This year, Bottom Line-New York placed 50 of our college students in summer internships at a variety of corporate and non-profit partners. Internships provide a unique opportunity for our students to develop professional skills and build their professional networks. All of the internships were paid or subsidized by generous funders. We’re so grateful to each of the companies and organizations that made this possible, including: BRIC, Children’s Law Center, Citizen Schools, The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Community Voices Heard, Hot Bread Kitchen, iMentor, The Innocence Project, The Jed Foundation, The Jewish Museum, JUMA Ventures, Methodist Hospital, New Teacher Center, Partnership for After School Education (PASE), People.Co, Safe Horizon, Sapient, Start Elevator, and Viacom.
Below, Kassandra Rosales, a rising third-year student at SUNY Albany, explains what she did this summer and what she learned from her time at Sapient, one of Bottom Line’s corporate partners.
Kassandra Rosales interned at Sapient, one of Bottom Line’s corporate partners.
Name: Kassandra Rosales
College: SUNY Albany
College Year: Third
Tell us about Sapient and what you worked on there this summer:
Sapient is a consulting firm that works with other companies like tech companies, retail companies, car companies, banks, etc. They help them develop strategies in order to improve their company’s performance – now or 5 years from now.
For my first project, I worked on the finance team. I was inputting data from media plans, contracts and invoices into “wrap-up sheets” for Sapient’s clients. This allowed Sapient to keep track of how much they were paid and how much they spent for each client. If Sapient used less than the amount in the contract, the company could decide if they wanted that balance back or to use it for another project.
For my second project, I worked in the talent department. I used their talent databases to input information about each candidate and feedback from any interviews. I also did research to find recruiting agencies that focused on the specific careers that Sapient was looking to hire for.
What were the 2-3 skills that were most important for your work this summer?
First, I needed communication skills. There were a lot of things that were new to me so I had to communicate with my supervisor if I didn’t understand something or wanted to be sure that I was doing the work correctly. We had meetings every few days to check in on my progress.
Second, I became a lot more familiar with Excel. Most of my work was done on Excel, and I didn’t have a lot of experience with it before this internship.
Third, I needed researching skills. I learned a lot about where to look, the importance of knowing what specifically I’m looking for, and how to pull out key information when doing research.
What was the best part of your time at Sapient? Biggest challenge you faced?
I really enjoyed the finance work and meeting the employees at Sapient. There were all really nice and I loved hearing about how they got to where they are. For instance, maybe they majored in something totally different than what they do at Sapient. I also enjoyed being in a corporate environment because I’ve worked in schools and non-profits before.
My biggest challenge was a specific assignment – the research project. I hadn’t done a lot of research prior to this job and wanted to make sure that I was completing the project correctly. I spoke with Angela, my manager, before I started the work and she helped me break it down and set up a spreadsheet to organize the information that I was finding. Then I would check-in a few times during the project to make sure I was on the right track. Another Bottom Line intern was doing similar work, so I was able to talk to her as well.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would spend more time getting to know people on different teams at Sapient and learn more about what they do. I feel like I didn’t network as much as I wanted to and so I’d do that more next time around.
Any advice for students who are starting to think about internships for next summer?
Definitely do research on the companies that you would like to intern for, talk to peers who might know more about the companies, and practice your communication and Excel skills now. And, when you’re looking into jobs, be open-minded and flexible.