with their clients, to onboarding new team members and more.

Verrico has already been offered a full-time position with DHG post-graduation. She said she is rotating departments to  learn which will be the best fit for her as well as the organization. 

"I love the company culture and can't wait to work for DHG full-time after graduation," she said and noted that her internship gave her a true overview of how a business runs.

About Business Internships at Appalachian

The Walker College of Business recognizes the value of real-world business experience, and business students are highly encouraged (and depending on the program, sometimes required) to intern. Each department has a dedicated faculty advisor to assist students with placement support from the Business Career Services Office in the BB&T Student Leadership Center. More than 50% of graduates complete at least one internship while at Appalachian. For students, internships are valuable, relevant experiences that can help them determine a career path. For employers, internships can provide needed support, new perspectives and connected resources for a short period of time. Contact Veronica Lozano-Toub, for general information, or, view a complete list of faculty internship directors.

From left, clockwise, are App State summer business interns Wendell Addy, Callie Alexander, Ashley Brim, Logan Phillips, Haley Kimball, Sean Janes and Olivia Guillebeau
Published: Jun 30, 2020 12:19pm