By Garrett LaBar
Hello fellow Wildcats! My name is Garrett LaBar and I just started my junior year as Finance major. I recently accepted a summer internship with Charles Schwab on a team in their retirement division, based out of Austin, TX. As an intern, I will be assisting with things like portfolio allocation, distributions, and enrollments. What a long but rewarding process receiving this internship was!
I initially started my internship hunt in mid October and the first step was compiling a list of my top choices, which I then narrowed down to about 10 internships. I then had as many people as possible look at my resume and critique it. This included multiple career coaches, old professors, family, and even coworkers at my current internship. Once I was confident in my resume, I did what many say is the hardest way to get noticed…I applied on the website portals, Charles Schwab among them.
Schwab contacted me via email 2 weeks later requesting an initial phone interview. This 1st interview was only about 10 minutes long and the recruiter asked pretty basic behavioral questions. I was then given a 2nd phone interview just before the new year, this time with the team manager. After this 30 minute interview, the team manager said I would be contacted if they wanted another interview. I thought for sure I had blown it.
I waited for 2 weeks and thought I had been eliminated until I received a call saying they would like a final interview. This 3rd interview was held at Charles Schwab’s Phoenix office and was a videoconference with the team in Austin, TX. When I arrived, I was given a tour around the Phoenix operations before my video call and was then escorted into my interview. This time the interview was with 2 people, the team manager and the team lead, and it lasted about an hour and a half. More than anything, it seemed like they really wanted to know who I was and what I have done. I know that may sound generic, but it was really strange compared to what I was expecting. They weren’t too concerned about whether or not I knew the difference between certain retirement accounts, but more concerned about who I was and what I had done to set myself apart from everyone else.
Overall, this final interview was more like a conversation, rather than being drilled with questions, as many would expect. I could tell they wanted to see how I stood out, and if I would be a good fit for the team. I believe the reason for my success during these interviews was being engaged beyond the point of just simply answering their questions. I took every opportunity to ask them questions about the company, their experiences, and what I would potentially be doing as an intern.
I look forward to all the opportunities and challenges that Charles Schwab holds for me this summer in Austin, TX. Bear Down!