Landing My Dream Job: Internships and Study Abroad Experience

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Steven will graduate this May with a degree in BBA (Finance) and Chinese. He’s also just so happened to land a great job in New York. Here he shares about his entire Emory experience has led to him being where he is—from a study abroad trip to China, to relationships with professors, to support from the Career Center and friends.

How did your experiences (travels/trips/studies) at Emory lead to your career choice?

I came to Emory with my eye on studying Business and Chinese. In my first semester, my Chinese teacher suggested I enter a speech contest at Emory, sponsored by the Confucius Institute, which promotes US-China exchanges. As a first-year student, I ended up winning the contest! (My speech was about what I’d ask Chinese President Xi Jinping if I had lunch with him.)

My prize was a summer abroad at Nanjing University, which I did the summer after my first year. While I was there, using many of the skills I’d learned in class, I actually was able to secure a summer internship in Shanghai with a Chinese company.

That summer gave me the experience and confidence to go after what I was thinking as my career choice. The next year as I looked for another summer internships, the contacts I’d made at my Shanghai job helped me land an internship in New York City.  My experience there after my sophomore year solidified my interest in a job in finance.

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What resources were helpful when you were reading to start looking for a job after college (often called “junior recruiting” or “senior recruiting”)?

Junior and senior year recruiting is very structured compared to looking for internships your first or second-year. The counselors at the Career Management Center at the Business School are amazingly helpful and also amazing people. Once I decided to work in finance, Emory had a ton of on-campus presentations, networking events, preparation classes and other resources available. The easiest networking path is often through alumni, and Emory connects you so well with them.

What experiences at Emory best prepared you for a job after college?

The Goizueta Business School has been invaluable in preparing me for life after college. My classes, teachers, and classmates have taught me the importance of teamwork and time management. One professor, Prof Tom Smith, who I took for my film and sports finance classes, was probably most influential. He really challenged me to approach complex situations in different ways and with new perspectives, and I know that is going to benefit me in my new career.

As just a random piece of advice, I’ve learned that it’s so important to challenge yourself in college. By putting yourself in new situations, you learn to handle uncertainty, which is crucial in the real world.

What other opportunities did your professors assist you with?

I never would’ve written an honors thesis (Learn more about the Honors Program) without the support and encouragement of my Chinese professors. During junior year, my advisor first brought up the idea of writing an honors thesis, which I hadn’t considered before that point. I decided to do an independent study that spring, and I met with my professor every week where we discussed different Chinese business articles.

Once I had my thesis topic, my advisor was so helpful with my application for funding for my project (which involved me going back to China for a few weeks to do research). I’m defending my thesis in a couple weeks, and know I couldn’t have done it without all their help.

What was the most helpful influence on landing your job after graduation?

There’s no perfect way to land your post-college job. Looking back, deciding my majors and gaining real-world experience was extremely important. Once I had an idea of what I wanted, it was much easier to take steps to get there. Emory provides so much support to help students find their jobs; I’ve had friends who got interviews and jobs just by meeting with their teachers and having honest conversations.

It can be so easy to get caught up thinking you need to find your dream job right away or know exactly what to do to find it your first year of college. But honestly, each student is a product of his or her experiences. I don’t think there’s “one key thing” that leads to the dream job. Rather it’s the sum of the full college experiences that make any one of us a great person to hire.

StephenWeiner_PortraitStephen Weiner 17B
Double major in Business (Finance Concentration) & Chinese
Washington, D.C.
Job when he graduates this May: Investment Banking Analyst in New York, NY

 

 

 

 

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