Christine Presiados shares her summer internship: Intensive work, critical thinking, team building, and serving some of the most challenging clients—the entire experience was a taste of the real world.
By Christine Presiados.
This is the third in a series written by UH Hilo students about their 2016 summer internship experiences.
Professors quite often nudge students about the importance of “gaining experiences to make you more marketable.” It was easy for me to believe. Midway through my college career, I was desperate for experience, particularly in business. I was willing to commute anywhere on the island, and getting paid was the least of my concerns.
Luckily, I found a summer internship opportunity as a management trainee at Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Kona on the Big Island.
I was determined to get this internship. I immediately applied. I also asked Dr. Drew Martin, current interim dean of College of Business and Economics, for advice and mock interviews. He was confident that my positive personality and work ethic was fit for a job that required “tough skin” (and so it was).
To illustrate how competitive the position is, I was required to pass three interviews, a phone interview with the talent acquisition, then a face-to-face interview with the talent acquisition and finally a face-to-face with the branch and area manager. After three rigorous days of orientation, I knew I was investing in my future.
I spent three months under the beating Kona sunshine working with customers, both local and those traveling to Hawai‘i from all over the world. I was able to show management and customers my ability to strive and excel at every turn. Customers as well as level three managers, saw the fire in me.
After almost 50 hours a week of intensive work, critical thinking, team building, and serving some of the most challenging clients, I can say that the entire experience was undoubtedly a taste of the “real world.” This internship allowed me to apply the concepts I’ve learned in the classroom and then master it in the workplace in a way that provides excellent customer service, management and sales, all in one intensive summer.
In essence, gaining experience is quite important during your college career. More than just the textbook and classroom activities, internships offer skills in areas such as diversity, ethics, social interaction, critical thinking, effective communication and leadership, management systems, individualism, perseverance, and everything an organization handles to successfully deliver their purpose.
The abilities I’ve honed, at Enterprise Rent-a-Car and other jobs and internships, prove that I can be a real asset to an organization, which sets me apart from other job applicants after graduation.
I look forward to using this experience to better the economy and environment in our Hawai‘i communities.
Also in this series on summer internships:
-UH Hilo Stories