By Catharine Grundling,
Stillman News Writer
Shaliyah Girdner is a junior, double majoring in finance and information technology management.
She is from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. On campus, she was the Treasurer of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Currently, she is studying abroad at the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom, taking classes primarily to fulfill her information technology major.
This past summer, she had the opportunity to intern at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
The Stillman Exchange team interviewed her to learn more about her internship experience.
Q: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
A: My responsibilities at Horizon included analyzing data to assist in the occupancy planning of a renovation.
I also worked on a group project with 20 interns to provide recommendations on improving customer service.
After analyzing data and call centers, we presented the data to management.
I also sat in on various meetings and worked on other projects.
Q: Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ?
A: I chose to apply for an internship at Horizon because I wanted to experience what it was like to work in Corporate America.
Q: How did you go about getting the internship?
A: I uploaded my resume onto Navigator and entered it into the resume books. I was then contacted by a manager from a leadership program called INROAD’s. Their mission is “to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.” Through INROAD’s, I was given the opportunity to interview with Horizon.
Q: What was the most valuable skill that you learned while interning?
A: The most valuable thing that I learned from the internship was the importance of communication.
In order for a project or task to run smoothly, it is crucial that everyone involved knows his or her responsibilities and tasks.
Q: How was learning in a work environment different than learning in a classroom?
A: In the work environment you are expected to meet your deadlines promptly.
Often times when you are late with a task, it holds up a deadline on another person’s part.
Q: What was the company culture like?
A: Horizon has a very friendly environment. The company is very invested in their employee’s growth, whether it be in their career, physically, academically, or personally.
They have incentive programs for furthering your education as well as staying healthy.
Q: What were some skills that you learned at Seton Hall that you used in your internship?
A: Because I have had experience with interviews from the career center, and I was involved with Beta Alpha Psi, an honor society focused on academic and professional excellence, I had some insight on what it would be like to work in a corporate setting.
I also attended many networking events at Seton Hall that helped me learn how to talk to professionals.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are actively searching for internships?
A: It is easy to get discouraged after getting turned down by a company you have applied to.
Rejection happens but you should try to think positive and continue to apply to various types of companies and build a positive rapport with the company’s recruiter so they can contact you if anything opens up.
I was lucky enough to interview with Horizon for three different positions, after the previous interview for a position did not work out.
I was discouraged after the first two interviews did not work out, but I ended up getting the position on the last interview.
Q: What is next for you in your career?
A: I am excited to share that I have accepted an internship with Prudential for their Finance Internship Program for this summer.
This will give me the opportunity to figure out where I want to work in the field of finance.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 7th print edition.
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