Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Al Endres, '16, Reflects on Xerox & Euronext Internships

Hear from Al Endres, '16 (Business & French), one of our Career Center PCAs!
It's like two degrees outside; you know what that means! Never going outside no matter what and watching Friends reruns in my room all day Believe it or not, winter will end at some point, so it’s probably time to try and figure out what you’re going to do for the summer.

If you want to do an internship or research, now is when you should start making moves. In case you were unaware, the Career Center would be a good place to start. Once you’ve got your resume, cover letters, et al. in line, start looking around online, make appointments in the Career Center, and figure out what it is you want to do, and where you’re going to apply.

Despite the fact that I’m employed by the Career Center, I put off the internship search basically as long as possible last year, and still found a full-time, paid internship through CareerLink. I probably wouldn’t recommend procrastinating until April like I did, but I ended up with a really good experience working for Xerox here in Rochester this past summer. Highlights included lots of free lunches (chill out, Econ majors/Rizzo disciples, I know it wasn't technically free, you get what I'm saying), going rock climbing, and spending a workday at a Rochester Red Wings Game. Not to mention, lots of U of R students usually stay in Rochester over the summer for one reason or another, so not only did I have a productive working summer, I also had a pretty good time (note: go to Park Ave Fest if you haven't).

At Xerox, I learned a good deal of practical skills that I'll use in other work experiences, as well. I gained valuable knowledge in Excel, statistical analysis, and presentation skills that I will undoubtedly use in the future. While I received a good deal of training on the job for a lot of what I learned, I had a high degree of agency as an intern--most of what I learned came from just figuring things out for myself. Most importantly, working as Business Analyst at Xerox shed some light on what I want to do for a career, and what type of firm I'd like to work at (and, equally as important, what I don't want).

After my summer internship ended, I interned in financial lobbying during my semester abroad in Brussels, Belgium. I got placed there through EPA, which puts students in a 25 hour/week internship while you take two courses. In Brussels, the de facto capital of the European Union, I worked for Euronext, a European exchange representing Belgium, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK. A typical week included attending meetings (in either English or French) with Members of European Parliament, at think-tanks, the European Commission, and European Parliament. Though most of everything was over my head at first, I learned a ton about the financial sector and the workings of the EU. At my internship, I was fortunate enough to attend European Commission hearings, and ECON Committee meetings, the highlight of which was seeing Mario Draghi speak--he's the President of the European Central Bank, and Forbes' 8th most powerful person of 2014. 

So far I've had really good intern experiences, and Xerox definitely made Euronext a possibility for me. I'm not sure if I want to go into business analysis lobbying, but they were still an awesome experience, and I was able to do things, go places, and meet people that would've never been possible otherwise. 

See more Student Internship Stories here!

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