Lauren Tolin is a management information systems major who will graduate in May 2019. She interned this summer as an Operations Summer Analyst for Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, Utah.
How did you get this internship?
I landed my first interview for the internship through Handshake. I participated in the coffee chat that was held at Eller and from there kept moving through the interview process.
Describe your typical day.
A typical day at my internship began at 7 a.m., when I would check emails, update my calendar and schedule meetings, and read The Wall Street Journal. From there my daily work consisted of reviewing 50-100 accounts per week. You could review the accounts at your own pace which was nice because it allowed for a flexible schedule throughout the day. Aside from daily work, we constantly had meetings with other teams, divisions and management. A really great part of the internship is that the firm encourages networking with whomever and whatever division interests us. Because of this, I set up numerous coffee chats with VPs, Eller alum, etc. Lastly, there were intern networking events every week that included speaker series, workshops and team info sessions. My day ended around 5 p.m.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
The people! Everyone is so willing to help–you just have to ask! I was constantly surrounded by intellectually curious people which made learning new things fun and challenging in a positive way. The mentorship aspect definitely provided a sense of ease throughout the entire summer, as well.
What was your internship’s big project?
My project consisted of organizing big data into a consumable format for teams and upper management. This required me to understand the information from the big data sets, translate it into a readable format, then polish it into what became an extensive requirement document. I probably spent over 50 hours total to reach the end product. It was amazing to see that the projects every intern worked on were actually being used by management and their teams. It shows that our work will have a lasting impact even after we’re gone.
What did you find most challenging about your internship?
Each problem or challenge did not have a set right or wrong answer. In school, we’re taught to find the right answer in very black-and-white terms. The real world is not so simple. So it was definitely a challenge to continually think outside the box and search for potential solutions, while also trying to understand all the terminology and language of this new business we were working in.
What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship?
Do not doubt yourself! I struggled with confidence when applying for this internship. Thoughts of not being competitive enough, smart enough, etc., more often than not hindered me. Once I pushed those thoughts aside, believed in myself and just applied for the job posting, things really started happening. I surprised myself as I moved along the interview process, and it wasn’t until my Super Day that I really reflected on what I accomplished in just a few weeks.
My biggest advice: The sky is not the limit; you are capable of more than you know!
How did Eller prepare you for your internship?
Eller prepared me by helping me to hone my professionalism, presentation skills, preparedness, networking skills and even classwork expectations. Real-world business demands the best work all the time. Eller taught me to consistently deliver my best work and put my best foot forward all the time. You should never only give partial effort. Through my internship, I found myself especially prepared with business etiquette and knowledge. This allowed me to not only stand out but to help my peers, as well.
Did your internship employer provide housing or transportation assistance?
My employer provided financial assistance for housing, finding a roommate, and transportation services.