Career Wisdom 4 You Series Mission: To serve invaluable insider wisdom to college students across the globe as they work towards having an impactful & healthy career.
Featured Guest For Wisdom Session#12: Stefanie Fackrell, Inclusion, Equity & Belonging Business Partner at Samsung Research America. Previously worked at NVIDIA, Google, and Apple.
(Disclaimer: The expressed opinions below are solely Stefanie Fackrell’s and not of Samsung Research America or former employers.)
Question 1: How should students best maximize their internships?
Network, network, network and learn every chance you get! Every internship is an opportunity to expand your network and build relationships. Obviously, as an Intern your top priority should be to come in and absolutely CRUSH the project you are working on but you also have opportunities to reach out to engineers to build your network; within your immediate team but also across the organization. Don’t be shy! Send your colleagues a message and ask to sit down for coffee, lunch or just to learn more about them/their career path or what they are working on. Most companies have a Lunch & Learn series. I suggest reaching out to the speakers afterwards (if the topic interests you). If you are assigned a mentor, make sure every moment counts with them! If your company has any internal learning systems, utilize them!
Question 2: What skills and personal characteristics do you feel contribute most to success in your industry?
I think technical skills will speak for themselves, so be sure to refresh your resume and have multiple versions for different employers and different jobs. Always keep updating with new skills/experiences that highlight growth over your Internships/career.
Personal characteristics: Professionalism, Integrity, Curiosity, Entrepreneurial spirit, openness to new ideas and viewpoints. And a willingness to learn – no matter how smart you are!
Question 3: What are the biggest early-career mistakes to avoid?
Limiting yourself by not being open to trying new things. I suggest staying open and exploring- maybe your dream job isn’t what you went to school for. Your dream job may be something you never imagined. Be open to the unknown. Also, stay open to learning. I think coming out of school you may think you know it all but really, you don’t. Don’t miss out on learning new things because you think you have everything figured out.