International Students - Internship Success Stories

William Y.
William L.
Bachelor's, Applied Math, May 2015
Most Recent Position: Data Analytics and Consulting Intern, Beyond the Arc, San Francisco, CA
Previous Internship(s): Business Development and Customer Service Extern,, Berkeley, CA

What was your role at your most recent internship?

  • Researched the Wealth Management industry to construct a SWOT analysis for a client
  • Evaluated the top 25 banks annual reports in order to rank them by number of accounts for further modeling
  • Leveraged analytical and research skills to assist a predictive maintenance assessment for a public utility client including investigation of 3 MIT case studies, collaborated with two other interns to extract historical weather data by zip code from the Internet for modeling
  • Summarized McKinsey Weekly and a predictive analytics article every week to post on company discussion board
  • Improved the cleaning of tweets by matching and replacing all encodings with corresponding foreign characters in SPSS Modeler and clarified HTML, HEX and Unicode encoding schemes for the analytics team
  • Enhanced social media data cleaning by creating a list of 600+ key terms that are related but irrelevant to financial service, organizing them by complex functions in Microsoft Excel, scripting them into a complex data cleaning stream in SPSS Modeler

How did you find your internship(s)?

 1) Friend's referral 2) Cal Career Center Externship program

 What advice do you have for international students looking for an internship?

  1. Check Callisto [now replaced with Handshake] regularly
  2. Attend more events: There are many info sessions and workshops held by Cal Career Center. They are very cost efficient since one pretty much does not have to do anything besides showing up or signing up. They are great places to learn about industries, companies and individuals (professionals and students with similar passion). If people have time, I highly recommend them to attend the events and network with speakers and attendees there.
  3. Get to know professionals and make friends with people who have much information: Get to know friends who are social and good at attaining information. If they are in the field of your interest, that is even better. For example, my internship during my second summer was through a referral from a good friend. If it wasn't for her, it would be extremely difficult for me to even find out about the internship opportunity. This internship put me in a very good position during last semester's recruiting.  By being friends with these people, I can hear much useful information during regular hangouts with them. By being close friends with some of them, I was informed information that was specifically interesting to me. I could also ask them for certain information.
  4. Don't set too high a standard for yourself in terms of the internship. This piece of advice refers to three things. One, never overestimate oneself. Two, don't dwell on any set-back. Firstly, internship application is very competitive. It has so many factors that people can count on and can't count on. Therefore, no matter how good one thinks he or she is, it is still going to be very difficult. Furthermore, if one thinks oneself as a less qualified candidate during preparation, he or she will only work harder to prepare. Preparation is the key to recruiting. However, by no means I mean losing confidence. Secondly, without setting too high a bar for oneself, he or she tends to apply to more places. This is a key as well. As I mentioned just now, there are many factors that people cannot control during recruiting, so it is important for one to ensure an internship offer by applying to many places, even if they are not as ideal. Thirdly, not constantly having a high standard in heart, it is easier to handle setbacks mentally so that one doesn't dwell and waste time on setbacks. Being emotionally stable and healthy is crucial during the grinding recruiting season.

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