Employer: Prudential Financial, Newark, NJ

Erin MackinClass Year: 2010
Hometown: Middletown, NJ
Major: Accounting
Campus Activities: Bucknell Buddies, Investment Club, Student Calling Program
Goals: To work in public accounting or finance
Hobbies: Snowmobiling in Vermont, going to the beach, spending time with friends
Other Interests: Philadelphia Eagles!

My Externship Experience:

My first day, I arrived around 9 and met with a 2007 Bucknell graduate, Caitlin Cleveland, who had begun working there last summer. She introduced me to my sponsor, Jim McCarthy, the VP of Asset Management Finance, and then gave me an overview of the company. The rest of the morning consisted of meetings with the VP of Investments, in which he talked to me about his department and how Prudential fit in with other companies, as well as entry positions with the company. I then spoke with two rotational associates who talked to me about what they do, why they chose Prudential and what their life style is like. They answered all of my questions completely honestly, and I really got a feel for what it would be like to start working there. Next, Caitlin took me to lunch at 12:15 with a few other first year rotational associates, who I spoke to about the CPA and CFA exam, getting an MBA, the rotational program, and other various topics. Everyone was so nice and I could definitely see the friendly work environment of Prudential.

After lunch, I met Caitlin's boss, the Manager of Investment Management. He gave me an overview of their department and answered all of my questions about his career history. He offered me advice and encouragement. I was again amazed by how honestly everyone spoke to me. For the next hour, I was exposed to what Caitlin and another first year rotational associate in her department did on a daily basis. Then Jim took me to a meeting in which they were preparing a presentation to explain all of the current finances to Jim's boss. Jim was extremely helpful, pausing often to explain to me exactly what was going on. The other associates in the meeting did the same, and I felt very welcome and not at all like I was intruding. Then, to wrap up the day, I met an HR representative to discuss internship opportunities. I left that day extremely excited for the next.

The next day was more of the same. I met many important people, as well as young employees who let me know exactly what I would be in for if I decided to work for a company like Prudential. I left the externship truly sad that I would not be coming back for a third day.

How did this experience help you make decisions about your future career?

Before this experience, I was sure that I would go into public accounting. It is the path most stressed for accounting majors and most expected of you when speaking with accounting professionals. While I am still considering public accounting, this experience introduced me to a path more finance oriented, which I am now also strongly considering. This experience also helped to land me an internship for the summer, where I will fully explore the possibilities that Prudential has to offer.

What other comments or opinions that you would like to share?

It is a GREAT program that every sophomore who can should partake in!

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