The most valuable of these experiences was at Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Minnetonka; I interned in the travel consulting group for two summers and also worked part time during the school year. I obtained the position through the on campus recruiting process during the Spring of my sophomore year. As an intern, I had the opportunity to gain experience to create data driven recommendations and present these recommendations to corporate clients. These recommendations were based on optimizing the contracts with airlines and changing corporate travel patterns. I took a number of concrete skills away from this internship experience that will directly benefit me in my career after college, including:
- Communication Skills - I cannot emphasize enough the importance of clearly communicate ideas. Presenting to clients and working with internal team members allowed me to drastically improve in this area.
- Data Management Skills - Business decisions need to be based on data. I greatly improved on my Microsoft Excel skills and my ability to "tell a story" out of a large amount of data.
- Time Management - I became better at managing my time by taking classes and working part time to meet client deadlines.
Overall, the Carlson Undergraduate Career center goes to great lengths and bounds to ensure that students are prepared to get and complete internships. From preparing students how to write a resume, to helping them with practice interviews, to automating the job application process, the career center is second to none! Additionally, numerous Fortune 500 companies are located right in the Twin Cities area and actively come on campus to find students to complete internships.
My one piece of advice is to get started early! Many companies are already looking for interns a full 9 months before they start!