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Career Changes And Internship Experiences

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Student Presenting in Class

I had not realized how much I learned in one year in the Krannert MBA program until this summer, and I am truly grateful for it.  I had the privilege to work for AT&T in Dallas, Texas as a Finance Leadership Development Intern. This internship is a precursor to the 3-year rotational program normally offered to MBA graduates, and I was assigned to the treasury and investor relations department. Some of the responsibilities included analyzing financial statements and ensuring SOX compliance by enhancing the accuracy of financial disclosures and statements. My only work experience prior to the Purdue MBA program was in operational management. I had returned to school in hopes of making a career change into the finance industry even though I knew of the risks for changing my career later in my life. I am glad I made the bold choice to do so. The Purdue MBA program has done a great job in equipping me with both the technical and soft skills required for this internship and future career.

The treasury aspect of the internship required a lot of accounting experience, which was difficult for me since I had no prior practical experience in finance. Many of my colleagues had previous treasury experience, which put me at a slight disadvantage. But I knew that AT&T needed more than just experts in the technical portion of the job, which is where investor relations comes in. The investor relations responsibilities created a very unique experience that I felt I could exceed at. This job function required me to develop a compelling story about AT&T’s cash flows and present it to investors and shareholders of the company in a way that satisfied them. I felt that this was the most challenging, as well as rewarding aspect of my internship. I definitely believe that the Purdue experience helped me succeed in developing the soft skills required to effectively communicate with my peers, my mentors, and to the clients and investors.

My first year in the Purdue MBA program drastically improved my public speaking skills. The rigorous and comprehensive curriculum pushed me to think differently and logically in a short period of time.  My final capstone project was to develop an action plan on improving the annual financial reports to better serve investors, and then present the findings to a financial officer. Upon finishing my presentation, I felt that the entire Krannert experience was conveniently tailored to meet all of the expectations that AT&T had for me. Every university has Accounting and Finance classes to help you develop your technical skills, but the Krannert program focuses on other important soft skills such as working well in a team and articulating your points through proper dialogue and presentation skills.

I am indebted to the Purdue MBA program for letting me succeed in my internship, and I am extremely happy with the progress I have made in just one year. I look forward to an exciting new year with Purdue, and I cannot wait on achieving more things that I did even know I had the power to do.