Externship Sponsor: Allison Heilman '99
Employer: Allianz Global Investors New York, NY
My externship experience gave me the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of how a financial corporation such as Allianz Global Investors works. Since my sponsor is a Human Resources Generalist and I am interested in developing employee-friendly workplaces this externship has been highly relevant to my future goals. Thanks to my sponsor's patience, diligence, dedication and knowledge I was able to learn more about the way the Human Resources Department within a financial corporation works. As international relations major I was not familiar with the financial terminology used by the employees; however my sponsor was very patient with me and explained me some of the key terms in the simplest manner possible. Also, she gave me a small book "Guide to Money and Investing" which helped me better understand the financial vocabulary.
In addition, I had the opportunity to learn how other departments, such as Operations and Sales Desk work and meet some of her colleagues all of whom were very nice and respectful to me helping me learn more about their particular departments, job positions, and job experience.
Lastly, I have not only learned about the way a financial corporation such as Allianz works but I have also learned some life skills which are crucial for success. I was able to ask questions about the skills that employers look for in job applicants. One of the things I learned is that that college major of the job candidate is not determinant in hiring employees but rather their skills set, work ethic, ingenuity and sense of initiative.
How did this experience help you make decisions about your future career?
The externship experience taught me to be more self confident in pursuing my future goals. I have learned that employers are more concerned about the skills that the employee possess rather than their college degree. Some of these important skills are good work ethic, ingenuity, sense of initiative and great communication skills (both spoken and written).
What questions did you ask your externship sponsor?
I asked my sponsor what are the sorts of skills that she looks for in the job applicants. I also asked questions about what she does at work, what are the aspects of the job that she likes and dislikes. I found it very useful that I was also able to connect with my sponsor about my experience at Bucknell and ask her questions about the opportunities I should take advantage of while at Bucknell.
What other comments or opinions that you would like to share?
I would strongly encourage all sophomores to apply even though they may not be able to find the externship they are looking for or they are unable to be matched with their top choice. The externship is only a short-term commitment and you gain the opportunity to ask the sponsor virtually any question about the workplace, their job and their Bucknell experience. Researching the company and preparing relevant questions is the key to having a productive and valuable experience. The sponsors really appreciate thoughtful questions. The externship opportunity can also provide you with the opportunity to network with Bucknell alumni and possibly secure a summer internship which could eventually lead to a job. Also, the sponsors can serve as important mentors in your future career search.