By: GreatAmerica on February 20th, 2023
Inside a Professional Internship at GreatAmerica
There are plenty of challenges to overcome when choosing an internship that is right for you. We believe you should be able to make a difference, own your happiness, make your path, and own your development in any internship or job experience. Let’s dive in to see if this is the path for you.
Make a Difference
At GreatAmerica, what you do as an intern matters. Working on projects that bring real value to your team where you can also be part of the bigger picture provides an opportunity for growth. Stereotypical internships where you deliver or make coffee don’t provide you with valuable development, and don’t exist here. Your internship should expose you to real-world scenarios where you can apply your skills to projects you are passionate about.
Alexis Soukup, a legal intern during the summer of 2021 and 2022, says, “I do most of my work with my leader, Michelle. I do a lot of research, I write memos. A lot of the work I do is confidential but it’s a lot of research and sitting in on meetings with Michelle to see a legal in-house perspective. I take on long term research projects and short-term ones to help my team to keep moving forward.” Alexis is currently in law school and doing two different internships. She likes her GreatAmerica internship because it lets her apply her class learning.
An intern from 2013 who continued at GreatAmerica for 6 years, Mallory Hynes, describes her internship, “My main project was to build a library of leadership models and materials for our leaders. I finished it earlier than everyone was expecting and after that I did a lot of different HR related projects including recruiting, benefits, and data.” She adds, “I got to see a direct impact from my work. My leadership library project was cool because GreatAmerica was investing in their leaders.” An internship should allow you to do work that makes an impact and isn’t menial or busy work. It’s a learning opportunity for people to gain experience and develop relevant skills to their interests.
Own Your Happiness
The work environment you’re in can directly affect your happiness. Surround yourself with people who support you and you enjoy being around. Working in an environment you hate doesn’t help anyone, choose to be somewhere that you can look forward to coming to work each day.
Mallory comments, “I felt like part of the team immediately. My team was welcoming, and I did not feel like an outsider because I was an intern. I worked on real projects and didn’t do busywork.” When asked about her thoughts on her overall experience at GreatAmerica, she adds, “I’ve had other great employer, but GreatAmerica puts its people first.” One of GreatAmerica’s ten core principles is building enduring relationships and committing to mutual success.
You can choose a company you can thrive in by knowing what kind of environment makes you happy. Alexis shares, “One of the things I look for when I’m looking for an internship is the reputation of the company. I think it’s important to see how they present themselves to the rest of the world. I want to work at a company that volunteers or is active in the community." The GreatAmerica Network Group is committed to providing GreatAmericans opportunities to have fun and be part of the local community. Find an environment where you can take ownership of your happiness during your internship experience.
Make Your Path
An internship is one of the first steps on your path to success. It’s an opportunity to grow and to decide what you like and don’t like.
Alexis comments, “I didn’t realize before my internship how many connections I could make. Not only personal connections, but also the number of professional connections because a lot of people came from other places before they came to GreatAmerica. Being able to network and meet so many people with different experiences is great.” Creating connections and networking is useful to everyone and valuable as an intern.
Mallory says, “The biggest thing I learned during my internship was how to work in a professional environment and with senior management. I got to sit down with the CEO Stan once.” Being able to work in a corporate setting and interact with leadership is an essential tool when paving your career path.
The goal of the internship is to set the interns up for success whether they continue with us after graduation in full time positions or go on to follow their dreams elsewhere.
Own Your Development
Your growth and development are up to you. Put yourself in situations where you can flourish and surround yourself with leaders who support you. It’s harder to develop if you don’t put yourself into an environment that focuses on personal and professional growth.
Alexis comments, “GreatAmerica has helped me with my professional development in that I am now comfortable talking to people that are my superiors. At first, I felt nervous talking to my leader and her superior, but throughout the summer you realize it’s okay.”
Development can be more than learning how to interact with coworkers and superiors professionally. When looking for an internship, Mallory says, “I was looking for something to help me decide between my two majors: Finance and HR management. I wanted an opportunity with exposure to a variety of areas as well as a company with a strong culture, great people and the opportunity to work full-time.” Take charge of your learning and own your development in your internship.
Is a Professional Internship right for you?
Make a difference, own your happiness, make your path and own your development in a business internship. If you’re looking for these qualities in an internship and are interested in a professional internship, visit GreatAmerica’s careers page and browse our open opportunities.
GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and now has offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow.