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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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OPINION | From college to career: The vital role of internships

(Sofie Duffner)

When considering how to spend the summer, many Tulane University students chose to complete an internship for the invaluable experiences and advantages they offer. Internships provide hands-on training, networking opportunities, skill development and critical insights into future careers. Through real-world training in their desired industry, students gain clarity on career paths and build connections for job prospects down the road. Many roles are paid helping students to offset college expenses while others offer academic credit towards degree requirements.

Some companies use their internship program as a recruiting tool to identify talent for potential full-time job offers, particularly in finance, where many pursue a rigorous full-time summer internship in the hopes of receiving a coveted return offer. 

Rising senior, Kate Cook, interned with Bank of America this summer as a Wealth Management Summer Analyst in Philadelphia in the Private Bank Summer Analyst Program. Cook plans to pursue a finance position after graduation and is majoring in finance with a minor in marketing and real estate. 

Cook completed rotations on investment, trust and relationship management. She worked on her trust project and a final investment project that consisted of mock client interviews and opening a portfolio investment account. Cook’s courses in strategic management and organizational communication helped her day-to-day task completion and communication with clients. Bank of America also organized networking events throughout Philadelphia including MLB games, which Cook enjoyed attending with her coworkers.

Davis Norton served as the Strategic Operations intern at Krispy Kreme, a Fortune 500 company in Charlotte, North Carolina. Norton is a senior with double majors in legal studies and business management. Norton’s favorite course at Tulane has been Corporate and Cooperative Strategy, which Norton said provided him with career clarity. 

Norton found the Krispy Kreme job posting on LinkedIn and messaged the company’s Human Resources representative. His tasks included project storage optimization, waste management and inventory analysis. Norton came up with an equation to help reduce waste and measure the sale systems against inventory usage, which increased productivity. The company asked Norton to keep working into the fall and he will work remotely for 10 to 15 hours throughout the semester. Norton also received an Microsoft Excel certification at his internship that he can apply to his course and studies at Tulane this fall. 

Sophomore Lauren Turner interned with Todd Strategy Group in Washington D.C. as a Government Affairs & Health Policy Intern. Turner drafted summaries of Congressional hearings, health policy forums, webinars and other policy events. She also conducted policy research on drug pricing, Medicare 340B and Medicaid. In her role, Turner responded to ad-hoc policy inquiries from biopharmaceutical life-science and health manufacturing clients. Turner hopes to attend law school after graduation and continue working in health policy.

Senior Katie Merk, studying ecology and evolutionary biology, with a minor in psychology, worked as an orthopedic medical assistant in Chicago, and her responsibilities included administrative duties including greeting patients and managing patient records, taking medical histories and updating patient files. Merk plans to pursue graduate school and participate in additional clinical programs. 

Senior Kwesil Ezeh interned for Liberty Mutual this summer and was in their Ironshore brand in environmental claims. Ezeh said she learned about the “world of insurance and how the insurance industry works and how vital insurance is in our everyday lives.” Ezeh is a political science and international relations major, and she said that the “internship really solidified wanting to go to law school and specializing in insurance law.”

College courses can provide strong foundations to support students to develop skills that are valuable during internships. When selecting a major and relevant coursework, students can evaluate opportunities to translate skills to a professional setting and enhance possible future opportunities. Tulane students are working to advance their careers and get direct on-the-job experiences. Using Tulane’s alumni network and resources like Linkedin, as well as Tulane Career Services, can serve as an excellent foundation. Tulane also offers career-oriented courses including Taylor Your Life and programs such as Tulane Remote Industry Program that connects students to alumni and Tulane parents in a variety of industries to advance understanding and learning. In a competitive job market, practical experience can serve as a key asset for students launching their careers. 

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