Costume Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art? This Temple student did that, and more, at her summer internship!

Theater, Film and Media Arts student, Sarah McKenzie, is planning to graduate with a B.A. in Theater focusing in Costume Design in May of 2020.  This past summer she interned at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Read more to learn about Sarah’s experience…

Spotlight Questions:

Major/Graduation year

Theater Major (Focus in Costume Design), Art Minor. Expected Graduation May 2020

What organization is your internship with?

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

What semester did you do this internship?

Summer 2018

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

Intern in The Costume & Textiles Curatorial Department.

There was no typical day in the C&T Department, but my job did include pulling and returning objects to/from storage, labeling items, some small sewing projects, and dressing mannequins! One project that I did spend a few days on was pulling over 400 hats from storage to measure them and then inputting that measurement data into the museum’s database. The Department is currently preparing for two exhibitions that open in the fall, so things are very busy!

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I was self-inspired to look into the PMA’s internship opportunities because of the museum’s incredible collection of costumes and textiles, and I hoped to examine the work of great designers, as well as historical dress, up close. To apply I sent my resume and a short essay describing why I believed I would be a good candidate for the Museum Studies Internship. I also sent two letters of recommendation. After applying I was invited for an interview about a month and a half later. About another month and a half after interviewing, I was offered the internship.

How has your internship related to your course work?

I have focused my studies on Costume Design and Production, so I came into the internship with a significant amount of knowledge of the historical dress and practical sewing. I have applied these skills in sewing undergarments for display pieces and using my knowledge of historical fashion to inform research. I have also learned a significant amount about garment construction from observing and handling garments up close, and the internship has opened the door for me to apply my passion for costume and garments to a whole other career.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

To make connections! SO many people are ready and willing to help you out if only you ask them.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Think creatively about where to apply for an internship! Consider your relevant skill set and think about where those skills could be applied!

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

This was my first internship while attending Temple, but I’ve learned that it’s important to put effort into your application and heavily research the company or institution you are applying to. If you go into an interview knowledgeable and excited about the company, it will impress your interviewer and show you are serious about interning with them!

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Instagram; @sarahmcki

Networking Helped This Owl Land His Internship

The Career Center recently connected with Klein School of Media and Communications, junior, Kevin Zabel about his past internship at the Brownstein Group. Read on to learn more about the unique way that Kevin landed his internship. Sometimes utilizing the people around you can pay off…

Kevin Zabel outside of his internship at the Brownstein Group

Major/Graduation year

  • Advertising / 2020

What organization is your internship with?

  • Brownstein Group

What semester did you do this internship?

  • Summer 2018

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

  • I was an Account Management / New Business intern at an advertising agency in center city. I assisted the New Business team. Our main job is to be the first people in contact with new clients who reach out to the agency, and we facilitate the whole process of acquiring those companies. Each member of the New Business team also has their own accounts and clients that they work with on the side as well. A typical day would be working on my final project – a research project for a client – and to aid in various background research and compilation of the research into formal word documents.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

  • I found out about this opportunity from a mentor. The interview process was fairly standard, but as I was studying abroad in Italy during the semester, that made it tricky for me. I knew that since I am young and wasn’t able to come for an in-person interview, these would be obstacles, so I set up an informational interview with the agency ahead of time. This way, they could see me in person before I left for Rome. The formal application started with a resume and cover letter submission, and I followed up with an online interview a while later, once the applicant pool was sifted through. Then, I heard a few weeks later that I was offered the internship.

How has your internship related to your course work?

  • This has been my first internship in a setting where I plan to work, and my classwork has provided me with nearly all the basic information that I needed to have in order to be an effective worker. I was able to see concepts I have learned about over and over in the classroom, and now I have finally seen them in action.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

  • This may be an unconventional way to answer the question, but the most important thing I’ve learned during my internship is that advertising really is the field that I want to go into when I am older. I started out at Temple as a marketing major but always longed for the creativity that came with advertising. I had more exposure to a business career setting in high school, with less exposure to a career like advertising, and now that I have seen it firsthand for an extended period of time, I can see that I made the right choice by switching majors.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

  • If you are better in person than on paper, or just have a personality that draws people to you, then try to meet possible employers in person before they decide whether or not to hire you. People only can look so good on a resume, but great personalities stand out much more, and if employers interview someone that they genuinely like, they will want to hire them. So utilize your witty sense of humor or charming personality, because it could take you far.

Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

  • Yes, and although I was abroad while I needed to prepare for my application and interviews, I had a great friend in Rome with me who works as a Career Ambassador for the Career Center and she always was more than willing to help me with my resume and cover letters and anything in between. If I were on campus I would have happily gone to the career center for help, but luckily my friend was there to help.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

  • One huge thing that I have learned during my time at Temple about obtaining jobs is that networking takes you extremely far, even farther than good grades. Networking is one of the main reasons to go to college, and it really leads to huge opportunities. Networking events, in particular, are always worth the effort to go because you have nothing to lose by going to events and meeting new people who are eager to learn and work hard. And possibly even help you out.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

  • Twitter: @kevinzabel_
  • Instagram: @kevinzabel

This Owl Networked Her Way to Capitol Hill

Kimberly Burton scored an internship with the National Journalism Center that combined both her majors in Political Science and Journalism. This internship fueled both of her passions and allowed her to hone in her writing skills.  Read more to learn about Kimberly’s experience…

Kimberly Burton

Major/Graduation year: Journalism and Political Science, 2020

What organization is your internship with? National Journalism Center (placement at Newsmax)

What semester did you do this internship? Summer 2018

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

As a National Journalism Center intern, I am placed at Newsmax under the Chief Political and White House Correspondent John Gizzi. I work with him four days a week, and I could be doing anything from interviewing individuals on Capitol Hill, attending meetings, writing articles, or even going to the White House. One day a week I attend special programming at the National Journalism Center offices where they bring in industry professionals to teach us about different aspects of journalism and communications.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found out about this opportunity through an organization called Young America’s Foundation (YAF) which is the parent organization for NJC. I was attending a YAF conference last summer and I was able to speak with representatives from the organization.

After I applied, I was contacted about conducting an interview. I completed a phone interview and then heard back later on in the spring semester.

How has your internship related to your course work?

As a journalism and political science double major, it’s been really great to work in political journalism. I’ve been able to apply not only my research and writing skills from my journalism classes but also knowledge from my political science classes. I’m extremely interested in US government and also foreign relations so I’ve been able to cover both and meet individuals involved in both areas.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

I’ve learned a lot through course work, but the most important thing I’ve learned is how to improve my writing skills, network, etc. At my internship program, I participate in Friday seminar days at the headquarters, but I also took an optional long-form/investigative writing night class! All these things have definitely improved my skills in order to be a better journalist!

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

It can sometimes be hard to find an internship that fits your needs or career goals, but really searching and speaking with other people or attending events can help you find that dream internship.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

I think the main things I’ve learned is the importance of internships since internships and real-life experience really make the difference between you and another student’s application/resume.

 Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Twitter: @KimberlyBurton_

Temple Intern Wins Case Competition During His First Internship

College of Science and Technology student, Alankato Cobb Jr., is planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience in 2021.  This past summer he interned on the medical and scientific affairs team at Novo Nordisk.  Read more to learn about Alankato’s experience…

Alankato after the case competition

What is/was your job function and what does a typical day entail?

I was an intern for the medical and scientific affairs team in the clinical, medical and regulatory department at Novo Nordisk. More specifically in this department, I worked with medical directors on our insulin portfolio. Every day varied. However, for the most part, I attended meetings with different departments in the organization; shadowing different areas. I also attended employee resource groups meetings and worked on several projects throughout the summer. A large project included a clinical experience forum, for which I gathered several health care prescribers that prescribed one of our products, and set up a conference in Nebraska to which I also got to attend and chair. The second biggest project was Novo Nordisk’s Innovation in Action Case Competition. We worked on developing an innovative solution throughout the last ten weeks on an issue facing Novo Nordisk.  There were eight groups of eight interns, and my team placed first.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I am connected to an employee that works at Novo Nordisk. She told me that I should apply for the internship program and I did, and thankfully got in. The interview process was split into two rounds. The first round I met with a hiring team member to answer some questions, over the phone. We were selected from this round into the next, where I then interviewed with my manager and her manager as well to again answer questions. This was done via Skype. The interview process was a little difficult for me since this was my first internship but by the second round, I believe I did pretty well.

How has your internship related to your course work?

So far I have taken science and math classes, and those have helped me to understand the products that Novo Nordisk creates. For instance, when studying up on the insulin products, I was able to understand the chemical knowledge that I was reading up on. Also, I was able to see the insides of an actual pharmaceutical company and how all the components of Novo work. More specifically I worked with physicians on different medical matters within the industry. I have met people with backgrounds I am seeking to pursue and it very much made me even more excited about the classes I am taking and the career path I am pursuing.

 

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

During my internship, I have definitely learned how pharma can directly impact the patients for which they create products for. Novo Nordisk was not just a business but an organization that wants to truly help all of their patients through many resources. I also learned the different business paths that physicians can take, and it really broadened my horizon on career paths that I can pursue. Finally, the most important thing I learned was how to contribute and be a team player for group tasks. Many of my projects included group work and it was very eye-opening on the different challenges and benefits of group projects. Seeing and being a part of the processes where groups interconnected to reach a common goal was very cool.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

I believe establishing connections with people can go a long way. I was able to apply and thankfully get this internship at Novo Nordisk because of the connections I had previously. So definitely put yourself out there and try to create networks with different people, not just in your desired field but all over.

Do you have a profile on Twitter and/or Instagram? If so, what are your usernames?

Instagram : aj.cxx

Gaining Hands-On Experience at a Small Company

We recently caught up with sophomore, College of Engineering student, Dalton Benard about his internship with Graham Engineering. Read more to learn about Dalton’s electrical engineering experience…

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My job at Graham Engineering was to assemble electrical panels which would then be used to control large plastic extruding machines. This job was new, as the panel shop was created about a month or two before I joined. It was very insightful to see how Graham Engineering made processes more efficient and productive. This was one of the major advantages of being at this job when I was, as I got to see a part of the company start up and begin to take shape.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I found this position from an employee that worked there previously and recommended me for this internship. The interview process involved two people, including the head of the HR department.

How has your internship related to your coursework?

Through this internship, I gained the base layer knowledge of what my intro classes have been teaching me – seeing how assemblers take the designs of engineers and then assemble these electrical panels for later use in machines. This internship allowed me to see how my job as an engineer will impact the manufacturing side of work.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The most important thing I learned through this internship was the importance of teamwork.  Working with a small group of very knowledgeable people helped me.  I also realized that I have some knowledge that some of the employees didn’t have. It was a give and take relationship being able to use all of our skills to build and assemble these panels. Another thing I learned is to ask questions. If you don’t know something, definitely speak up. Ask for someone’s help who knows the answer rather than guessing and making a very expensive mistake.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Always put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to start at a small company. My long-term goal is to work for a large tech company, but to establish my reputation I must start out by honing my skills through small companies to help myself gain the attention of larger companies. Also, join many clubs and organizations on campus. You will meet new people to help build your connections and possibly learn of new job opportunities that were unforeseen before you connected with that person.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Join many organizations and attend career fairs to meet new people and to connect with new individuals that can present opportunities for possible jobs and or internships.

Twitter- Dalton_benard                      Instagram- daltonb3399

Leveraging LinkedIn Helped this Student Launch Her Career

The Career Center recently connected with recent Klein School of Media and Communications graduate, Hannah Lea McComsey, about her past internship at Good Morning America in New York, NY. Read on to learn more about the unique way that Hannah landed her internship. Sometimes your personal network can get you farther than you might think…

Hannah McComsey

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I worked for the Field and Series unit of Good Morning America. The Field and Series unit creates all of the pre-produced news packages that will air on Good Morning America in the mornings. My favorite part of this internship is that there was no such thing as a typical day! Some days I was assigned to research stories and people to potentially interview, other days I was actually conducting the interviews that aired on the live show. Each day was something different and I learned how to thrive in that type of environment.

 

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

After interning for several news stations in Philadelphia, my next goal was to secure a network internship in New York. I applied to many different shows on ABC, NBC, and CBS. After about a month, I got a phone call from the ABC News Internship Recruiter. After I had an initial phone screening with the recruiter, she passed my information along to the Coordinating Producer at Good Morning America. I had an interview with the Coordinating Producer, and a few weeks later, she called and informed me of my acceptance to the internship program at GMA.

 

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

During my time as an intern for Good Morning America, I learned that saying “yes” to anything you are asked to do is the key to success. Sometimes, a task may seem tedious or boring, but once people at your internship see that you are willing to help in any capacity, they will ask you to do more and more things! I started out by logging interviews for producers. Although this was not the most exciting task, I said yes every time and made sure to do the job as best I could. Then, after a while, the producers started to ask me to go out in the city and do actual interviews to air on GMA. Saying yes and working hard really pays off, I would recommend that to everyone who is starting a new internship.

 

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

I would tell other students who are looking for internships to apply everywhere and be very persistent! I applied for the internship with Good Morning America two times before actually getting an interview. By being persistent and keeping in touch with the ABC Internship Recruiter, I made sure that she knew I was serious about this position. Then, when the internship for the spring semester came up, she told me I was the first on her list to interview because I kept in touch with her.

 

Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

Karen Demmler, one of the Career Center coaches, helped me immensely! Karen helped me revamp my LinkedIn profile so that potential employers could see my work and identify exactly what my goals were. LinkedIn notifies me when people look at my profile, and after Karen helped me, I noticed I was getting more views from potential employers.

 

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Temple has taught me to not see rejection or failure as a bad thing, but to see rejection as an opportunity to learn and go forward stronger than ever. When I did not get the internship at Good Morning America the first time, I made sure to work on my storytelling skills so that the next time I applied, I would be ready. It paid off!

 

Instagram: hannah_mccomsey

Twitter: @hannah_mccomsey

 

10 Owls Spent the Summer in Rewarding Retail Internships

This summer, Career Center staff visited 13 Temple students interning at Burlington Stores. Burlington’s 10-week summer internship program employs students for 40 hours per week, allowing them to accumulate lots of valuable experience.  During our visit, the students explained how they developed their time management, organization, communication and analytical problem-solving skills through the internship experience. Many of the students particularly enjoyed the opportunity to shadow various departments during their experience. The Career Center interviewed senior, Media Studies and Production major, Jordyn Fisher-Robinson while we were there. Read on to learn more about her experience, and keep an eye out for opportunities similar to the Burlington Stores internship program in Handshake

Temple Owls in front of the Burlington Store logo

What department are you working with?

Buying – Ladies Athletic Shoes

What was the interview process like?

The College Recruiters from Burlington were very responsive and great to work with! I had a phone interview, then an in-person interview with 4 people in the office, and I actually work under one of the buyers that interviewed me! The questions were focused on my experience and what I knew about the off-price industry. Coming from a major with no relation to buying was interesting, but I wanted to get my foot in the door of the fashion industry. I learned through this experience that I really love buying as well!

Jordyn Fisher-Robinson – KLEIN 18′

What is your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I work with an assistant buyer in completing daily tasks such as going over the style report to see what our best sellers were, looking at shipping to know what was appointed for the month, and writing purchase orders for companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, U.S. Polo, and Sketchers. I also traveled “in  market” twice a week (Wednesday and Thursday) in New York to meet with said vendors. I made sure my style report was printed and highlighted so I knew which styles were our best and worst sellers for the vendor meetings. Next, we did a lot of comp shopping. A big part of being a buyer is looking at your competition and making sure your prices are better. Burlington prices itself on its value, so we make sure our customer gets the best deal.

How has your internship related to your coursework?

Currently, I do not go to school for buying so everything I learned was completely new. I worked in retail for 3 years at Charming Charlie as a manager so I wanted to get into anything fashion so I could get my foot in the door.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

Try your best to maintain a work/life balance, this summer I worked three jobs and being in buying can definitely be overwhelming sometimes. But know your priorities and get done what you can! It can definitely be done.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Keep trying! I applied to 10 jobs before I got this one. It can be hard and you may shed a few tears but it’s all worth it when you get the job!

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Networking and connecting with people is so important. I’ve met so many people in important roles, but as long as you stay humble and are yourself everything will work out.

 

 

 

Interning in the Great Outdoors

Temple Student Pamela Jackson, a Geography and Urban Studies major, spent her summer conducting research and surveying social values along the Upper Missouri River Basin. Read more below to learn more about her interesting summer experience!

Jackson explained, “I actually was able to take that picture at Glacier National Park as a part of collecting images of places that residents valued. I traveled to several places that residents mentioned in their surveys to collect images for Arc Collector.”

What organization did you intern with?

University of South Dakota, National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

In a typical day, I would travel to a town in North Dakota, South Dakota or Montana and conduct surveys on what resident’s value about the land and how they use it.

In addition to conducting surveys, I was also collecting data for an individual research project. My research was about The Impact of Agriculture and Development in the Micropolitan Community of Yankton, South Dakota, on which I presented a poster at the epScor Research Symposium in South Dakota in late July.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

The Geography and Urban Studies Department sent out emails about different REU Programs, then I went to the NSF Website and looked for more programs to apply to. The interview process was great. I interviewed with the Grad student who I worked with since it was her research project. We were able to connect about our passions since we had similar interests.

How has your internship related to your coursework?

My major is Geography and Urban Studies, which includes a variety of topics. However, I was able to learn about different places this summer and how the lifestyles of residents depended on the area that they live in. Many of my courses examine the landscape, how people use their environment, and if they live sustainably. I learned about sustainable living through the Sustainable River REU in South Dakota.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

I learned that a connection can be made with anyone. By conducting door-to-door surveys I was able to connect with residents and hear their stories. I was able to understand the lifestyle of residents that live in the Midwest, which was interesting since I am from the East Coast. Additionally, I learned that research can be used to examine how residents feel about the opportunities that they currently have and can be used as a platform for the future.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Apply for different programs, because you never know what types of experiences you could have if you decide to do things that you never imagined doing before.

Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

The Rapid Resume Reviews allowed me to gain feedback on ways to edit my resume and display experiences that were relevant.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Yes. Do not be afraid to deviate from the norm. Seek experiences and travel to places to do work that you are passionate about.

22 Temple Owls Landed an Internship at QVC This Summer!”

This Summer I traveled to West Chester, PA to visit 22 Temple students interning at the QVC global headquarters. QVC has a robust internship program with over 90 students and they love hiring Owls! QVC is a part of Qurate Retail Group, which is comprised of eight leading retail brands, and reaches approximately 370 million homes worldwide through 16 television networks and multiple ecommerce sites, social pages, mobile apps, print catalogues and in-store destinations.

I sat down with the QVC internship recruiter, Shannon Geddes, who shared some valuable information about the QVC internship program. Geddes explained, “Through our internship program, students have the ability to make an impact at QVC through the work they complete here. Some key skills they would learn are collaboration, professionalism, and problem solving.”  Geddes also shared, “Temple University offers great programs that align very well with QVC! The university does a fantastic job at preparing their students for the workplace.”

Make sure to keep an eye out for Shannon at the upcoming career fairs this fall, as she recruits students from all majors.

The interns at QVC work in a variety of departments including, E-commerce, Corporate Communications, Digital Content Development, Photography, Lifestyle Production, IT and more! Students I spoke with explained how they appreciate their internship experience and love the QVC work environment.

Three Owls took time out of their schedule to provide their thoughts on their QVC internship experience and share a few tips on making the most of their internship.

 

(From Left to Right: Ryan Leddy, Anastasia Postolati, and Corey Davidson)

College of Science and Technology student, Corey Davidson, shared, My typical day entails shadowing members across QVC’s security team to learn about different aspects of IT security, as well as working with members of my team to implement changes to security.”.”

(Corey Davidson, CST)

Corey also shared how his internship related to his coursework, “IT Security at QVC requires knowledge of networks, computer hardware, and other aspects of computing. This has given me the opportunity to apply much of the knowledge I have learned in courses at Temple University such as Network Architectures and Operating Systems & Networking. In addition to this, I have been assigned an application development intern project which allows me to apply much of the programming skills I learned at Temple in languages such as Java and Structured Query Language (SQL).”

(Anastasia Postolati, FOX)

Management Information Systems student, Anastasia Postolati, shared information about her interview experience. Anastasia explained, “I found out about the opportunity through the Temple University American Marketing Association which hosts a Career & Internship Reception every year. Serving on the executive board, I was involved in the process of bringing QVC to the event and communicating with Shannon behind the scenes. It was great to put a face to the name when we finally met and spent some time talking!

The interview process wasn’t difficult but I was very nervous as this was my first internship interview. After Shannon and I spoke at the reception we had a phone call soon after. She then asked me to come down to West Chester for an interview! I was truly delighted to visit – the site is beautiful.”

One valuable lesson that Anastasia shared is the importance of getting involved in student organizations. Get involved with student organizations as much as you can! There are so many great organizations at Temple and being a part of them allows you to make connections with people you wouldn’t typically know. I think by getting involved and attending various events, you can learn about what you prefer for your future career. Hearing from, and talking to speakers opens up your eyes to so many opportunities. All of these things also aid you in expanding your professional network and help tremendously when looking for an internship or a job.”

(Ryan Leddy, KLN)

As a Media Studies and Production student, Ryan Leddy, did not think he would be working at QVC. While he thought he would be working for news and media outlets, he is grateful for all that he learned from the other videographers at QVC. “I want to thank all the videographers I have worked with since January for their time, patience, and insight. I have learned an abundance of knowledge that I can take and apply it to my school work and professional projects. The videographers at QVC are the people that I will never forget because they took the time to sit down with me and teach me everything they could about the industry and share personal stories of their time working in the industry.”

While the QVC summer internship recently concluded, we are hopeful that a few Owls will transition to a full-time position after graduation!  You can apply for QVC positions and many similar opportunities using QVC’s career website and Handshake. Whether you are a freshman looking for an on-campus internship or part-time job, or you are a senior beginning your full-time job search for after graduation, Handshake’s unique blend of job and internship postings is sure to contain the opportunity that is just right for you!

GlaxoSmithKline Helped Him Transfer His Technical Skills to the Real World

Rising senior biochemistry major, Anthony Alcancia, spoke with us about his internship experience at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) last summer and fall. Learn more about how this College of Science and Technology student was able to apply the skills he learned in the classroom at a Fortune 500 company…

What company did you intern with and what is your position?

GlaxoSmithKline – I was a Topical Product Development Analyst in the Dermatology Department

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

I worked alongside researchers and analytical chemists in the analytical lab of the Dermatology Department. A typical day entails performing analytical tests in the lab, writing/submitting experiment reports, and attending/presenting at department meetings. The work focused on the physical analysis of creams, gels, and ointments in the early stage of product development. In addition to aiding investigators in performing experiments, I also conducted independent research on solubility studies and shelf-life method development. I presented my research at the GSK Dermatology Symposium and the GSK Science Sharing Day. I worked full-time during the summer and part-time during the fall semester.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I discovered the opportunity by searching online for summer internships near my area. I applied through the company’s career website by submitting the job application, resume, and cover letter online. A few weeks after applying online, I was contacted by HR to set up a phone interview with the hiring manager. The phone interview with the hiring manager was about an hour long. She asked about past experiences, background, and walked through my resume. A week later, I was asked to come to the site for an-in-person interview. It was about three and half hours consisting of a tour of the lab, a lunch with employees, and a sit-down interview with the manager and employees. I was asked about my academic background, previous research, college involvement, a behavioral questioning segment, and technical knowledge questions.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

In the pharmaceutical industry specifically, your technical understanding and skills are very important. Most of the concepts and procedures you learn in your science courses are applied in the lab and expanded on to great lengths. Employers expect you to have an in-depth understanding of your field and have the ability to demonstrate your understanding.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

Apply! Always be actively looking for opportunities throughout the year. Be open-minded and apply to any opportunity you feel would potentially be a good fit for you. There are a lot of opportunities out there, but you must apply to have a chance.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

Again. Apply! I wouldn’t worry too hard about trying to present yourself in an interview or application in the way “you think you should.” Really expressing your own individual strengths and interests and not just saying the standard response to questions is important because interviewers can easily distinguish between the two. Sometimes it may seem frustrating and not-worth-the-effort to apply to a whole bunch of internships you might not get, but it is also a great learning experience and when you finally get one you will look back and see that it was all worth it in the end.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

If you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry, whether it be the science side or the business side, GSK has a great, well-organized, and professional internship program which really integrates students into the company’s workflow. The were many events set up for interns, as well as company events, that provide opportunities for interns to experience, learn, and network with others.