Internship Kick-starts Career
For Lauren Niver 05, leveraging connections through Southwestern University Career Services and extracurricular involvement helped her grow professionally, integrate theoretical classroom knowledge with hands-on experience and, ultimately, secure a position at Austin high-tech firm National Instruments (NI).
Niver, a business and communication studies major, connected with another Southwestern University alumna, Julianne Pierce Bash 96, through Career Services on-campus recruiting program and earned the first-ever community relations summer intern position in National Instruments marketing department after her junior year.
Lauren was a natural fit for the team, says Bash. She brought a strong skill set and level of creativity and maturity not often seen in interns. Lauren impressed my colleagues, the company leadership and me. Southwestern student interns are developing a strong reputation at NI and in the Austin business community.
Networking with contacts like Bash continued to be the most powerful strategy for other graduates of the Class of 2005 searching for employment. The Internet and Southwestern University Career Services were also popular means of connecting to employment. Nationwide, employers also rely heavily on internship programs to identify and train top talent to convert to full-time employment.
Nivers performance on the NI teams student outreach initiatives, such as RoboLab Mania!, and employee philanthropy projects, such as NIs annual Fall Giving Campaign, earned her a second internship semester and then an offer to join the company full-time. She now heads the Community Connections program, focusing on employee philanthropy and volunteerism.
SU provides an amazing network that should be utilized throughout the undergrad experience and not be overlooked by alums, notes Bash. Returning to SU to recruit was one of the best business decisions Ive made, and I am excited about the positive impact Lauren will make in Central Texas and around the world through her work at NI.
Nivers success came from planning and hard work, including taking advantage of the resources and experiences available to her on campus. Not only did the help I received from Career Services help me obtain a great internship and, later, a full-time position with NI, says Niver, but also the experiences I had through programs like the Etiquette Dinner and Networking Basics allowed me to strengthen skill sets learned in school that I utilize on a day-to-day basis at NI.
As a full-time member of the NI team, Niver says, I now plan on recruiting for NI marketing interns at Southwestern. I think the opportunities and experiences that students like myself gain through internships are invaluable in providing great skill sets and overall work/study experiences that help lead to career development and full-time job offers.
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