Name: Alison Gunter
Year at CSB/SJU: Senior
Majors: Communication & Psychology
Internship: Human Resources Intern
Place of Internship: Polaris Industries
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
I knew Polaris was going to be at the upcoming Private Schools Job and Internship Fair so I looked online to see if they had any internship opportunities available. I found they had an HR internship available so I followed up with them at the fair. The application process was very fast moving; the HR recruiter took my resume at the job fair and the next day I had my first interview at the job fair. My second interview was on site at Polaris and consisted of interviewing with six different people in HR.
What were some of the internship highlights?
A highlight of the internship was that I had ownership over my projects. My manager was there for support but I was pretty much on my own. I also enjoyed creating professional relationships with the executives and learning more about their career paths.
What was a typical day like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
Each day I came into work and always checked my email and prioritized my duties for the day. Some of my main responsibilities included tasks my manager needed done, mostly administrative. Other than that I was assigned many projects that needed me to interview and survey employees and then create action plans to address the concerns they had with workplace issues.
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
An initial challenge of my internship was being afraid to ask questions. Wanting to impress my manager and seem independent at first was difficult. I quickly overcame this because by asking questions and even asking for more work, I was able to learn so much more, and managers expect you to do this!
What did you learn? How has this internship impacted your plans for after graduation?
I learned tons of foundational HR knowledge and how to run specific HR software. This internship has really helped me with my after graduation plans as I already have much training in HR concepts and software. It also was great because it helped me decide to continue on with a career in HR.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
My advice for students interested in internships would be to do it! Paid or unpaid internships help build your resume and teach you so much about how the working world works. It also helps you build your network and an internship could potentially turn into a job.