I had an amazing time at during my summer internship at Discover Financial Services. I spent a total of ten weeks at the company, during which I had a chance to work on some cool projects that allowed me to use the knowledge that I had gained at university and apply it to solve interesting problems. I also met some incredible people who were excellent teammates and mentors who guided and supported me during the internship, making it a very enjoyable experience.
I felt very valued by my colleagues. They were supportive and helped me tremendously to adapt and adjust to working at the company, through training and mentoring sessions with individual teammates. They also made sure that I always felt comfortable asking questions. During meetings and other ceremonies, I felt that my input was valued and taken into consideration when making decisions. Because of these factors, I felt like an important part of the team throughout the whole ten weeks.
My supervisors provided a huge amount of support and guidance. They defined various goals for me to achieve during the internship, while providing guidance and mentorship which would allow me to achieve those goals. I regularly meet with them to update them on my experience and progress, and I often received very useful feedback in terms of the work I was producing and how I could potentially improve. They were an integral part of making this internship a positive learning experience.
I was fairly busy throughout the internship. My team worked on various projects which provided a healthy amount of interesting and challenging work. I was also given ownership of an extended personal project which I could work whenever I found myself unoccupied with my team’s projects. I never found myself being overwhelmed by the workload or taking work home. Overall, I felt that there was a very healthy work-life balance and a flexible work load.
Within my team, I was given a reasonable amount of responsibility. I would be assigned various tasks and would be expected to be responsible for completing them and demonstrating the actions that I took to my team. I was also given a personal project which I had full responsibility over, where I was given a broad objective and had the opportunity to create a plan and define my own tasks in order to achieve the objective.
During my internship, I developed a wide of technical abilities, such as knowledge of modern frameworks and practices which I found immensely useful upon my return to my studies at university. I also gained a large amount of confidence in my technical abilities which allowed me to set and achieve ambitious goals in regards to my dissertation and other areas of my personal development. Various other skills that I developed such as time and project management were equally useful.
The general atmosphere in the office was very positive. The people were welcoming and open to conversation.
I felt that the internship was extremely well organized. The team which I was part of was well prepared to receive an intern and contained many members who were keen to provide mentorship. The overall goals of the internship were clearly defined and communicated effectively to interns. A huge amount care was given to place interns within teams which matched their technical knowledge and interests. The international travel aspect of the internship was similarly well organized for us by Discover.
Discover invested heavily in my personal training and development. I received extensive training in various areas such as modern technologies and frameworks.
At the end of my internship, I received and accepted an offer to return as a full time employee, as the employment prospects within Discover were appealing. This was motivated by the fact that I felt very valued during my time as an intern and met many employees within Discover who seems happy and motivated to work for the company. Many other interns felt the same and the return offer acceptance rate was very high.
There was an excellent social scene among the interns. Most interns were housed within the same area and it was common to meet up in groups during evenings after work and on weekends. There would be various activities such as basketball, football, video games and movie nights that everyone would be welcome to take part in. This created a very relaxed and fun atmosphere which made it easy to talk to people and make friends.
Accommodation and travel were covered by Discover, so living costs felt very cheap.
The accommodation was are less than an hour away from downtown Chicago, where nightlife can be great.
There were a number of activities to get involved with outside work during the internship. A number of volunteering days are organized companywide every year, which employees, including interns, can choose to take part in. There were also a number of recreational activities which were organized by our program managers specifically for the intern cohort to take part in, such as a boat ride on Lake Michigan, bowling, visits to an arcade and laser tag.
Internship (1-4 Months)