Learn how one high school student got ahead of the game by taking on a remote Business Development internship, hosted out of the USA. Sarai shares how she refined her skills and, as an incoming freshman into college, learned how she wants to make the most out of her undergraduate studies.
Hi Sarai! Why did you choose this remote internship opportunity?
One day, I hope to attend grad school and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to introduce myself to the business development realm. Since I will be studying economics with a business concentration in college, I was motivated to gain experience that would provide me with a better understanding of the field.
This opportunity has allowed me to refine my skills in communication, time management, organization, and self-discipline. As an incoming freshman into college I now have a better idea of how I want to make the most out of my undergraduate studies and future internships to fulfill my future goals.
This is valuable to me personally because nothing compares to obtaining experience from working in the field and taking things more seriously in a real-life scenario where the caliber of one’s work is measured with higher expectations.
What was this internship experience like for you in summary?
It was very eye-opening. Working with a team of more experienced and mature adults in the field made me feel like I was in the right place to challenge myself and try new things each day. I felt a lot more productive, accomplished, and satisfied after completing all of the tasks that were assigned to me daily.
Additionally, putting myself out there when I needed help, ultimately felt rewarding. There were some challenges along the way, but these experiences broadened my skill set that will undoubtedly help me be a better problem solver in the future.
Why did you want to give yourself this kind of learning challenge?
Sometimes I like to be ahead of the game. I know that rarely do highschool students take on an internship right after graduation but I was simply excited to learn more about this field. I had never experienced working in anything similar or took any classes related to the subject prior to this internship, but you gotta start somewhere!
I felt very inexperienced at times, but I loved that I was doing this internship because nothing about it seemed like a waste of time. Everyday had its new challenges and adventures. I don’t think there was much I could have done to prepare myself prior to this. I actually think that this experience by itself was already helping me prepare for future related challenges and obstacles in college and beyond.
Initially, I was expecting myself to have a more difficult time working online with more experienced people in another state, but I came to learn that with practice and determination, consistent challenge can help one grow as an individual.
I would advise others who are seeking personal and professional development to always keep an open mind and never fear to be challenged. The reward is not only knowledge and experience of/in the field but a priceless sense of accomplishment that in my own personal experience has turned out to be inspirational. See challenges as your ticket to growth and success!
What did this Business Development internship help you to learn?
I learned so much from working with people that currently hold positions related to my future career goals. I learned how to present myself in a more mature and professional manner from highly qualified individuals who have been working for one of the largest firms in the country by assets under management.
This internship allowed me to witness how some of the inner networks of a professional firm in New York operates. I grew comfortable with several platforms such as LinkedIn, Handshake, Microsoft Excel while also learning how to research specific firms and qualified individuals effectively. These are some skills that I’m sure will come in handy at some point in my future endeavors.
The most memorable moment was when I was very confused about an assignment, and although I initially felt a bit intimidated to ask for help, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and asked what I needed to ask. I felt satisfied after having solved the issue with the team. Although it was a small moment, it marked the beginning of a new professional and collaborative relationship with the team that helped me feel supported as I was being introduced to the new work environment.
As an online intern, what kind of tasks were you specifically involved with?
The people I collaborated with for the internship are based in New York, so it was interesting to learn how they work as a team, as well as their pace and everyday expectations.
My tasks involved making connections on LinkedIn and Handshake to recruit for both clients and financial advisors. I gained good communication skills from this, in addition to practical skills with various software platforms. These were essential to share specific information across team members, and groups of people. From making attorney lists, to connections on LinkedIn and Handshake, every task was specifically related to helping the firm expand and support its development process.
How did you communicate during this remote internship?
I communicated one-on-one via email with my manager and her assistant or with her via WhatsApp. My manager also invited me to a group chat for interns which I became comfortable with using. In my situation, I don’t think calling was the best way of communicating with my manager or even with her assistant, given that they are often pulled into meetings. However, I was comfortable writing emails or texting to both of them when I had questions about any of the remote internship assignments.
What were your best outcomes from this experience?
I honestly really liked working on this whole internship. I had no problem with the everyday job instructions that I received. I loved occupying my mind with something that was helping me take a peek at the real world of business. My favorite take-aways from this internship was growing comfortable with pushing myself to ask for help when I needed it, admit my mistakes, and communicate with as much clarity and precision with my supervisors.
This internship taught me that it takes a lot of people to run a business. Oftentimes people are not qualified based on what they studied in college but rather their skills and experience, in what area they live in, and even age. This has given me a good idea of what skills I should focus on refining more in the coming years to have a successful career in college and beyond.
I feel more empowered to be successful in my field having learned (from the tasks I did, like making attorney lists, making connections with qualified individuals, communicating with potential financial advisor employees, etc.) what can make some candidates stand out more than others. This internship also helped me gain better time management skills which was something that I needed to work on, but this helped in some way reinforce my organizational abilities.
I am truly grateful for the experience as I now have a clearer idea of how I want to spend my time in college and what I want to focus on to stand out in the competition that awaits me in the future.
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