Southwestern Students Spend Summer Working at the Federal Reserve Bank
September 12, 2019
September 12, 2019
This summer, I served as a human-resources (HR) analyst intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in Dallas, Texas. I worked throughout the entire HR department, working with subdepartments to better understand their operations and business needs.
My main project this summer consisted of auditing and analyzing current manual HR processes and determining an effective automated solution for these inefficient processes. I have been working with stakeholders to comprehensively understand their business needs in order to best design SharePoint sites and Nintex workflows that increase departmental communication, efficiency, and collaboration. My day-to-day responsibilities consisted of creating and designing SharePoint sites and workflows based on consultations with HR team members, in which they informed me of their processes that were time consuming, ineffective, and could benefit from streamlining. I then took their desires and implemented them into SharePoint by designing sites and workflows that fulfilled their unique needs. On completion, I met with each team again to gain their feedback to ensure the tools met their business objectives. This role required numerous partnerships, not only with those in HR but also across the bank to further develop my knowledge of Nintex workflows and to better understand the inner-workings of the bank.
This has been a priceless learning experience for me, from gaining transferable skills to understanding the inner workings of HR and the culture of a quasigovernmental organization. I am extremely grateful for this experience, the people I have met, and all that I have learned, and I would do it all over again. I have met some amazing people during my time at the bank; I have developed close friendships and mentorships with my coworkers, and they have made this an enjoyable experience for me. The people are truly the greatest strength of the Federal Reserve.
If I went to a nonliberal-arts university, I would have not been as successful during this internship; my studies have provided me with a diversified and broad knowledge that allowed me to bring a well-rounded perspective and in-depth problem-solving.
I believe this internship complemented my majors and minors. The work I did resembled an overlap of many of my studies at Southwestern and made me so grateful for my liberal-arts degree. If I went to a nonliberal-arts university, I would have not been as successful during this internship; my studies have provided me with a diversified and broad knowledge that allowed me to bring a well-rounded perspective and in-depth problem-solving. It is an understatement to say that my professors prepared me well for my future because I truly owe it to them (and my mom, of course).
Overall, this internship has made me realize what I want to do in my future. Going into this internship, I had already completed two internships, and I thought I knew what I wanted to do postgrad. But after this internship, I can say I was wrong. I realized that the work I do in the future must be meaningful and I must find value in it; my future career must have a positive impact on the greater good, and I need to be able to understand that impact. This internship allowed me to not only grow professionally but personally as well. I understand what I need in a job to feel satisfied, and I know how to find a role that makes me feel that way.
Alex [Joseph ’20, economics major and data science minor] and I were actually on a team together to analyze the current culture of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and offer suggestions on how they could create a more inclusive, open environment. We were able to incorporate many ideas we learned in our classes at Southwestern, such as our business and economics classes as well as our social-justice coursework, to bring a broad perspective on how the culture of the Fed could be improved. Our team was made up of three other interns, spanning from treasury services and communications to information technology and banking.
This project, and the program as a whole, allowed us to network and meet individuals from all across the country. The bank offered programs and training sessions to increase our experience and skill sets that made us all more marketable, well-rounded professionals in the future. In a program of over 50 interns, it was amazing to see two interns representing a small liberal-arts school from Georgetown, Texas, and we think it truly reflects how the Southwestern Experience prepares and markets us for the best opportunities. We are proud that we were both able to represent Southwestern at the Fed and have this opportunity. We were able to gain real transferable skills that were grounded in our knowledge and the effective thinking that Southwestern has helped us develop.