At the Mike Cottrell College of Business students are challenged to pursue opportunities that lie beyond what they deem possible. Getting business experience is important, even if it isn’t in your major field, because it can give you the competitive advantage necessary to become a stronger graduate.
Brigette Kinkade is a senior marketing student at the Mike Cottrell College of Business along with being the life and health centralized operations intern at State Farm Insurance headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois. Her key day-to-day activities include: utilizing project management and reporting tools to lead projects, document solutions, coordinate work with business knowledge experts, and support an environment of process improvement.
Although Brigette is a marketing major, she pursued an internship in a different field to give her exposure to the corporate atmosphere, “When I applied for this position, the job description wasn’t exactly what I was looking for as a marketing student, but by asking questions during my interview I realized the corporate experience would benefit me in the long run.”
In preparation for her internship, Brigette states that courses such as management, business communications, and business information systems really gave her an advantage within her internship. “Business information systems has especially helped me within my internship because it polished my Excel skills along with teaching me key system vocabulary that I hear on a day-to-day basis,” expressed Brigette.
Furthermore, Brigette revealed that being involved in various clubs and organizations provided the opportunities she needed to obtain an internship along with preparing her as a professional in the corporate workplace. Brigette specified, “The American Marketing Association helped me develop necessary soft skills, the Cottrell Scholars allowed me to gain experience in all different fields of business through volunteer work, and Confidence UNG gave me the assurance to be outspoken along with the courage to put myself out there.”
When we asked Brigette about her post-graduation plans she responded, “So far my plans are open ended. I may decide to work for State Farm in Georgia or choose a completely different career path. Either way, this internship at the State Farm headquarters has opened so many doors for me, and I now have experience working for a fortune 500 company.”
Brigette temporarily lived with other State Farm interns in Illinois for the summer. After a day at work, the interns enjoyed going downtown to shop, watching movies, visiting record stores, and hanging out in cafés.
Applying for an internship doesn’t have to be the end all be all for your decision on a career. Internships are meant to give you business experience in a real-world setting along with the opportunity to discover a career concentration that you haven’t considered before.