Voices

How will you shape your future?

Next week, we’ll welcome more than 3,400 of our interns from 30-plus countries to Orlando to celebrate a very important career milestone — completion of their EY internship. Over the past six weeks, our interns have been immersed in our business, gained firsthand experience with clients, traveled the world as part of our Global Student Experience and explored new technologies as part of our Digital Ambassador Program.

On this #NationalInternDay, what can you start doing now to help you find an internship experience that’s more than just a line on a resume? Here are a few tips to help you with your search:

Don’t let your major define your opportunities. If you’re pursuing a traditional major such as accounting or business, or even a liberal arts degree, consider exploring which minors can further assist your career journey (e.g., a minor in data analytics). Even just one or two classes outside of your comfort zone could provide a greater understanding of technology and open doors to careers and companies you may have never considered. There’s no doubt that the skills our incoming professionals need are constantly evolving.

Meeting so many students on campus with a vast array of backgrounds have led us to believe that your generation, Gen Z, is curious and craving opportunities to learn. In fact, our 2018 survey of our Gen Z interns showed that 84 percent cite the potential for career progression and growth as a main priority when looking for an employer. Research companies who will continue to invest in your future once you join them, even as an intern.

Seek opportunities for better. We know your generation aspires to not just grow professionally, but personally as well. And to do your best work, we also know that you need to be living your best life. The demands of your time, whether professional or personal, can sometimes feel overwhelming, which is why it’s important to find a supportive environment that helps you achieve the vitality needed to perform at your best. By finding opportunities that allow you to thrive both personally and professionally, your generation can help us on our mission to build a better working world.

Be a “noodler.” It’s okay to not have the answers right away. Your mindset — the ability to analyze, innovate, think and act globally — is more important than ever. For Gen Z, having the right mindset is key to succeeding in the workplace. In fact, 70 percent of our interns surveyed last year believe that it is more important to be seen as having a curious and open mindset than it is to have a specific skill or expertise. Find a company that cultivates those mindsets and that empowers you to ask questions, take time to step away and think, and to even fail fast and learn. At EY, having this kind of culture means embracing values like inclusiveness, collaboration, openness and flexibility that allows our interns to be fearless innovators.

As you start your internship searches, remember that you will also have the chance to “interview” all the employers you connect or speak with. Ask questions around the company’s purpose, speak up about the skills you’re interested in learning during the internship, or ask how committed the organization is to diversity efforts. Internships are exciting and can help to further shape your short- and long-term career goals.

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