Inside the Internships Part 4: Reflections from Students and Employers

Veronica Ng

Attended Fort Hamilton High School
Interned at Deloitte

What was the best thing you learned this summer?

During my time at Deloitte I learned management, communication, and technical skills. All of these skills allowed me to develop a smooth workflow and this will benefit me in college and my future career.

What was your favorite part about this internship experience?

My favorite part about this internship experience was being able to enjoy what I do at work. I was excited to come into work every day and motivated to exceed the expectations of my supervisors.

Do you feel more confident about college and future career possibilities after this internship?

I feel more confident after this internship because it has given me insight about what I should be doing in college in order to build my professional career. For example, I will be taking introductory courses in the School of Management program at my college for a future career in Accounting and Management.

Do you feel your VEI experience properly prepared you for this internship?

Through the VEI course at my high school, I was given the opportunity to develop my people and career-management skills, which I got to apply at my internship. VEI also offered events where I learned how to be a self-starter, financial literacy, and job-readiness skills. These events provided information that could not be learned in a regular class setting.

Would you recommend future VEI students pursue an internship if they get a chance?

I would recommend future VEI students pursue an internship because there is so much to learn and experience. An internship enables one to expand one’s abilities and skills and exposes you to challenges that you will encounter in any future career.

It is an opportunity that VEI students with initiative should pursue.



Joe Delaney

Deloitte

How did Deloitte's relationship with VEI begin?

In the summer of the year 2000, VEI founder Iris Blanc invited Joe Delaney to a VEI Advisory Board meeting at Citicorp to familiarize Joe with how VEI worked within New York City high schools. After this initial meeting, Joe thought Deloitte would perfectly complement VEI’s mission to train young high school students for professional careers in business. Joe further realized that Deloitte would welcome the opportunity to offer their young professional staff the chance to mentor and coach young high school students in business. These Deloitte professionals would serve as outstanding role models for VEI students and provide great assistance to the VEI teacher/coordinators.

Why did you choose to add a VEI intern to your team?

There was a pressing need to have an intern help us during the summer period when certain Deloitte administrative professionals would be on well-deserved summer vacations. In addition, there was no salary cost to Deloitte to engage the VEI intern because of a generous grant from JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Choosing a Deloitte VEI intern to be on our team was a definite win/win.

Describe what it was like to work with Veronica during the summer

Working with Veronica was like dealing with a member of our Deloitte professional staff. However, this came as no surprise to me as Veronica had been mentored for a full school year by Deloitte VEI volunteers at Fort Hamilton High School. It seemed as if Veronica had been a member of our Deloitte family since September of her senior year in high school and thus she acted and performed just like a Deloitte professional.

In what ways did Veronica contribute to Deloitte?

Veronica worked on projects to update our Client Relationship Management program which is vital to our marketing efforts. She also did research for an important Deloitte client meeting and helped our Deloitte marketing group prepare an upcoming national presentation of Deloitte professional services. As a Deloitte marketing manager told me about Veronica’s work, “I can’t say enough good things about all the work Veronica has done for Deloitte marketing.”

Another Deloitte manager in our alumni relations program said, “Veronica is an exceptional intern and she’s an asset to any team. She understood the value of the Alumni Relations program and was very enthusiastic about the projects that were assigned. Veronica was diligent in completing her projects and delivered quality work. The projects assigned to Veronica helped develop skills in Excel, internet research, database maintenance (LinkedIn Recruiter & Salesforce), and tracking RTrak [a recruitment tracking system] revenue. She’s an outstanding young professional! I would welcome the opportunity to work with her again.”

What kind of development did you notice in Veronica’s skills, professionalism, interest in accounting, and/or future plans for college and career?

I noticed an enhancement of her computer application skills through her association with the Deloitte professionals on her assignments. There was not much to teach Veronica about professionalism since she was a VEI graduate, mentored by Deloitte professionals, who emphasized to her throughout the school year what is expected of a professional at Deloitte.

Veronica fully understands that a Deloitte professional is defined by their willingness to serve our clients first and foremost, and to exceed the expectations of their Deloitte managers and clients for whom they work for. These lessons will be very important for Veronica to take with her to college.

What was your favorite part of having Veronica around the office?

My favorite part of having Veronica around the office was to see her working in the environment of a professional service firm office when only months ago we were mentoring her and coaching her in a high school classroom.

Would you be willing to bring on one or more VEI interns next summer?

Yes, and hopefully these VEI interns would come from VEI high schools that Deloitte professionals mentor during the school year.

Would you be confident recommending a VEI intern like Veronica to other organizations?

Absolutely. I am certain Veronica would be outstanding at any other organization she would choose to work at because of her VEI training and her coaching/mentoring from Deloitte.


Suveer Seemangal

Attended Queens Vocational and Technical High School
Interned at Solarus Technologies


What was the best thing you learned this summer?

The best lesson I learned is that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re unsure of something. In high school my teachers always told me “don’t be afraid to ask questions.” I wasn’t scared, but like most students, I didn’t want to be the kid who didn’t understand something, so I would rather try to figure something out for myself. When I started the internship at Solarus Tech, it was a completely different setting since I wasn’t familiar with the IT world and I asked my supervisor and coworkers about ten or more questions each day.

Being pushed out of my comfort zone allowed me to grow as a student, professional, and as a person. I’ve gained knowledge that I now implement in my daily life, and hope to continue to use throughout the future.

What was your favorite part about this internship experience?

My favorite part about this internship experience was being able to attend different meetings with my supervisor Matthew. I have a strong interest in sales and marketing, so it was very beneficial to tag along with Matthew to his sales meetings to see how he makes sales and interacts with clients. Not only did I learn more about Solarus Tech as a business, but I observed and learned a lot about people. I observed what people will react to, how to get emotion out of someone, how to speak in terms of the other person’s interest, and countless other lessons. I don’t think that any of this would have been possible if not for my internship at Solarus Tech.

Do you feel more confident about college and future career possibilities after this internship?

Yes, I think the VEI experience prepared me more than I could’ve ever imagined. The transition to the internship from having the VEI experience was seamless. When I started working, it felt as if I already knew what to do, how to act, and how to respond to certain scenarios; I didn’t have to be “retrained” about business or office etiquette. I learned those values and principles from VEI. I’m sure other students will agree that from the first day we stepped foot into a VEI classroom, we are no longer in a classroom, but rather a business in a professional world. With the preparation myself and other students received, we are surely ten steps ahead of other students and maybe even adults, in today’s world.

Do you feel your VEI experience properly prepared you for this internship?

Absolutely. I think this internship allowed me to learn a lot about myself, and also about what I want in a career. I learned better time management skills, which will definitely be a huge benefit when I’m juggling multiple tests and projects during finals week.

I also learned that I love working and interacting with people. I love having a conversation whether it’s just a “hello” or about a complex sale. Constant interaction with other people is something I want my future career to offer. After having this internship experience, I have a clearer road map on how to achieve my dream job and career.

Would you recommend future VEI students pursue an internship if they get a chance?

YES, YES, YES, ABSOLUTELY, if you are a student in VEI please try and pursue an internship opportunity. The real beauty of an internship is in the learning experience itself. What the internship does for you is worth more than the paycheck, and more than an impressive résumé. You will build character, networks, professional relationships, and learn things about yourself that wouldn’t be possible without this kind of opportunity.

For the students in VEI, we all know someone who wakes up every morning and dreads going to work. Chances are they weren’t able to participate in VEI, or they didn’t use VEI to its full potential. VEI’s internship program is a golden ticket to your professional future.

Use it to its full potential and eventually you will learn more about yourself and get professional experience, you will find the career you love, you will build your networks, and you will be in a far better position in life.

It starts now, you just have to seize the opportunity.


Matthew Nikravesh

President of Solarus Technologies

What does your company do and what are your core values and philosophies?

Solarus is an IT consulting firm. We cater to small and medium-sized businesses and become their full IT staff. We handle everything from initial setup to day-to-day management and monitoring. Additionally, we install and maintain phone systems

Describe what it was like to work with Suveer during the summer:

Working with Suveer was simply refreshing. He is very cordial, professional, and eager to learn. If all high school student had his drive and eagerness it would be amazing.

In what ways did Suveer most help your organization?

Suveer primarily helped by providing an extra set of hands for our engineering team and also attending meetings. Suveer provided feedback on our website and suggested some improvements.

Did you notice any development in Suveer’s skills, professionalism, interest in technology, and/or concrete thinking about his future path/career throughout the summer? If so can you describe what you noticed?

Yes, Suveer gained a better understanding of technology and the engineering aspect, which he decided isn’t for him, but because of this we helped him finalize his intended college major.

We discovered that Suveer enjoys sales and business development, so we have offered him a part-time job which he accepted.

What was your favorite part of having Suveer around the office?

It was great to have an outside person giving us feedback on our operations and suggestions for improvements.

Would you be willing to bring on one or more VEI interns next summer?

Yes, 100%

Would you be confident recommending a VEI intern like Suveer to other organizations?

Yes, 100%

 


Exclusive Featured Intern
jamal

Jamal Williams

Attended Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School
Interned at Guttman Community Colleges’ IT Help Desk.

What did you do at this company?

I worked at the Help desk, which is a service Guttman provides to assist students with any technological difficulties they may experience. I answered student questions, relocated workstations for Guttman employees, assisted with the imaging of laptops, and set up phones.

What projects were you involved in?

There was a student who came to the helpdesk with a broken laptop. He had no idea what was wrong with it and had absolutely no interest in repairing it, because he was so tired of the machine. We helped diagnose his machine and also used his input to recommend the most appropriate new laptop for him to purchase.

I was also challenged to take apart an Optiplex 990 (the best desktop at Guttman) and rebuild it. I completed the challenge in a little over 2 hours, which was pretty fast for a first build.

What was the best thing you learned this summer?

There was no “best thing” that I’ve learned this summer since I learned so much. In addition to learning how to build and fix a computer, I developed my people skills, learned what it takes to be a valuable asset to a company, learned how to work efficiently in a group, and most importantly, I developed several plans for my life and future career path.

What was your favorite part about this internship experience?

My favorite experience during my internship was randomly having a computer placed on my desk and being told to take it apart. It was a good experience for me because before my internship I never really thought that learning the hardware aspect of computers mattered if I want to develop software. I now know how important it is to understand how hardware and software communicate in order to be able to efficiently write good software.

I also built a pretty good computer with the knowledge I picked up at work.

Do you feel more confident about college and future career possibilities after this internship?

I feel so much more confident about college and my future career possibilities. Before the internship, I knew what I wanted to do but I wasn’t sure how I would get enough knowledge in the field and I didn’t have a set plan on how to reach my goals. Now I have a plan for college and my career path.

Do you feel your VEI experience properly prepared you for this internship?

My internship coupled with VEI was perfect, mainly because I plan on studying Business Administration and Computer Science.

Would you recommend future VEI students pursue an internship if they get a chance?

YES! My experience this summer was amazing. Even if you don’t get a chance to work in your desired field, I would still recommend pursuing the internship possibilities VEI has to offer. You will learn a lot of transferable knowledge. Besides learning, you will also have plenty of chances to build your network.



Thanks to JPMorgan Chase Foundation for making these internships possible, to the participating students for their responses, and to the employers for hosting these experiences.

Go to Part 1: Meet the Students
Go to Part 2: The First Week
Go to Part 3: Halfway Point

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