Homar Ali with a large KPMG sign

Check out where Heavener students are interning this summer

This summer, students from across the Heavener School of Business gained real-world experience through internships with global and local companies. Internships and externships, where students can gain the same hands-on work experience in a remote learning environment, are a critical piece of the Heavener experience, as they are key to developing skillsets and core competencies that employers seek.

Check out the internships Heavener students are participating in this summer, what they hope to gain from their experiences and what they’ve learned from their internship opportunities.

Taylor Smellie poses for a photo with a large P&G logo sign

Taylor Smellie is completing her internship with P&G.

Taylor Smellie – BABA ’22, MS-ISOM ‘23

Internship: IT Media Analytics & Insights and Marketing Technology Intern | Procter & Gamble | Cincinnati, Ohio

Internship Goal: “Coming into my internship I was hungry for experience in a corporate setting. In my internship experience, I specifically hope to become more comfortable working in the unknown and gray areas when it comes to creating business solutions. Throughout my courses as a student, I have become accustomed to working in known environments with many givens. However, once I began my internship, I realized that so many P&G employees around me were constantly creating innovative solutions with almost no givens. I have watched as employees explore data, create assumptions, and deliver business results all because they are comfortable with the unknown. Additionally, I hope to improve my ability to constantly challenge the process. A key theme I have identified while interning at P&G is that it’s important to think about the way things could be, rather than the way they are. In this sense, I hope to grow as an individual that is empowered to think and act in ways that challenge the current processes.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “So far in my internship experience, one of the biggest lessons I have learned is how important it is to lean on others in times of need. When starting my internship, I knew that I would be working with a small team, so I anticipated asking those team members for help. However, I did not anticipate having such a large community of people willing to help in any way they can. Leaning on others, even those outside of my team and function, helped me to not only create connections with people I otherwise would not have, but also allowed me to learn about so many different aspects of P&G.

Additionally, during my time as an intern at P&G, I have learned the importance of taking initiative. My learning journey regarding initiative was made easier by the fact that most of the employees around me were constantly asking questions and finding new ways to do things. In this sense, I have been able to watch others take initiative day in and day out, which has helped me to identify ways to take initiative myself as an intern. One example was taking the initiative to create a community of North America (NA) Marketing Technology Interns and compiling short bios to share with the broader community of NA Marketing Technology full timers. Aside from the soft skills I have improved upon throughout my internship experience at P&G, I have also learned a great deal about P&G’s media and marketing tactics from the perspective of a data analyst looking to glean insights from what has been done in the past and what could be done in the future.”

Teh'Lajah Brooks

Teh’Lajah Brooks traveled to Seoul, South Korea for her internship with CEO SUITE.

Teh’Lajah Brooks – BA ‘23

Internship: Business Development Intern | CEO SUITE | Seoul, South Korea

Internship Goal: “Before coming to South Korea, I hoped that this internship would help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life in the future. I knew I was interested in business, but I didn’t know the industry I wanted to pursue. In addition, I have various interests, and I was not entirely set on pursuing a career in business. However, my whole mindset switched two weeks before arriving in South Korea. When coming to South Korea, I wanted to keep an open mind and have no clear expectations. By having expectations, I thought I would limit my experiences, and I could possibly feel disappointed during my time here. I didn’t want to feel like this internship was just another task where I checked off boxes to say I completed them. I wanted to live in the moment and see where this journey would take me. I wanted to see just how adaptable I truly can be. I know it sounds very cheesy, but it’s the truth. Many of us interns had no clue what to actually expect from the companies we were placed at for our internship. So, setting expectations was challenging in the beginning. When I arrived on the first day of my internship, I was immediately thrown a curveball. I was told that my position for my internship had changed within the company. Instead of working in hospitality, I was now in sales, and I would do a little bit of marketing. However, by already cultivating the mindset of being open to anything I was thrown. Many other events occurred throughout my internship like this. My boss was determined to aid me on this journey of growth, so she pushed me to work hard and try new things entirely. So as my internship wraps up, I can say that not only was I able to discover what I want to do in the future, I learned about myself along the journey.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “Through this internship, I have learned so much about myself, my country, South Korea, and my future plans. This experience has truly changed my life and my perspective of the world. I am unsure if I can put everything into words, but I will try my best. Starting with myself. Through my internship, I have been able to improve my soft skills. With the branch of my company being all Korean, I had to approach many work tasks differently than I would have previously done in the United States. This caused me to re-evaluate the way I communicate and collaborate with others. I believe I have found better ways for me to personally be better at both of these skills by combining my previous knowledge and knowledge that I have recently obtained. 

Also, I have learned about how many people outside of the United States view our country. I found this quite interesting. I was able to have a lot of conversations with people from all around the world about misconceptions and truths about some of America. In return, many others taught me about their cultures. Last but not least, my internship in sales taught me that this something genuinely interests me and I have enjoyed doing. Even with the language barrier, I gained a lot of insight into how sales work in a business-to-business company. Overall, I think that completing an internship abroad can teach a person many different things. I would recommend an experience like this to anyone interested in traveling and growing as a person.”

Danie Planos

Daniel Planos is working with EY this summer.

Daniel Planos – BSBA ‘23

Internship: Technology Risk Consultant | EY | Jacksonville, Florida

Internship Goal: “Make meaningful connections. Being exposed to a variety of diverse and intellectual individuals, I have taken it upon myself to meet and pick the brains of as many people as possible. EY has a virtual open-door policy meaning you can see when anyone in the firm is available to chat and schedule a 15 – 30-minute virtual coffee chat with them. This provides interns with a sense of belonging and direction as everyone in the firm is always happy to chat. I have been meeting EY employees in and outside of my assigned field to truly understand the work being done at EY, and I have concluded that EY’s innovative efforts to create a better working world and the employee’s enthusiasm to provide interns with an exceptional summer experience is something I look for when considering full-time employment.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “I have learned how to be passionate about learning. When joining a corporate company, they understand interns have little to no knowledge of the in-depth work being done at that specific firm. But corporate companies provide interns with an abundance of learning tools to take advantage of. Personally, I have completed a Cybersecurity learning badge and completing a Strategy learning badge which has taught me EY’s methodologies and frameworks when approaching a complex problem. What has intrigued me the most about my internship experience is seeing how employees craft a value proposition to pitch to potential clients highlighting how EY can and will make an impact on the firm and society as a whole.”

Reagan Hanawalt

Reagan Hanawalt is completing her internship internationally in Seoul, South Korea.

Reagan Hanawalt – BSBA ‘23

Internship: Marketing Intern | KID Korea | Seoul, South Korea

Internship Goal: “More than anything, I want to walk away from this internship feeling as though I have accomplished something beyond what I previously believed myself capable of doing. I’m not the most outgoing or adventurous person, so being able to complete this internship would be a large confidence booster. Additionally, I hope to gain more industry knowledge about and expand my understanding of marketing; it has been one of my favorite areas of study at UF and I could see myself potentially working in a related field one day.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “I believe one of the most important skills I have honed during this internship is intercultural communication. None of my coworkers speak English, so I have had to learn to navigate that situation and decide the best ways to convey meaning every time I need to deliver information. I have also observed a lot about “real-world” marketing, in a sense, in that I am working five days a week in a startup company’s marketing office and gaining hands-on experience with marketing-related projects, data mining, and job shadowing.”

Chanelle Adjei-Boampong poses for a photo with three other students

In addition to an externship with PwC, Chanelle Adjei-Boampong completed an additional leadership event with RSM.

Chanelle Adjei-Boampong – BSBA ‘25

Internship: Extern | PwC | Remote 

Additional Learning Experience: RSM Excellence Academy Participant | RSM | Chicago, Illinois

PwC Internship Goal: “Prior to this externship, I hoped to get some real-world experience in consulting. In my Warrington Welcome course, I fell in love with solving cases and have been exploring consulting since. My summer was already occupied so Michelle Bloom-Lugo advised me to take this externship to gain some work experience as well as to see if consulting is for me.”

What I’ve learned from my PwC internship: “Throughout my externship I learned about the strategy consulting process and how to help create value for a non-profit client based on their vision and mission as well as how to analyze complex problems ranging from fundraising and development, impact measurement, and using consulting frameworks to help identify problem areas and propose solutions. I also learned to gather, analyze, and visualize data to inform problem areas and possible solutions, which also included creating my own solution. I perfected my professionalism and gained more confidence through the final presentation to a non-profit client that incorporates valuable insights, trends, and recommendations.”

RSM Excellence Academy Goal: “The RSM Excellence Academy was designed for helping underrepresented minority students grow professionally and personally so I hope to make meaningful connections through networking and meeting like-minded students across the country. With 100+ students, assigned mentors, and valuable speakers, this will be a great opportunity to put me out there. Secondly, I hope to learn more about RSM as a company, how life at RSM is and how it differs from the Big 3 Consulting Firms. Before this program, I had never heard of RSM and I still do not know much other than what is on the website.”

What I’ve learned so far from the RSM Excellence Academy: “Number one on my list is the value of networking. While I have been learning that since I arrived at UF, I have made genuine connections with people I actually share things in common or people that can help me get where I want to go. For example, we had a networking workshop in which the speaker walked up to each student and greeted us by name and something she knew about us. She then explained how something as small as checking a person’s LinkedIn prior to a meeting can make such a difference in making you stand out. 

While each student was given two mentors to connect with, meeting RSM representatives and connecting with them on my own was extremely fulfilling. For example, I ran into a guy off my plane, and I assumed he was an employee so we engaged in regular chitchat. Later at the meet and greet we spoke a lot longer, still casually and playfully, but he gave me pointers on why a certain master’s program would be more beneficial for what I aspire to be. At the opening session the next day, he made the opening speech and I found out he was a Partner… This was bewildering to me because I had been conversing with him as a friend/mentor without knowing he is in a high position. This is to say that I established a connection with someone that could have an influence on my career just from the small talk which would not have been possible if RSM did not want to see us succeed. 

As this was simply a diversity program, we did not actually do any case prep or work with clients, but we did get to hear from a number of renowned speakers such as Eric Thomas, VP Parker, and more. While they all had wonderful advice and discussed remaining motivated, it was inspiring to hear such personal testimonies from people that looked like me. I can 100% say I learned about the importance of perseverance and working toward what you want in life. That is not to say that I did not before, but it put the way I look at certain things into a different perspective.”

Taylor Anderson at Octane

Taylor Anderson is completing his internship with Octane.

Taylor Anderson – BABA, MS Marketing ’23

Internship: Communications and Branding Intern | Octane | New York City/Remote

Internship Goal: “I am hoping to expand my professional marketing skills in a rapidly growing company like Octane, and in an industry that excites me like fintech. Specifically, I hope to gain more experience in digital design as well as designing and planning the logistics behind corporate promotional products & events (an area I think is super exciting). I also hope to expand my web development skills through working on redesigning several company webpages. I will also have the opportunity to expand my skills with several graphics softwares thanks to Octane giving me access to more expensive software and hardware for the summer. I had the opportunity to visit Octane’s NYC headquarters in the Manhattan Mall earlier this summer and am returning in August to shoot corporate photography for their offices.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “I have learned the most in my internship with Octane in the shortest amount of time out of any of my previous experiences! I’ve been given the opportunity to directly work with some the most talented marketing and comms professionals in the industry at an award winning fintech company. This has pushed me far outside of my preexisting box for digital design and corporate communications. For example, I’ve been learning many new design techniques from industry professionals and participating in weekly critiques to evaluate and improve my work. I have also learned that I want my next internship/work experience to share a similar level of flexibility and ‘people focused’ work culture. The flexibility of hours that Octane provides me allows me to work autonomously and have a similar level of responsibility I would have in a full-time role. They care much more about the quality of work I am producing, rather than who shows up the earliest or who has their cameras on during a Zoom meeting. The greatest part about working at a highly funded startup is they are purely concerned about result based performance, and not all the unrelated ‘corporate initiatives’ companies indulge in these days. I’ve learned I like being in an environment that’s small enough that I can have a noticeable impact, but large enough that I don’t become a number in a bureaucratic corporate ladder.”

Angela Chan

Angela Chan is learning at Accenture this summer.

Angela Chan – BSBA ’22, MS-ISOM ‘23

Internship: Consulting Analyst | Accenture | Seattle, Washington

Internship Goal: “Through this internship experience, I hope to clearly identify and grow both my professional and personal goals. Within my team, I’m looking forward to learning how to lead, organize, and work within an agile technology project. I’m excited to take on tasks that align with my future, long-term career goals of being a PM. At the same time, I hope to learn how to be independent in a new city and how to manage time well, adjust to new routines, and find a healthy work/life balance for the first time in a professional setting.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “As one of my first internship experiences post-pandemic, I’ve learned that the technology and consulting industry has faced many major changes that will affect the day-to-day future of my career. This is both exciting and scary, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to gain experience in these industries in the midst of this transformation! I’ve also learned that reaching out to people in my network as an intern is an extremely valuable part of my internship experience. Being able to ask people in all kinds of roles and teams about their experience has been so eye-opening. The knowledge and advice I’ve received through these interactions have been my favorite part of my experience so far!”

Homar Ali

Homar Ali is honing his finance and accounting skills with KPMG.

Homar Ali – BSAc, MAcc ‘23

Internship: Deal Advisory – Financial Due Diligence Intern | KPMG | Atlanta, Georgia

Internship Goal: “One of the main reasons I chose to do an advisory practice and not the traditional accounting path of tax or audit is to be exposed to a different field of accounting that would allow me to work with a broader group of individuals in industries while utilizing essential financial accounting knowledge. During my internship, I hope to develop a more comprehensive understanding of deal advisory and its interconnections with accounting to see if that is what I would want to do full time. In addition, due to our little exposure to advisory practices in accounting recruitment, I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to do something different and help with potential recruitment for other advisory practices next year to increase its exposure.

One of the main skills I hope to develop further in my internship is my soft communication skills. More often than not, this is the number one skill that employers look for, but there are so many layers to it and no specific definition to explain its significance. Since deal advisory requires a lot of communication with different people as you work with new clients every 4-6 weeks, this internship gives me the exposure to effectively use the essential communication skills we often learn in our Warrington classes. Refining my communication skills will apply to the rest of my collegiate and professional career.

On a more professional level, I hope that this internship will help me pinpoint the accounting path I want to take. Although I know that horizontal and vertical career growth is very common in the profession, I’d like to enter my full-time job knowing I am working on something I enjoy doing. Therefore, KPMG has structured the internship with half of our time being training and immersion sessions to learn more about the different deal advisory and strategy practices and the other half being hands-on engagement work with clients. This gives me a great opportunity to learn about different practices other than just mine.”

What I’ve learned from my internship: “Due to the structure of the internship, we have done Financial Due Diligence (FDD) Bootcamp, an immersion week learning about different deal advisory practices, and even got the chance to go to the KPMG Lakehouse in Orlando for cross-advisory training. At Lakehouse, I learned about other advisory practices outside of deal advisory and went through a mini case to learn about the different advisory techniques and skills, such as problem-solving, building a solution for a client, presenting a data-oriented solution, and communicating with a diverse team.

During FDD Bootcamp, I learned about the different processes of a deal and the heart of accounting that many of us fear – Excel. Since FDD is an Excel-heavy practice, we learned various shortcuts and how to perform many valuation calculations to ensure accurate and presentable figures to the clients. Although the training was 16 hours long, it was something I would do repeatedly as I learned many new tips and tricks I could utilize outside of work.”

Business Gators, are you ready to take the next step in your internship or career search? Start today! Here’s a few tips from Undergraduate Business Career Services Coach Bernadine Thomas.

Be sure to visit HireWarrington to:

  • Update your resume and HireWarrington profile with your internship or externship experience from this summer.
  • Attend one of two 2022 Fall Career Training Camps hosted by the BCS coaches who will share tips on how to land your next role. Learn more and RSVP in HireWarrington.
    • August 1-12: Learn new tips in a daily-email from BCS coaches
    • August 16-17: Attend one of these sessions to prepare for fall recruiting
  • Schedule a meeting with your BCS coach or CAP mentor when you return in the fall on a variety of topics including internship and job seeking strategies, mock interviews, resume reviews, offer discussions and your LinkedIn profile.
Warrington alumni, are you looking to take advantage of the talent from your alma mater? Connect with the Business Career Services team to see how you can recruit at Warrington!