As a Summer Associate at UPMC, it is important to work hard individually and complete meaningful projects as well as develop relationships with your colleagues. Campus Programs set up multiple opportunities for interns to converse with top executives of many departments such as finance, human resources, IT, and marketing. Examples of these exposure opportunities include the Pirates game and Executive Spotlight events. The Pirates game allows summer associates and executives to meet in a fun and casual setting. It is a great time to come together with your fellow interns and co-workers while cheering on the Buccos, and it provides the chance for questions you may have to be answered by executives who were in your position at one point in their career. Parallel, the Executive Spotlight events showcase leaders across a variety of divisions, which allow you to learn more about UPMC as a whole even though you are only interning for one aspect of the company. The series allows interns to ask questions and receive advice from senior management in the different departments.
Networking is important, and as an intern, it is crucial that you step out of your comfort zone in order to set up meetings with your colleagues. It can never hurt to send an email and ask to meet for a lunch date or coffee break. At UPMC, leaders of the various departments want to see you succeed and will meet with you, but cannot if you do not reach out to them! Once you have a meeting time decided, do your “homework” and be prepared with a few questions you may have for your colleague after researching his/her particular job or department. This shows initiative that you take an interest in the company and want to learn as much as possible in the short period of time that you are interning. In addition, it is important to take notes during your meeting because you are learning from someone who has more experience and knowledge. After your meeting, always make sure to send a follow-up thank you, for that person did not have to meet with you, but chose to.
At UPMC, I made it a personal goal to network with as many executives and employees as possible. I have learned so much from my different meetings, whether with a CFO, manager of a division, or leader in the HR department. Networking provides you opportunities to not only learn something new every day but also to develop relationships that may become valuable in your future career. UPMC executives are leaders of the company and the top leaders in the region; and I am grateful for all of the meetings that I have had during my time as a summer associate.
By Trevor Colvin, Summer Associate