Internship Spotlight – Andras Szep, Capital One

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Andras Szep is a double major in MIS and Physics.  He is graduating in May of 2019.  This summer, Andras interned for Capital One as the Business Analyst in Washington D.C..

How did you get this internship?  I first found out about the internship opportunity at Capital One through an information session that was organized as part of the Eller Expo. I found it really intriguing that Capital One embraces technological advances and relies on its own expertise to build solutions tailored to their customers’ needs. Later, I was further attracted to the internship when I learned about the significance of data driven approaches and design thinking mindset at Capital One. Therefore, as someone who is interested in working on big data analytics and new technological solutions, I thought a Capital One internship was the right fit. After applying, Capital One invited me for a case interview at Eller. For the second round of interviews, they flew my out to Plano, TX for a “power day” of four interviews in a row. Shortly after I got back to Tucson from Texas, I was excited to get the call about an offer for the summer.

What was a typical day like? At the beginning of the internship, I was given a problem statement, a list of people to reach out to with questions, and a set of tables to access in order to find an answer to the problems. Essentially my job entailed making various hypotheses, pulling data using advanced SQL from large datasets (with >5 million lines), and analyzing the SQL outputs using Excel to verify the hypotheses. Finally, based on what I learned, I had to make data driven recommendations and present those to various teams as well as the Vice President. Throughout the project, I often had to rely on math skills and critical thinking to solve smaller challenges or to come up with solutions to difficulties.

What was your favorite part of the experience? I think one of the most important things that I gained from the internship are the connections that I got to make. Through day-to-day work and team bonding events, such as Geoguesser, which quickly became my favorite. I really got to know a wide variety of personalities with very diverse backgrounds but a mutual drive for success. While I suspect that some of the people I met might switch over to different companies or lines of business over their career, I think having them as a connection will be very valuable going forward. Thus, for me, meeting great people was the best part of the experience. (A close second was that Capital One paid for a trip to Disney World in Florida for the interns!)

If you worked on a big project, please describe it below: I was working in the Small Business Card section of Capital One on a project that impacted almost 30,000 accounts and $2 billion in purchase volume annually. Essentially, my job was to find different segments within the accounts that were upgraded from one product to another. After identifying over 700 segments, I had to locate ones with deferentially poor performance or untapped potential, and develop policy change recommendations to combat their performance.

What did you find most challenging about your internship? The first week of the internship felt a little bit like being dropped into deep water and being told to swim largely due to the immense learning curve that interns had to go through. However, I have not felt lost at any point during the internship as I always had someone (my mentor, my manager, or my teammates) to ask questions from. Later on, the most challenging part of the intern project stemmed from the fact that there was no definite scope given for the project, but instead, we had to come up with the scope ourselves. I believe that the scope that I chose for my project might have been slightly broader than optimal, which meant that I had to work longer hours and more effectively to reach the results I wanted.

What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship? I think the most important tip I can give is to ask questions. Going into the internship, I was a little hesitant about asking questions at first as I did not want to bother/annoy my teammates with seemingly small problems or difficulties. However, I quickly learned that interns are expected to ask a lot of questions and that most people at Capital One are happy to help as they have been in the same shoe as the interns themselves at some point in their career. Therefore, I would encourage anyone working at Capital One to have the confidence to ask question from day one – it will not only make the learning curve easier but will also set up one’s project for success.

How did Eller prepare you for your internship? Eller helped me gain the hard skills (such as Excel skills or SQL skills) needed for success at my internship. Additionally, classes like BCOM helped me get more confident with writing reports and creating presentations – which I had to do on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Finally, finance and economics classes made it easier for me to understand the business terminology used at Capital One and made my learning curve easier.

Did your internship employer provide housing or transportation assistance? No, my employer did not provide any housing or transportation assistance.